News Column

Marilyn Monroe: 50 Years After Death She Remains a Star

Aug. 6, 2012


Marilyn Monroe

The 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's death this weekend rehashes the questions about her untimely passing.

Monroe died on Aug. 5, 1962, at 4:25 a.m. in her home in Brentwood, Calif. She was 36.

There are a variety of conspiracy theories as to how the legendary entertainer died, including murder, but at the time, an autopsy found that she had eight milligram percent of chloral hydrate and 4.5 milligram percent of Nembutal in her system, which made the cause of death a "probable suicide."

Some conspiracy theories also include the involvement of John and Robert Kennedy. It was reported that President Kennedy was the last person Monroe called.

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, the American actress spent much of her childhood in foster homes.

Her career began as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946 with Twentieth Century-Fox. She went on to star in several movies, including "How to Marry a Millionaire." Her last completed film was "The Misfits," co-starring Clark Gable with screenplay by her then-husband, Arthur Miller.

Monroe's last years were spent ill, along with a reputation for unreliability and being difficult to work with.

Currently on Hulu, the documentary "Marilyn in Manhattan" highlights Monroe's life right before she dies as she is spending time in New York City during 1950s. The documentary features people who spent time with the actress and who are speaking for the first time about a Monroe "conspiracy."

In 1992, Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, who never met Monroe, bought a crypt immediately to the left of hers at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. Hefner said the initial success of his magazine directly correlated with Monroe.

In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. She is a pop culture icon and her face is immortalized on anything from towels to purses.

Source: (c) 2012. All rights reserved.

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