The myth of Marilyn: remembering Marilyn Monroe
  
The myth of Marilyn: Marilyn Monroe biography

The myth of Marilyn: Marilyn Monroe biography


Marilyn's natural beauty and confidence made her successful as a pin-up, but she quickly migrated to the movies when Ben Lyon, an executive at 20th Century Fox, arranged for her to take a screen test.

Her success was undeniable, as was her sex appeal, and she ended up landing a short contract under the name Marilyn Monroe, in homage to the actress Marilyn Miller and to her mother, whose maiden name was "Monroe".
 
After two small roles (in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! and Dangerous Years) and a non-renewed contract, she was short on money and posed naked for photographer Tom Kelley's calendar under the name of Mana Monroe.

In 1950, talent agent Johnny Hyde, with whom she had an affair, managed to secure her a part in The Asphalt Jungle, a huge success that brought about a seven-year contract with Fox.
 
But as her career was taking off, the naked calendar pics were leaked and a scandal broke out in 1952. Fox advised her to deny it but Marilyn confronted it and even stirred up some compassion. The photos were published in the first issue of Playboy, founded by Hugh Hefner in 1953.

Major successes

After that, things began moving very quickly for Hollywood's new idol and she landed her first major roles in Don't Bother to Knock and Monkey Business.The blonde bombshell, as she was nicknamed, was in high demand from the media, and filmmakers offered her roles in Clash by Night, Niagara and Gentlemen Prefer Blonds. Her first biography came out when she was just 28. 
 
But it was in 1954 that Marilyn made it big as she worked on film after film. After a short conflict with Fox and a concert in front of thousands of soldiers in Korea, Marilyn starred in The Seven Year Itch, her biggest success and the film with the famous scene in which her dress flies up above a subway grating.
 
With help from photographer Milton Greene, she set up "Marilyn Monroe Productions," which allowed her to choose her own roles. She then enrolled at the Actors Studio, the iconic drama school founded by Elia Kazan, and Lee Strasburg among others. =1954 was also the year that Joe DiMaggio, the most famous baseball player of the time, got divorced to marry Marilyn. Their marriage, though famous, lasted just nine months.
 
In 1956, after a few setbacks during filming of The Prince and the Showgirl (the movie featured in My Week with Marilyn ) Marilyn took a long break in Connecticut and desperately tried to have a child with her third husband, playwright Arthur Miller.
 
Her popularity increased thanks to the tongue in cheek comedy Some Like It Hot, for which she won a Golden Globe in 1960. That same year, she appeared in Let's Make Love alongside french actor  Yves Montand and rumours began circulating about an affair between the two.


Women in Focus Editor
2012/08/05
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