This Day in History (June 1)

Photo by Sam Shaw

The actress Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. During her all-too-brief life, Marilyn Monroe overcame a difficult childhood to become of the world's biggest and most enduring sex symbols. During her career, Monroe's films grossed more than $200 million. Monroe died of a suspected drug overdose on August 5, 1962, she was only 36 years old.

played Miss Caswell 1950
When Norma Jeane was offered a movie contract, she decided to re-invent herself with a new name and a new image; she began calling herself ‘Marilyn Monroe’  and dyed her hair blonde.  Her acting career didn't really take off until the 1950s. A small part in John Huston's crime drama The Asphalt Jungle (1950) garnered her a lot of attention. That same year, she impressed audiences and critics alike with her performance as Claudia Caswell in All About Eve, starring Bette Davis. Next came the musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). The film was a hit and Monroe continued to find success in a string of light comedic fare, such as How to Marry a Millionaire with Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall, There's No Business like Show Business (1954) with Ethel Merman and Donald O'Connor, and The Seven Year Itch (1955). After a short break she returned to the screen in the dramatic comedy Bus Stop (1956), playing a saloon singer kidnapped by a rancher who has fallen in love with her. She received mostly praise for her performance.

played Sugar Kane 1959
In 1959, Monroe returned to familiar territory with the wildly popular and her most famous comedy Some Like It Hot, with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. Reunited with John Huston, Monroe starred opposite Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift in The Misfits (1961). Set in Nevada, this adventure drama features Monroe, who falls for Gable's cowboy persona but battles him over the fate of some wild mustangs on his vast property.
played Roslyn Taber 1961

This was her last completed film.
Her childhood screen idol and ageing co-star Clark Gable had a massive heart attack shortly after the last scenes were shot. Sadly he died nine days later.  from Bio.TrueStory

And for those of you who are not averse to a conspiracy theory or two, might I also suggest these books -
Victim: the secret tapes of Marilyn Monroe / Matthew Smith


P.S. We hold quite a selection of books on Marilyn, check out our catalogue. These two titles are just a small sampling of the biographies (on all manner of fascinating people) that we have waiting for you to borrow!