Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Marilyn Monroe

Script written by Savannah Sher
 Marilyn Monroe is an icon that will sure never be forgotten. With her memorable blond locks, Presidential affair with JFK and her ditzy demeanour, her name is always in the media no matter what year it is. But there is more to her than meets the eye. Here’s our list for Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know about Marilyn Monroe! Did You know that her wardrobe is worth a fortune? That she as drastically underpaid for her playboy photos and that she was actually no dumb blonde?
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Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Marilyn Monroe

 Fade in on a girl with a hunger for fame and a face and a name to remember. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Marilyn Monroe.

For this list, we’re taking a look at fun facts about this screen legend and cultural icon.


#10: Joe DiMaggio Remained Devoted Even After They Divorced

In between her marriages to James Dougherty and Arthur Miller, Monroe tied the knot with retired baseball player Joe DiMaggio. The couple would divorce after only nine months, with the tipping point in their allegedly unhappy relationship following the iconic shot of Monroe in a white dress over a subway grate. According to reports DiMaggio physically assaulted Monroe, and she would later file for divorce and site “mental cruelty” as the grounds for terminating their marriage. Despite this, the two rekindled their friendship and some reports indicate that DiMaggio was planning to ask Monroe to remarry him just before she was found dead. DiMaggio arranged her funeral and he continued to honor Monroe’s memory afterwards, regularly sending roses to her resting place for 20 years.

#9: She Tried to Have a Child

By the late-50s, Monroe appeared to have the whole package, but something was still missing from her life and all the diamonds in the world couldn’t fill the void. During her marriage to Arthur Miller, she desperately tried to get pregnant, but each attempt ended in heartbreak. In 1957, she endured an ectopic pregnancy that had to be terminated, which was made all the more tragic by the fact that Monroe had to smile for the press who hounded her. Monroe was also pregnant while shooting “Some Like It Hot,” but suffered another miscarriage. Passing away just a couple years later, Monroe never got to fulfill her dream of becoming a mother.

#8: Her Wardrobe is Worth a Fortune

Throughout her career, Monroe donned some of the most iconic outfits in pop culture history. In 1962, she serenaded President John F. Kennedy with a legendary rendition of “Happy Birthday,” wearing a rhinestone-encrusted dress. The sheer gown was auctioned off in 1999 for $1,267,500, making it the most expensive piece of clothing ever sold at the time. This record would be surpassed when Monroe’s “The Seven Year Itch” dress sold for $4.6 million in 2011. Then in 2016, the “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress went up for auction yet again, this time selling for a whopping $4.8 million. As Sugar Kane would likely put it, Monroe’s wardrobe must be worth its weight in gold.

#7: She Was Drastically Underpaid For Her Playboy Photos

Marilyn Monroe is regarded as one of the most recognizable sex symbols of all time. Back in 1949 when she was struggling to hit it big, though, a 22-year-old Monroe posed nude for photographer Tom Kelley. While these shots were originally used in a calendar, they wouldn’t attract widespread attention until 1953. By then, Monroe was one of the hottest stars in Hollywood, making her an ideal candidate for the first issue of Playboy magazine. In addition to featuring Monroe on the cover, Hugh Hefner purchased the rights to her nude photos and used one of them as the centerfold. Playboy took off as a bestseller, but Monroe was only paid $50 for taking it off.

#6: The Kennedy “Affair” Has Been Exaggerated

Ever since the infamous “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” incident at Madison Square Garden, it’s been widely believed that Marilyn Monroe and President Kennedy were having an ongoing romantic relationship behind closed doors. However, reports imply that they only crossed paths on a few occasions, meaning their quote unquote liaison was more than likely exaggerated. Granted, it has been speculated that the two did hook up on March 24, 1962 at Bing Crosby's house party in Palm Springs. Outside of that one possible sexual encounter, though, there’s not much to support the argument that Monroe and JFK were having a full-fledged affair. Of course there are plenty of conspiracy theories that would suggest otherwise.

#5: She Had Several Sets of Foster Parents

Behind all the glitz and glamor, Monroe’s adult years were littered with hidden sadness and pain. Likewise, her upbringing was also full of hard times. The third child of Gladys Pearl Baker, Monroe lived out much of her early childhood with foster parents Albert and Ida Bolender. Gladys eventually decided to move to Hollywood with her daughter, but was later diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. With her mother institutionalized, Monroe became a ward of the state. It’s reported that she went through several foster homes and at one point landed in an orphanage. To avoid returning to the orphanage, she married her first husband, James Dougherty, at the age of 16.

#4: Jean Adair Was Almost Her Screen Name

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson and baptized Norma Jeane Baker, Monroe decided to leave her childhood name in the past on her road to stardom. Before settling on Marilyn Monroe, her screen name went through an interesting evolution. During her modelling days, she used the names Jean Norman and Mona Monroe. Upon signing a film contract with 20th Century-Fox in 1946, she considered going by Jean Adair. She ultimately went with Marilyn Monroe, which would go on to become a household name. She wouldn’t legally change her name until 1956, however, just a few years before her fatal overdose.

#3: She Was Not Plus-Sized

Monroe was known for her hourglass figure, seemingly possessing curves in all the right places. One of the oldest myths in Hollywood is that she was somewhere between a size 12 and size 16. Contrary to popular belief, Monroe was by no means plus-sized. Standing tall at 5’5 with a 22-inch waist, reports say that she weighed roughly around 118 pounds, which is a normal body mass index by today’s standards. Her weight did go up and down over the years due to illness and depression, but she was never even close to being full-figured. Don’t believe us? Just measure some of her clothing. The proof lies in the wardrobe.



#2: She Was No Dumb Blonde

From “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” to “How to Marry a Millionaire,” Monroe developed a reputation for playing bombshells that were all blonde and no brain. The bubbly persona she put up in front of paparazzi only fed into this generalization. Appearances can be deceiving, though, as Monroe had a love for literature with a personal library of over 400 books and even attended UCLA Extension for literature. She was even a friend of author Truman Capote, who described her as “very, very shy, very insecure,” but also “very, very bright.” Smarter than most people gave her credit, Monroe’s flawless ability to play dumb is just a testament her incredible acting.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Goya Was Her Favorite Artist

Hugh Hefner Owns The Burial Vault Next to Her

Her Name Inspired Marilyn Manson


#1: She Was One of the First Women to Head a Production Company

While she’s best known for her immortal work on the silver screen, Monroe’s achievements behind the scenes are also quite notable. Following in the footsteps of Mary Pickford, Monroe became one of the first women to head her own film production company. Due to a contract dispute with Fox, she was inspired to join forces with photographer Milton Greene and form Marilyn Monroe Productions, which she announced at a press conference in 1955. The company only produced one movie, “The Prince and the Showgirl,” which also provided the basis for the 2011 biopic, “My Week with Marilyn.” While MMP was short-lived, Monroe was still applauded for boldly challenging the studio system and demonstrating the makings of a talented producer.
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