Walk of Fame Marilyn Monroe: The Surprising Reality Behind the Hollywood Legend Published 1 year ago on Dec 28, 2017 By Monica Huntington Marilyn Monroe is one of the world’s most recognized stars of mythological proportions. She has been immortalized for decades as an emblem of Hollywood allure and sex appeal. While everyone is familiar with her iconic image, there was a lot more than meets the eye in the behind-the-scenes reality of the legendary blonde bombshell. Despite all the fame and the hoopla surrounding her attention-grabbing person, Marilyn Monroe faced a series of triumphs and tribulations in her all-too-short life and career. From unusual beauty tricks to her off-screen hobbies, Marilyn Monroe was constantly breaking the mold. Read on to discover the many remarkable details behind the legend of one of history’s biggest stars. 1. Numerous Names Her name is recognized the world-over as belonging to one of history’s most famous pop cultural icons, but the blockbuster bombshell known as Marilyn Monroe wasn’t always referred to as such. Born in LA in 1926 as Norma Jeane Mortenson, she was later baptized as Norma Jeane Baker. People Mag Jean Norman, Mona Monroe, Norma Jeane Dougherty and Jean Adair were among her many early monikers. Already a star, she only legally changed her name in 1956 to the screen identity derived from Broadway star Marilyn Miller’s first name and the maiden surname of Monroe’s own mother. 2. Poorly Paid Although she was a huge celebrity at the time, Marilyn Monroe was relatively underpaid compared to some of her contemporaries. Monroe co-starred in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” alongside Jane Russell, but the latter earned approximately 10 times more than her cast mate. Pinterest Fellow mid-century screen siren Elizabeth Taylor raked in $1 million dollars for her part in “Cleopatra” while Monroe earned $100,000 around the same time for her final, unfinished film “Something’s Got to Give.” Just before her death, however, Fox hired Monroe for a million-dollar deal. 3. Blonde Ambition Marilyn Monroe was a naturally stunning woman. But she didn’t always look like buxom blonde we remember her as. Encouraged to change her image to land acting gigs, she underwent a drastic beauty transition to create the iconic image that remains ubiquitously recognizable. YouTube Setting out as a curly brunette, she was convinced to dye her hair her now-signature platinum blonde hue. Apart from straightening, styling and coloring her hair, the star also altered her look by allegedly undergoing electrolysis to raise her hairline. 4. Explosive Career Back when she was still Norma Jeane, the future Hollywood sensation had a job at a military factory in Van Nuys, California. At the age of 21 during the height of the Second World War, she contributed to the war efforts and made income working at the Radioplane Munitions Factory. Wikipedia By chance, it was there that photographer David Conover would snap government propaganda shots of female workers that would in turn help launch Monroe’s modeling career. The next year, the then-antsy housewife quit working at the factory and started posing for modeling and pin-up stints. 5. Bounced Around Foster Care Although Marilyn Monroe rose to become one of the most prominent icons of Hollywood glamor and fame, her path to celebrity was lined with hardships and difficulties. This was particularly true of her childhood. Monroe’s mother, Gladys Pearl Baker, wasn’t always around for her young daughter because of health issues. Mashable Monroe’s biological father wasn’t in the picture and she was declared a ward of the state at age 11. She was shuttled through 11 foster homes during her youth. Throughout her life, Monroe attempted to overcome the loneliness and trauma that she suffered from at an early age. Keep reading to find out how Marilyn Monroe beat the odds and found unparalleled fame. 6. Fairly Young First Marriage In order to get away from the troublesome circumstances of foster life and avoid the orphanage, a teenage Marilyn Monroe turned to her neighbor’s handsome 21-year-old son James Dougherty. The two wed in 1942, just shortly after Monroe’s 16th birthday. Pinterest The future star then dropped out of high school and became a housewife. Monroe characterized her first of three marriages as relatively unsuited as the two had little in common. The union ended in 1946 as her career took precedent. According to reports, Dougherty’s second wife later prohibited him from seeing Monroe’s famous films. 7. Modeling Days Marilyn Monroe’s naturally exquisite features and mesmerizing presence contributed to her early success as a model. By 1946, the golden girl had reportedly graced the covers of 33 magazines. Her fate would soon change, however, as she starting gaining attention from industry insiders. liveinternet.ru Revamped as Marilyn Monroe in 1946, she began to pursue acting, dreaming of following in the famous footsteps of the likes of Jean Harlow and Lana Turner. That same year she signed her first movie contract, although her film career wouldn’t really take off for a few more years. 