Marilyn Monroe, the American actress, model, singer, and a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s, was born as Norma Jeane Mortensen on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. Marilyn Monroe overcame a difficult childhood to become one of the world’s biggest sex symbols.
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 performances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (both 1950) drew attention. By 1952 she had her first leading role in Don’t Bother to Knock.
In 1957 her production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, released The Prince and the Showgirl, for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination and won a David di Donatello Award and in 1959 she received a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Some Like It Hot. In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth-greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute.
The final years of Monroe’s life were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for unreliability and being difficult to work with. 36-year-old Monroe died of a drug overdose on August 5, 1962.