Marilyn Monroe (real name Norma Jeane Mortenson but baptized and raised as Norma Jeane Baker; June 1, 1926 - August 5, 1962) was an American actress, singer and model.
Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946. By 1953, Monroe had progressed to leading roles. Her "dumb blonde" persona was used to comedic effect in such films as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955). Limited by typecasting, Monroe studied at the Actors Studio to broaden her range, and her dramatic performance in Bus Stop (1956) was hailed by critics, and she received a Golden Globe nomination. Her production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, released The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination and won a David di Donatello award. She received a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Some Like It Hot (1959).
In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. In the years and decades following her death, Monroe has often been cited as a pop and cultural icon as well as an eminent American sex symbol.
On May 19, 1962, Marilyn Monroe sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" at a large party in Madison Square Garden, celebrating John Kennedy's upcoming forty-fifth birthday.
Monroe had three marriages, all of which ended in divorce. The first was to James Dougherty, the second to Joe DiMaggio, and lastly to Arthur Miller. Allegedly, she was briefly married to writer Robert "Bob" Slatzer.
She is alleged to have had affairs with both John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.
Marilyn Monroe was the first Playboy's Playmate and covergirl in 1953.