8. Bare and Beguiled In 1949, Marilyn Monroe found herself a struggling actress desperate to make ends meet. Her film career until then consisted largely of small or uncredited roles. Her long-term goal may have been silver screen stardom, but first and foremost, she had to pay rent. Pinterest In need for a source of income, Monroe reverted to modeling. She then posed for photographer Tom Kelley in exchange for a mere $50. Little did she know at the time, the photos were about to get her quite a bit of attention. Kelley later sold the photos to a calendar-printing company without notifying Monroe. Keep reading to find out how Kelley’s decision impacted Monroe’s career. 9. Signature Sway Marilyn Monroe studied her trade in modeling and acting lessons, but her signature sultry strut was not (at least entirely) a learned technique. Sur,e her hourglass figure and megawatt smile demanded attention, but the iconic hip swoosh of her hypnotizing gait was actually due to a surprising condition. Hello Magazine According to several sources, the curvy actress’ scintillating stride was, in fact, the result of her being double-jointed in the knees. Monroe actually had to lock her knees in order to walk properly, lending the enticing effect that her hips were seductively swaying. 10. A Mogul’s Muse Hugh Hefner printed the first issue of Playboy in 1953, launching a brand that would become synonymous with risqué renown. The inaugural issue of the men’s magazine was an instant success and sold tens of thousands of copies thanks in large to its first cover girl – Marilyn Monroe. Baron/Getty Images Hefner attributed Playboy’s controversial popularity to Monroe’s original cover and centerfold appearance, however, she never actually agreed to be in the publication. Hefner had purchased the nude photos of Monroe taken years before from Western Lithograph Company for $500. Critics have since accused him of exploiting the star. 11. A Curious History with Hefner Although she inadvertently helped launch his career, Marilyn Monroe never actually met Hugh Hefner. Still, their strange overlapping history continued when the mogul paid $75,000 in 1992 to buy the burial plot next to her’s in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. Hubwav.com The publishing tycoon’s move was met with criticism that in death, as in life, he hadn’t received Monroe’s consent when it came to the illustrious icon. Nonetheless, Hefner was laid to rest in 2017, 55 years after Monroe’s fated passing. 12. Spiritual Awakenings While many people consider Marilyn Monroe to be a divine being, they may be surprised to find out she affiliated with several beliefs of her own during her life. Although she was allegedly not very religious, faith strongly influenced her life. Pinterest Monroe was baptized at a young age and became a Christian Scientist at the age of 18. She later converted to Judaism before marrying her third husband, playwright Arthur Miller. Her dogmatic transition led Egypt to ban all of her films until the pair’s divorce in 1961. 13. Always Accompanied Marilyn Monroe’s omnipresent persona may have eclipsed her acting abilities, but she nonetheless sought to be a talented and respected thespian. She was, in fact, rarely without an acting coach. Natasha Lytess, her first coach, worked with her for six years. Blogspot The German acting advisor was known to have clashed with directors and studio heads during her time that she saw Monroe through 22 films. When the actress later moved to New York, she studied with renowned showbiz couple, Paula and Lee Strasberg. 14. Battling Inner Demons Despite the cheerful, whimsical characters Marilyn Monroe portrayed on screen, in reality, she battled a lot of personal demons. From her difficult childhood to troubled private life as an adult under the scrutiny of the media, Monroe struggled with low self-confidence, depression and anxiety. Twitter In an era when mental illness was largely taboo, Monroe also was urged to avoid mention of her mother, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. At the suggestion of her acting coach and confidante Paula Strasberg, Monroe eventually started psychoanalysis to confront her emotional trauma. 15. The Original Contour Queen Decades before the Kardashians popularized the contouring makeup craze, Marilyn Monroe and her makeup artist, Allan “Whitey” Snyder, started the trend first. The two employed aesthetic blending as part of the illustrious star’s beauty routine, and boy did it work. Pinterest Monroe’s iconic pout (that took five shades of lipstick) and exaggerated eyes were part of the adventurous cosmetic approach she employed. While her countenance no doubt provided the perfect canvas, her beauty tricks such as contouring her nose with a bit of blush only added to her alluring appearance. 