The myth of Marilyn: Marilyn Monroe biography
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, and she quickly turned towards cinema 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 ('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 film 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 Playboy magazine, founded by Hugh Hefner in 1953.

Major successes

After that, things began moving very quickly for Hollywood's new idol as she landed her first major roles in 'Don't Bother to Knock' and 'Monkey Business.' The blonde bombshell, as she was nicknamed, was in big demand from the media, and filmmakers offered her roles in 'Clash by Night,' 'Niagara' and 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.' At 28, her first biography was written. 
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 the 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 famous drama school. Tt was also in 1954 that Joe DiMaggio, the most famous baseball player of the time, got divorced to marry Marilyn. Their marriage lasted just nine months.
In 1956, after a few setbacks during filming of 'The Prince and the Showgirl,' (the film which featured in 'My Week With Marilyn' ) Marilyn took a long break in Connecticut and desperately tried to have a child with her third husband, the 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 Yves Montand and rumours began circulating about an affair between the two actors.

Women in Focus Editor
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