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That was Marilyn Monroe’s brand of sexy, and it’s as magnetic today as it was in the post-war “wholesome” 1950s.Norma Jean Mortensen, born in Los Angeles in 1926 to a mentally ill mother and absentee father, lived a tough childhood haunted by violent abuse as an orphan who was in and out of foster care. Who else could have graced the first-ever issue of Playboy magazine in December of 1953 other than Marilyn, the virtuous coquette and film star of sly wit and blonde ambition? They instantly bring to mind the quintessential icon of sex appeal and absolute embodiment of a woman–the timelessly beautiful, wonderfully fascinating Marilyn Monroe.After Norma Jean split from first husband, merchant marine Jimmy Dougherty (whom she married at age 16), she wed again and again as Marilyn Monroe to both record-setting baseball Hall-of-Famer Joe Di Maggio and Arthur Miller, which prompted the notorious Variety headline: “Egghead Marries Hourglass.” Monroe also was rumored to be linked to John F. Kennedy, Marlon Brando and Brigitte Bardot, among others. 5, 1962, just 10 years after her breakthrough as an international superstar, Monroe died of a sleeping pill overdose.
After Mary Pickford, creator of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, she was the first woman to own her own production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions.
Her ties with the magazine have been fated for eternity.
After all, it’s Hugh Hefner who owns the crypt at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles located directly next to that of his first and most iconic Playmate–the endlessly fascinating, ever-enrapturing Marilyn Monroe.
There were the acting coaches she employed on set, despite having already landed plum roles. Her cooing voice may have suggested ditz, but the statements she made were heavy. Not men, not money, not love, but the ability to act.“ In an interview she once said, “Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.” In another interview she pled, “Please don’t make me a joke. I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one …
In an autobiography penned (and published posthumously), she said about acting, “My God, how I wanted to learn! I want to be an artist, an actress with integrity.” She devoured literature and poetry.