16. Bizarre Beauty Hack The camera absolutely adored Marilyn Monroe and her perfectly photogenic fabulousness. Although she always seemed to emit a magnetic inner radiance, Monroe actually had some pretty unusual and specific beauty hacks to ensure her outward luster would shine through (literally). Pinterest Definitely wanting “to feel blonde all over,” Monroe preferred a pale complexion and lathered on layers of Vaseline and hormone cream to augment her air of incandescence. These techniques caused her to grow a noted layer of peach fuzz, which she refused to remove claiming it enhanced her glow. 17. Worshipped Body Marilyn Monroe had one of the most envied figures in human history. Like most women though, her measurements fluctuated from time to time. However, due to her megastar quality, her size has remained a constant topic of discussion and debate until this day. Pinimg Known to have one of the most iconic hourglass figures of all time, during her career, her weight changed between 118 and 140 pounds. To maintain her famous curves, Monroe said she lifted weights daily. In the early 1940s, she even studied Olympic weightlifting with Howard Corrington. 18. Pretty and Poetic Marilyn Monroe was much more than the salacious sex bomb that she personified in film and in the public eye. While much has been written about her, few may know that the enigmatic star also turned to the written word herself to express her most personal musings. Art.com Interestingly, Marilyn wrote her own poetry. While she only showed these introspective writings to a tight-knit group of people during her lifetime, in recent years a trove of her penned works have been uncovered, depicting a deeper and sometimes darker side to the immortalized actress. 19. No “Dumb Blonde” Marilyn Monroe actually despised the “dumb blonde” typecast that originally catapulted her to stardom. Unlike her entertainment persona, the blue-eyed beauty was, in reality, very intelligent and cunning. Although there is no official proof she took a standardized test, she reportedly had an IQ of 168. Wikipedia By the mid-1950s she was the biggest star in the world largely thanks to her crafted image and on-screen start with many simplistic, bimbo roles. However, like any ambitious person, she wanted to grow and branch out as an actor with more cerebral and dramatic roles. Keep reading to find out more about the truth behind the myth of Marilyn Monroe. 20. Breaking Barriers with Ella Fitzgerald Seeking to escape her helpless sexpot typecast, Marilyn Monroe headed to New York in 1955 to study method acting. Not only would she attempt to break personal barriers, but she also helped break paralyzing race divides and influence a career-defining moment for one the world’s most celebrated artists. Imgur The masses may know Ella Fitzgerald’s iconic voice, but the renowned jazz singer actually booked her first major gig in LA thanks to Monroe. Lobbying for her fellow entertainer, Monroe convinced the popular Mocambo club to let Fitzgerald play by vowing to sit in the front-row for a week. 21. A Shrewd Business Woman Marilyn Monroe’s trailblazing achievements also included breaking the glass ceiling of the era’s gender divide. She defied the conventional Hollywood establishment and took on the omnipotent studio system by becoming the second-ever woman (after Mary Pickford) to have her own production company. Baron/Getty Images Monroe had become disenchanted with Twentieth Century-Fox, her mediocre typecasting and meager pay. Once filming for the boxoffice hit “The Seven Year Itch” wrapped in 1954, she made history by founding Marilyn Monroe Productions, Inc. along with friend and photographer Milton Greene. 22. Beautiful Bookworm A look at Marilyn Monroe’s private pastimes further dismantles the “dumb blonde” stereotype that inevitably surrounded her. A far cry from the on-screen airheads she usually played, Monroe was a voracious reader and had an extensive personal library of more than 400 books. Twitter Up until her final days, Monroe was an avid reader with Tolstoy, Whitman and Milton on her shelves. At the time of her death, she was found to be reading the novels “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Captain Newman MD,” about her psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson. 23. Yoga Trailblazer Long before the yoga craze had the West standing on its head in the 80’s, Marilyn Monroe was an alleged enthusiast of the discipline that originated in ancient India. The enchanting actress mentioned in 1951 that she couldn’t stand exercise if it were regimented. Huffington Post Perhaps that’s why she was drawn to a more flexible practice, literally. Monroe reportedly learned yoga under Indra Devi, the Russian actress who helped spearhead the love of the discipline in America with the opening of her first studio in West Hollywood in 1947. 