Famous Stories

Marilyn Monroe – from Orphanage to Stardom

shutterstock_290420813Marilyn Monroe is undoubtedly one of Hollywood’s household names. She is one of the world’s most celebrated and most timeless sex symbols. She has also starred in multiple films, garnering her much fame and fortune.

Before Marilyn rose to fame though, she had to endure a very difficult childhood. Born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in LA, California, Marilyn never met her father. Marilyn actually once thought that Clark Gable was her father, and that claim later grew some traction – but there was no proof whatsoever that Clark ever met Marilyn’s mother. Marilyn’s mother, Gladys, developed psychiatric issues and was later moved to a mental institution. Marilyn’s only memories of her mother was that of her smothering Marilyn as a baby with a pillow. Marilyn had no biological siblings either, and her only sibling was a half-sister who she met less than ten times.

Marilyn was later taken in foster care by a family friend, Grace Goddard, and her husband Doc. They were paid $25 a week to take care of Marilyn and they did for a few years. The couple was strong in their religious faith and prohibited Marilyn from doing a lot of activities. However, Marilyn had to go into an orphanage as the Goddards were unable to afford to bring her with them when they had to transfer to another state for Doc’s job.

At age 7, Marilyn returned to an orphanage where she was sexually assaulted in multiple occurrences. She revealed that she was raped four years later. Her only way to get out was to get married, so she married her boyfriend Jimmy Dougherty in 1942 at 16 years old. Marilyn dropped out of high school and worked in a factory in California. There, a photographer discovered her potential for modeling. Four years later, when Dougherty returned from being a merchant marine, Marilyn had gained a thriving career as a model, and had renamed herself as Marilyn Monroe in preparation for the acting career she dreamed of. Soon thereafter, Monroe and Dougherty filed for divorce in the same year.

Thus began her career as a movie star. She signed her first movie contract, formed a new image and name for herself. She saw wide success in the 1950’s, with her career taking because of her appearance in The Asphalt Jungle (1950). She was also able to garner much attention with her performance as Claudia in All About Eve, where she starred alongside Bette Davis.

With Marilyn’s charming personality, intoxicating voice and excellent figure, she was on her way to becoming an internationally acclaimed star. Several of her next performances became show-stopping hits, like the musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and the Seven Year Itch (1955). She went into even more serious acting gigs after having studied acting in New York, beginning with drama-comedy Bus Stop (1956). She received a lot of applause for her performance in the film. The following years rolled in with more projects for Marilyn, like the comedy Some Like It Hot (1959), where she played a singer eyeing to marry a millionaire. Marilyn bagged the Golden Globe for “Best Actress in Comedy” in 1959 because of this.

Marilyn saw so much more success after that, but her life was put to a stop so abruptly. At 36 years old, Marilyn died in her Los Angeles home from an overdose of sleeping pills. Still, throughout the entirety of Marilyn’s life and career, she has proven to be one of the strongest women Hollywood and the world has seen, having been able to overcome traumatic childhood experiences.  

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