On August 5th, 1962, a crowd of paparazzi swarmed the residence of a noted Hollywood actress who was found dead in her room. The reason of her death was overdose of drugs. Her death is still shrouded in mystery till date. Some investigations say that she committed suicide while some assume that she might have been murdered. That day, the departed actress left behind such a legacy that even several years after her death, no Hollywood actress could fill that space. Her name was Norma Jean Baker, but Hollywood knew her by the name – Marilyn Monroe.
Who was she? – An aspiring Hollywood actress, a sex symbol, a broken hearted girl or a victim of political conspiracies. There are already countless biopics, books and articles dedicated in her memory, but none have succeeded to know the reason behind her untimely death. This exclusive article is a tribute to the Hollywood Diva who went too soon, leaving behind the footmarks of her ambition, dreams, struggle and her sensuality.
‘Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world’ – Marilyn Monroe
I got familiar with Marilyn through her biopic – Marilyn and Me, a TV movie telecasted on History channel in 2006. Blessed with a sensual body, Marilyn was no less than a celestial nymph. Everyone marveled at her sensuality, her flamboyance but no one noticed the tears behind her sunglasses. No matter how illuminating and happening is this stardom, there is a brooding darkness behind the success of an actress. Nothing comes free in this world, not even success. Even Marilyn paid a big price for stardom. It was surrendering her sensuality to famed people of Hollywood.
Marilyn’s life was never a bed of roses. Her disturbed and melancholic childhood in orphanages and her broken marriage with her first husband James Dougherty was just the beginning of her struggles. She auditioned for small roles in movies but got rejected countless times by 20th Century Fox studios because they felt she lacked the sex appeal. What an irony!! No one ever knew that this rejected girl would go on to bright up Hollywood with her electrifying presence. Marilyn became a topic of scandalous gossips when it was revealed that she posed nude in magazine – Playboy to get her portfolio noticed.
‘I’ve been on calendar, but never on time’ – Marilyn Monroe
She shot to fame and her made her mark with several successful movies –Niagara, Gentlemen prefer Blondes, How to marry a millionaire and Seven year itch. Her failure was meteoric as was her success. Her ambitious movie – Let’s make love was a horrible disaster. This debacle gave an opportunity to her critics to write her off. Her unstable mental conditions, incompetency to handle stardom and her poor health was taking a toll on her personal as well as professional life. Her link ups with noted personalities in Hollywood and politics was defaming her image. Everyone knew Marilyn as a successful sex symbol but no one ever knew that she was suffering from Endometriosis – a gynecological problem which led to intense pain in abdomen, irregular bleeding and even infertility. According to some news sources, it is also been said that she suffered painful miscarriages from her unhappy marriages. She was married thrice but none of these marriages ever brought happiness in Marilyn’s life. Despite all these traumatic events, she was enthusiastic to make a comeback in Hollywood. The Hollywood movie ‘Misfits’ was the last movie of Marilyn’s career followed by an incomplete movie – Something’s gotta give.
‘Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about it’ – Marilyn Monroe
Her untimely death due to drug overdose was a big shock to Hollywood and her million fans. Whether her death was a suicide or a planned murder, this mystery will remain a mystery forever. The 2011 Hollywood movie – My week with Marilyn was based on Monroe’s relationship with Colin Clark, a struggling writer. The role of Marilyn Monroe was played by Michelle Williams. The 1991 TV movie – ‘Marilyn and me’ threw a light on her struggles, fame, debacle and her relationship with Robert Slatzer, an American writer. It is been said that Marilyn had secretly married Robert Slatzer before she became a Hollywood sensation.
Other TV movies – The secret life of Marilyn Monroe, Norma Jean & Marilyn and Blonde were based on Marilyn. Even the 2010 series – Kennedys based on Kennedy Family had an episode which highlighted the relationship of Marilyn with Kennedy Brothers. A new book on Marilyn Monroe has thrown intimate details on her death which clarifies that she was murdered. Marilyn knew the inside secrets of Kennedy Family and it was a fear that she may spill out the secrets. Marilyn’s death is one of the most intriguing mysteries in history of Hollywood. Ironically Marilyn was victim of her own flamboyant nature. All she needed was a true person who could understand her feelings. On the contrary, many people played with her emotions. She was a toy for them. Though Marilyn was a star to the world, in reality she was still the humble, down to earth girl Norma Jean Baker who struggled to find her identity in the male dominated world.
This blonde starlet rests in a cemetery, alone, far from the spotlight, craving for the glimpse of her fans who once crowded at studios to gaze her sizzling beauty.
Norma is just a pin up girl on a wall, a forgotten starlet the world who knew this blonde as ‘Marilyn Monroe’. Gaining success in Hollywood is a stroke of luck, but handling success is traumatic. There are countless actresses in Hollywood & Bollywood who died a tragic, untimely death. Some either committed suicide due to emotional conflicts or some killed themselves due to over consumption of alcohol. The legendary Bollywood actress Meena Kumari was so much emotionally broken that she drowned herself in alcohol and died alone, disconnected from the spotlight of the cruel stardom. Even Parveen Babi met the same fate. Divya Bharti, the bubbly actress of 90’s died accidentally by falling from building. The latest actress to depart was actress Jiah Khan who committed suicide in 2013. Is this bright world of stardom really that shining or there is a melancholic darkness hidden within it? Marilyn became the victim of this bright stardom which claimed her life at tender age of 36.
Marilyn Monroe is the only actress in Hollywood who has lot of impersonators/look alike who kept her legacy alive by appearing on stage shows. Though several Hollywood actresses have charmed the movie world, but no one was able to live the flamboyant life like Marilyn did. She touched the lives of many people including me.
I would like to thank her for becoming my inspiring muse to write this story.
Love you Marilyn!!!