Marilyn Monroe is one of the most famous American actresses of all time; she was a model, singer, cultural and pop icon.

Marilyn Monroe - biography

She was born as Norma Jeane Mortenson and had a hard childhood. She never met her father and never had a close relationship with her half-sister, while her mother, who suffered from psychological problems, was put in a mental institution in 1935. During her childhood years she went from one orphanage and foster home to another and was sexually abused. In order to avoid orphanages, at the age of sixteen she married the twenty-year old James Dougherty. While he sailed the Pacific as a marine, she worked in an ammunition factory in California. At the same time she was noticed by a photographer and thus began her successful career of a pin-up model, which is why she became a blond instead of a brunette.  In 1946, she began her acting career and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe. After a few smaller roles, she had her first bigger one in Ladies of the Chorus (1948). Afterwards she played several smaller but well-received roles in critically acclaimed films - The Asphalt Jungle (1950) by John Huston and in the drama All About Eve (1950) by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Then she starred in several romantic comedies as well as in the noir drama by Fritz Lang Clash by Night (1952). Another great role from that period is the one of a dangerous nanny in the thriller Don't Bother to Knock (1952) by Roy Ward Baker. In that same year she starred opposite Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers in the popular comedy Monkey Business (1952) by Howard Hawks. Her biggest success until that time was the leading role in the noir film Niagara (1953) by Henry Hathaway. She already had a reputation of a person who is hard to work with due to frequent tardiness to film sets and inability to remember her lines. The most probable reason behind it was her insecurity, tendency to perfectionism due to which she often asked to repeat her scenes, as well as her addiction to barbiturates, amphetamines (popular in the film industry of that time) and alcohol. She then starred in the very successful musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) by Howard Hawks together with Jane Russell. Afterwards she starred in popular comedies How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) by Jean Negulesco, There's No Business Like Show Business (1954) by Walter Lang and The Seven Year Itch (1955) by Billy Wilder. In 1954, she married the baseball player Joe DiMaggio but they divorced only nine months later. In the same year she starred in Otto Preminger’s western River of No Return together with Robert Mitchum. At this point she was fed up with the roles of shallow blonds and a lack of freedom when it comes to choosing her own career path, and, together with the phototgrapher Milton Greene, she established the production house Marilyn Monroe Productions (MMP). She enrolled to the Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio in New York and soon became friends with Strasberg and his wife Paula. She returned to the big screen with the film Bus Stop (1956) by Joshua Logan, and was praised and nominated for a Golden Globe. In that same year she married the writer Arthur Miller but that marriage lasted only until 1961. She starred in The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), first independent production of her MMP studio and one of the few films directed by the famous actor Laurence Olivier. By far her most successful and popular film was the comedy Some like it hot (1959) Billy Wilder, for which she won the Golden Globe as best actress in a comedy or musical in 1960. She worked with George Cukor on the romantic comedy Let's Make Love (1960) and her partner was Yves Montand. In that same year she got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She continued her cooperation with George Cukor in Something's Got to Give (1962), the unfinished remake of the film My Favourite Wife (1940), from which she was fired due to financial reasons. However, when Dean Martin refused to continue to film without her, she was invited back, but the film was never finished due to her sudden death. Therefore, her last film remained the drama Misfits (1961) by John Huston. The screenplay was written specifically for her by Arthur Miller and it was alos the last film for her acting partner Clark Gable. Soon, Miller and Monroe divorced and the film did badly in the theatres. She died at the age of thirty-six of an overdose with sleeping pills. Lee Strasberg made a farewell speech for the film icon at the funeral that was held only for close friends and collaborators.  

Something's Got to Give (1962) (unfinished)
The Misfits (1961)
Let's Make Love, (1960)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)
Bus Stop (1956)
The Seven Year Itch (1955)
There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)
River of No Return (1954)
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
Niagara (1953)
Monkey Business (1952)
O. Henry's Full House (1952) (segment "The Cop and the Anthem")
Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
We're Not Married! (1952)
Clash by Night (1952)
Let's Make It Legal (1951)
Love Nest (1951)
As Young as You Feel (1951)
Home Town Story (1951)
All About Eve (1950)
The Fireball (1950)
Right Cross (1950) (unaccredited)
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950) (unaccredited)
Love Happy (1949)
Ladies of the Chorus (1948)
Green Grass of Wyoming (1948) (unaccredited)
Summer Lightning (1948) (unaccredited)
Dangerous Years (1947)