24. Inspiration and Appreciation Marilyn Monroe is known to have inspired artists such as Salvador Dali, Willem De Kooning and Andy Warhol. In her constant attempts to discover herself and the outside world, she also harbored a love for the arts that exceeded film. Amazon Her favorite artist was Spanish romantic painter Francisco de Goya. In her autobiography, Monroe said: “I know this man very well, we have the same dreams, I have had the same dreams since I was a child.” Sounds like she was gaga for Goya. 25. A Star of Unmatched Proportions There is no doubt Marilyn Monroe was a total knockout. However, the beauty icon who set a new precedent for the beauty standard wasn’t exactly “born that way.” Somewhere during her transformation from Norma Jeane to Marilyn Monroe, the actress altered more than her name and hair color. Keystone Features/Getty Images Ending years of speculation, X-rays published after her death showed that the perfectly proportional star had plastic surgery on her chin and nose. Apart from those going under the knife, she employed some natural figure hacks, including sewing marbles in her bra to boost her famous bust. 26. Adoring Abe While rumors of her fabled affair with John F. Kennedy have captured public interest for decades, there was actually a different former American president that she regarded as her personal hero. She read everything she could about the political legend. Pinterest “He was the only famous American who seemed most like me, at least in his childhood,” she was quoted as saying of one of the nation’s most revered leaders. In 1955, she was invited to inaugurate a Lincoln museum in Berment, Illinois. 27. Diamonds Weren’t This Girl’s Best Friend Despite her famous score “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friends” in the 1953 flick “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” Marilyn Monroe didn’t seem to have much of an affinity for owning expensive jewelry. Contrary to what one would assume, the on-screen gem’s collection of valuable wearables was quite small. Wikipedia The authentic pieces she wore were generally loaned for promotion. Most of the silver screen star’s personal collection consisted of costume jewelry except for a diamond wedding band and pearl necklace from her second husband Joe DiMaggio. Either way, the platinum powerhouse always shined in radiance. If you were surprised by that Tinsel Town tidbit, the one will definitely astonish you. 28. Glamorous Germaphobe Celebrities, like most people, are known to have their particularities and quirks – they add to their charm. And, Marilyn Monroe was not exempt from that group. Unfortunately, Monroe’s habit of visiting the restroom several times a day started to spur rumors on set. Pinimg Later she acknowledged that struggled with the constant feeling of being contaminated. Whether a technique to keep her much-photographed face blemish free, or as some historians theorize – a mannerism resulting from traumatic experiences as a child – she purportedly washed her face about 15 times a day. 29. White Hot The ever-so iconic scene of Marilyn Monroe coquettishly holding her billowing white dress over a subway grating in “The Seven Year Itch” has been etched in the collective pop-cultural memory as one of the most famous moments in movie history. The Star Online For three hours and 14 takes, the “flying skirt” shot took place on New York’s Lexington Ave in front of more than 2,000 awestruck onlookers. Meanwhile, Monroe’s then-husband Joe DiMaggio was furious about the scene and his disapproval allegedly led to the final straw in their unraveling marriage. 30. Diverting Scandal When the nude photos of Marilyn Monroe resurfaced in Playboy in 1953, she had already made a name for herself and the incident posed a potential crisis. While her studio was worried the photos would spell a scandalous end to her career, Monroe decided to do something unimaginable. Discover LA Ignoring pleas from studio execs to deny the photos portrayed her likeness, Monroe acted in true leading lady form by publicly admitted the truth about the intimate images. Monroe confronted the whole incident with candid wit and charm and the whole account only further added to her star power. 31. Sentimental with Sinatra By all accounts, Marilyn Monroe was a huge dog lover. She had several furry friends throughout her life. Interestingly, her fellow larger-than-life star and one-time lover, Frank Sinatra gave Monroe her last pet ever – an adorable white Maltese poodle. Pinterest In a game of one degree of Hollywood separation, Sinatra had bought the dog from Natalie Wood’s mother. Monroe named pup Maf, a comic reference to the blue-eye crooner’s alleged ties to the mafia. After Monroe’s death, Sinatra’s secretary Gloria Levell inherited the cute K-9. 32. “Some Like it Hot,” in the Kitchen Not only was Marilyn Monroe a worshipped celebrity, but she was a goddess in the kitchen as well. Monroe was enthusiastic about cultivating her culinary skills along with her acting prowess and was known to enjoy cooking for her loved ones. Fine Dining Lovers The star’s self- annotated cookbooks were auctioned off at Christie’s in 1999 for more than $25,000. In addition, a personally tweaked stuffing recipe that Monroe scribbled down has gone viral, further immortalizing her film and food legacy. What a dish! Didn’t know that tasty tidbit about Marilyn Monroe? Keep reading for more secrets about your favorite star! 33. Family Tragedies Along with all of her fame and celebrity, Marilyn Monroe’s life, like her death, was sadly marked by bouts of tragedy. When Marilyn was coping with the difficulties of foster care life at the age of seven, her great-grandfather committed suicide. Pinterest That tragedy was unfortunately followed years later by the untimely death of her half-brother, Robert, when he was just 16 years old. While Monroe was no doubt impacted by the harrowing events, they devastated her already unstable mother Gladys, who went on to outlive her daughter. 