It has been 90 years since the most beautiful woman in the world was born, and 54 years since her life was cut short at much to early an age, just 36 years old. Today she remains nearly as popular as when she was in her prime, and in nations like China she remains the number one Hollywood icon. She was a breath of fresh air in a time the world needed to recover from World War II.
Goodbye Norma JeanThough I never knew you at allYou had the grace to hold yourselfWhile those around you crawledThey crawled out of the woodworkAnd they whispered into your brainThey set you on the treadmillAnd they made you change your name
And it seems to me you lived your lifeLike a candle in the windNever knowing who to cling toWhen the rain set inAnd I would have liked to have known youBut I was just a kidYour candle burned out long beforeYour legend ever did
Loneliness was toughThe toughest role you ever playedHollywood created a superstarAnd pain was the price you paidEven when you diedOh the press still hounded youAll the papers had to sayWas that Marilyn was found in the nude
Goodbye Norma JeanThough I never knew you at allYou had the grace to hold yourselfWhile those around you crawledGoodbye Norma JeanFrom the young man in the 22nd rowWho sees you as something more than sexualMore than just our Marilyn Monroe
Music: Elton John
Lyrics: Bernie Taupin
Piano and Vocals: Elton John
Who done it? You Solve the Mysterious murder of Marilyn Monroe
You help solve the mystery of who killed the most famous Hollywood icon of the 20th Century. When the world awakened on August 5, 1962, the most celebrated actress in
Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe, was found dead in her home in at the young age of 36. California
It was the end of a tumultuous and meteoric rise from rags to riches for
America's sweetheart and Hollywood icon whose name crossed paths with the rich, the powerful, the revered and the most sinister characters in the world.
The medical examiner quickly concluded she died of an overdose of prescription medicine but forensic evidence was insufficient to declare it a suicide so her death was labeled as "probable suicide".
The mishandling of the crime scene, the manipulation of evidence, the inconsistency or her actions prior to the death and the onslaught of media hype pushing the suicide theory by powerful forces triggered a firestorm of suspicion and doubt.
But a series of national and international events the next 15 months would bury her story in the avalanche of media coverage of the Cold War with the Soviets, the Kennedy administration war with the La Casa Nostra, the evolving
Vietnamwar and the Kennedy assassination.
For the past 52 years the American public has been brainwashed with stories of the addictions and depression of film legend Marilyn Monroe that led to her death by suicide. She has been pictured as an insecure and fragile girl whose mother was sent to an insane asylum as Marilyn was bounced from foster home to foster home to orphanage.
In fact, according to Marilyn she was sent to ten total places, foster homes and the orphanage, before she married a merchant marine when she turned 16 to avoid being sent back to the orphanage. Because of her shuffling between homes she attended 6 different elementary schools in seven years.
But the vast majority of her experiences were good, she got along well with other children and often created games for her friends to play. It was during this period she developed her desire to be a star and began to create the persona she believed she needed to be successful.
Her first marriage lasted about 4 years, 1942-1946, although her husband was away during most of World War II. She was working in an armament factory toward the end of the war when she was discovered at an assembly line by a photographer searching for the next pin up queen for the soldiers.
By 1946 Norma Jean first began using the name Marilyn Monroe when her popularity as a pin up queen got the notice of movie studios. Marilyn had already begun singing and dancing lessons and had developed exceptional fitness and diet routines on her own, routines that would result in her being known as the most beautiful woman in the world.
Marilyn seemed to know what was expected of
Hollywood stars in the golden age of film and she gave the studio what it wanted. She quickly grew from a $125.00 a week extra to singing and then acting roles as she became more popular but as did most studios at the time, she was treated as a commodity.
In 1952 and 1953 her film roles pushed her to the top of the list in popularity but her studio handlers still insisted she play the dumb blond in comedies and though her films made more money than those of Elizabeth Taylor, Monroe was paid $100,000 per film compared to Taylor at $1 million per film.
Our next installment will review the actions the supposedly dumb blond pulled that turned the movie industry upside down and eventually would force the studios to give her challenging dramatic roles like she wanted along with a salary equal to Elizabeth Taylor.
While she would be known as Marilyn Monroe from the late 1940's on she did not have her name legally changed from Norma Jean Mortensen to Marilyn Monroe until 1956.
Probable Suspects, Collaborators and Contributors
Frank Costello, Joseph Kennedy partner and
mobster New York
Chicago, Miami and mob boss Los Angeles
Joseph Kennedy, patriarch of Kennedy family
John F. Kennedy, former president
Robert Kennedy, former attorney general
Peter Lawford, Kennedy in law
Arthur Miller, former husband to Marilyn
Santo Trafficante, Jr.,
mob boss Florida
Ralph Greenson, Marilyn psychiatrist
Eunice Murray, Marilyn housekeeper