15 Bombshell Facts About Marilyn Monroe, Born 90 Years Ago Today
Marilyn Monroe fun facts
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15 Bombshell Facts About Marilyn Monroe, Born 90 Years Ago Today


Marilyn Monroe would be 90 years old today had her life not tragically ended over a half-century ago. The blonde bombshell — as known for her sex symbol status and high-profile marriages as she was for roles in films like The Seven-Year Itch and Some Like It Hot — was born on June 1, 1926.

Born Norma Jeane Mortensen, the troubled Hollywood star succumbed to a fatal overdose in 1962, but on this anniversary of her birth, we’re focusing more on her life than her death. Here are 15 facts you many not have known about the screen legend.

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  • Marilyn was the first honorary Artichoke Queen at the Castroville Artichoke Festival, crowned in 1948.

  • She said her aunt told her she was related to James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States.

  • Marilyn appeared in the first Playboy issue, published in 1953, but the magazine’s founder, Hugh Hefner, never met her.

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  • Marilyn got Ella Fitzgerald a breakthrough, putting in a good word for the singer with the owner of the Mocambo in West Hollywood — at a time when nightclubs were strictly segregated. “The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night,” Ella said. “The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again.”
  • Hugh did, however, reserve the vault next to hers at the Westwood Village Memorial Park, telling CBS Los Angeles, “It has a completion notion to it. I will be spending the rest of my eternity with Marilyn.”

  • Marilyn was author Truman Capote’s first choice for the role of Holly Golightly in the film adaptation of his book Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but the part of course went to Audrey Hepburn instead.

  • According to actor Eli Wallach and photographer Sam Shaw, Marilyn often referred to herself in the third-person.
  • Marilyn was a stutterer off-camera, saying she learned to talk smoothly but still stammered whenever she was nervous or excited.

  • Marilyn’s first marriage was arranged, but only so that she didn’t have to go back to an orphanage when her guardian moved away. Thus, a 16-year-old Norma Jeane married an 18-year-old James Dougherty.

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  • Marilyn’s second husband, famed New York Yankee Joe Dimaggio, was still so devoted to Marilyn, he had roses delivered to her grave twice a week for 20 years. He also barred almost all Hollywood figures from her funeral. “Tell them, if it wasn’t for them, she’d still be here,” he said.
  • Her third marriage to Death of a Salesman playwright Arthur Miller was no fluke — she had a thing for intellectuals. Actress Shelley Winters told the Los Angeles Times she and Marilyn once made a list of guys they wanted to bed. “There was no one under 50 on hers,” Shelly said. “I never got to ask her before she died how much of her list she had achieved, but on her list was Albert Einstein, and after her death, I noticed that there was a silver-framed autographed picture of him on her white piano.”

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  • The crystal-emblazoned dress Marilyn was wearing when she famously sung “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962 was so tight, she had to be sewn into it. That dress sold at auction for $1.26 million in 1999.

  • In another 1999 auction, Mariah Carey bought Marilyn’s white baby grand piano for $662,500. “I wish her things didn’t have to be auctioned off,” she later said, per People. “It’s a shame — I wish somebody had the money to buy it all and put it in a museum.”