34. Suspended Star Marilyn Monroe went on a defiant one-woman strike against Fox in 1954 after she refused to work on a new project called “The Girl in Pink Tights.” While objecting to her $1,500 slated weekly salary compared to co-star Frank Sinatra’s $5,000 weekly pay, the studio suspended her. Pinimg Adding insult to injury, the studio refused to let Monroe preview the script before filming. The studio eventually dropped the project on the condition that Monroe would take a supporting role in “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” Monroe again proved she was force to be reckoned with. 35. Never Nominated for an Academy Award Marilyn Monroe’s vast filmography has 33 movie credits to her name. She holds a time-honored place in history and is regarded as one of the most beautiful women to ever walk the face of the earth. Yet, despite her many qualities, she was never nominated for an Oscar. Time Magazine While she was never up for the creme de la creme of Hollywood accolades, she did win two Golden Globes. Critics still remain divided on her legacy as an actress although she is without a doubt one of the most recognizable cultural icons of all times. 36. Korean Craze After Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio wed in January 1954, the couple jetted off to Japan for their honeymoon. While DiMaggio attended to baseball events, she traveled by herself to the Korean peninsula to boost the morale of US troops. Mashable The showbiz star put on 10 shows for some 100,000 enamored servicemen during her whirlwind visit to American bases the year after the Korean War ended. Monroe was known to have enjoyed her freedom from the studio and her already tense relationship during her Eastern escapade. 37. Divulgent Diaries Although the media deemed them an unlikely couple, sexy starlet Marilyn Monroe and acclaimed intellectual Arthur Miller married in 1956. She seemed genuinely smitten with her third and last husband, but there were hurdles to overcome early in their matrimony. Fox Photos/Hulton Archive-Getty Images While in England filming “The Prince and the Showgirl,” Marilyn was devastated to find that Miller had complained in his journal that he was “disappointed” with the world’s most famous woman. Still, she used the anguish to fuel her poetry and the couple stayed together for five years. 38. FBI Person of Interest During the height of McCarthyism, Marilyn Monroe was one of the many Hollywood heavyweights under investigation for suspected ties to communism. The FBI compiled detailed files on the social and political lives of the actress and her husband, Arthur Miller. ABC Intelligence officials monitored Monroe from 1955 to 1962, but the bureau never found any substantiated proof that she was a communist. Still, the incident only added to the intrigue and mystery that enshroud her more than 60 years after her untimely death. 39. Striving to be Taken Seriously Throughout her career, Marilyn Monroe engaged in an ongoing battle to be taken seriously and overcome feelings of rejection. She constantly faced ridicule for her intellectual aspirations, including her dream to act in a film adaptation of “The Brothers Karamazov.” Pinterest According to Hollywood lore, Monroe desperately wanted to play the female lead of Grushenka in the Dostoyevsky classic. Monroe even apparently brought up the celebrated Russian writer when she met Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev during his visit to the US at the height of the Cold War. Continue scrolling for more insights into the interesting life of the woman and the legend that was Marilyn Monroe. 40. “Most Advertised Girl in the World” Before she was one of the most famous women in the world, Marilyn Monroe was named “The Most Advertised Girl in the World.” The Advertising Association of the West donned her the label in 1953 during her flourishing modeling career. Daily Mail The striking fresh-faced 27-year-old had already represented multiple brands and held deals with companies including American Airlines, Royal Triton Oil, Pabst Beer, Kyron Way Diet Pills and Tan-Tan Suntan Lotion to mention a few. More impressive still, her image remains one of the most circulated until this day. 41. Box Office Bang Although Marilyn Monroe was relatively poorly paid during her career, the pop culture phenomenon did become a million-dollar movie star mere days before her death. Fox fired her in 1962 from the production of “Something’s Got to Give” due to her chronic tardiness and failure to show up. Harry Kerr/BIPS/Hulton Archive/Getty Images On August 1, 1962, the studio re-hired her and offered her a $1 million deal for two pictures. That was four days before her death. At the time of her untimely death, the magnetic megastar’s films had grossed $200 million. 42. Paradoxical Public Persona Marilyn Monroe seemed to epitomize collected confidence, sex appeal and effortless charm, but the woman behind the scenes was often plagued by crippling insecurity. Styled largely to draw men to the cinema, she viewed the persona of Marilyn as a “veil” over her true self. People Magazine She even referred to herself in the third person. The contrast of her status as a sex symbol and her endearingly innocent naivete resulted in an unmatched radiance that, in the words of her former acting coach Paula Strasberg, was “so shy and yet so vibrant.” 