Marilyn in red costume with unknown actor - Framed Picture - 11" x 14"
Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson) was an American actress and model. Famous for playing comic "dumb blonde" characters, she became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s, emblematic of the era's attitudes towards sexuality. Although she was a top-billed actress for only a decade, her films grossed $200 million by the time of her unexpected death in 1962.
She continues to be considered a major popular culture icon.
After a series of minor film roles, she signed a new contract with Fox in 1951. Over the next two years, she became a popular actress with roles in several comedies, including As Young as You Feel and Monkey Business, and in the dramas Clash by Night and Don't Bother to Knock. Monroe faced a scandal when it was revealed that she had posed for nude photos before becoming a star, but rather than damaging her career, the story resulted in increased interest in her films.
By 1953, Monroe was one of the most marketable Hollywood stars, with leading roles in three films: the noir Niagara, which focused on her sex appeal, and the comedies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, which established her star image as a "dumb blonde".
One of the biggest box office successes of her career was The Seven Year Itch.
Monroe's troubled private life received much attention. She struggled with substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. She had two highly publicized marriages, to retired baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, both of which ended in divorce.
She died at age 36 from an overdose of barbiturates at her home in Los Angeles. Although Monroe's death was ruled a probable suicide, several conspiracy theories have been proposed in the decades following her death.