Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer, who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s.
Marilyn Monroe remains the most provocative female legend of the 20th century and as such she is the dreamgirl who we idealize, fantasize about and adore.
Depicted in these paintings as cutout and mannequin, Marilyn becomes the iconic image who symbolizes beauty, sexuality and stardom – so much more than the real Norma Jeane. She is the ultimate in desire and allure – powerful yet unreal.
Marilyn Monroe made her first appearance on the cover of Life magazine in April 1952, where she was described as “The Talk of Hollywood”. In December 1953 she was published in the first issue of Playboy, making Monroe the first ever “Playmate of the Month”. In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth-greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. In the decades following her death, she has often been cited as both a pop and a cultural icon as well as the quintessential American sex symbol. In 2009, TV Guide Network named her No. 1 in Film’s Sexiest Women of All Time.
After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946 with Twentieth Century-Fox. Her early film appearances were minor, but her 1950 performances in “The Asphalt Jungle” and “All About Eve” drew attention. By 1952 she had her first leading role in “Don’t Bother to Knock” and in 1953, Monroe made a star-making turn in “Niagara”, a melodramatic film noir that dwelt on her seductiveness.
The emerging sex symbol was paired with another bombshell, Jane Russell, for the musical comedy ”Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953). The film was a hit and Monroe continued to find success in a string of light comedic fare.
Although remembered as a sex symbol Monroe garnered many nominations for her dramatic performances and received many awards including BAFTA, David di Donatello and Golden Globe.
Monroe’s last completed film was “The Misfits” (1961), co-starring Clark Gable, Eli Wallace and Montgomery Clift, with a screenplay by her then husband, Arthur Miller.