43. Battling a Broken Heart Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller’s marriage was effectively crumbling during filming of her last completed film, “The Misfits,” which Miller wrote. Apart from disliking the role Miller had written for her, she was struggling with health problems and was taking copious amounts of barbiturates. Pinterest Filming was eventually halted for a week so that she could detox in an LA hospital. Although the picture flopped at the box office and received mixed reviews, Monroe’s performance was still noted as one of her most acclaimed ever. 44. Only Human The camera always gravitated toward Marilyn Monroe and she is quoted as uttering some of the most memorable quotes in pop culture history, so it might come as a surprise that she sometimes had a hard time remembering her lines and often had to do several retakes. Pinterest During production of “Some Like it Hot,” it took her more than 45 takes to successfully deliver the iconic line, “It’s me, Sugar.” The famous actress also struggled with stuttering, and her signature breathy voice was actually stylized as a tactic to overcome the diction issue. 45. Maternal Yearnings Probably more anything in the world, Marilyn Monroe longed to be a mother. After her troubled childhood and home life, she yearned for kids of her own. In the summer of 1960, she became pregnant while married to Arthur Miller. Pinterest Sadly though, she miscarried. Monroe suffered two demoralizing miscarriages during the marriage. She painfully had to deal with the loss and ensuing depression in the public eye. Although she never fulfilled her dream of having babies, her determination to have children proved a very relatable human trait. 46. Emotional Rollercoaster Marilyn Monroe endured infamous emotional ups and downs during her lifetime and, contrary to the image depicted in her film roles, was known to be a deeply sensitive and complex person. Arthur Miller once said she “was a super-sensitive instrument, and that’s exciting to be around… until it starts to self-destruct.” NY Times Two months after filming ended on “The Misfits,” her co-star Clark Gable – for whom she had a special penchant – suffered a sudden, fatal heart attack. A distraught Monroe said she had cried for two days afterward and couldn’t eat or sleep. 47. A Sensitive Soul Despite her life-long battle to rise to the top, her divorce from Arthur Miller along with her various personal and professional difficulties led to a downward spiral involving an increasing dependency on prescription drugs. At one point she found herself admitted unwillingly to a New York psychiatric clinic. Time Having believed she was going in for a short recuperation period, Monroe found herself in a padded cell with a staff unwilling to release her until her still attentive ex-husband Joe DiMaggio intervened and ultimately managed to get her out of the harrowing experience. 48. The Fall of a Giant Marilyn Monroe’s death was steeped in as much fascination and discussion as her short, yet astonishing, life. Her death, at the age of 36, was ruled a “probable suicide” but rampant conspiracies about the fateful night of August 5, 1962, have abounded since that day. IB Times The captivating star’s death shocked the nation and made front-page news in the States and Europe. Despite their divorce, baseball great Joe DiMaggio had remained close to Monroe over the year. Touchingly, he arranged for a delivery of roses to her crypt three times a week for 20 years. 49. Auction Muse Proving that her iconic legacy lived on well after her tragic death, various Marilyn Monroe momentos have garnered exorbitant amounts under the hammer. The iconic skin-tight, sequin dress she wore when she famously sang “Happy Birthday Mr President” to JFK was auctioned by Christie’s for a record $1.26 million. Pinterest In 1999, Mariah Carey surpassed the expected $10,000-$15,000 buying price for Monroe’s white baby grand piano and forked out $662,500 for the item. In addition, Tommy Hilfiger paid $37,000 for the blue jeans Monroe in the 1945 film “River of No Return.” 50. Lasting Legacy More than a half-century after Marilyn Monroe’s death, an unmatched level of obsession surrounds the legend of the endlessly talk-about screen icon, singer, comedian and sex symbol. Her legacy has inspired some 600 books and is the subject of countless biopics and documentaries. Daily Mail From her humble beginnings to stratospheric stardom and tragic end, Marilyn Monroe is still remembered as the enchanting blonde bombshell whose largely documented life in the limelight has remained a topic of scrutiny about mass media and celebrity-centric consumer culture. Don’t forget to SHARE this article with friends who are mad about Marilyn Monroe! Sources: The Telegraph, Ninja Journalist, IMDB UP NEXT Gunsmoke: Top Facts Behind The Longest-Lived Show on Television... 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