Marilyn Monroe: 55 Years on

Written by Eleanor Fuller

The world lost Marilyn Monroe nearly 55 years ago on Aug. 5, 1962. There's one small thing that many people overlook or seem to forget. The very next day, Monday, Monroe had scheduled a press conference in which she threatened to expose something "shocking" to the American public.The reasoning behind this is still unknown after countless stories being thrown around, to this day there is no factual evidence behind what she wanted the world to know. 

Born Norma Jean Baker, Monroe modelled and starred in movies including "Some Like it Hot" and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes". Few Hollywood stars have created such a powerful legacy based on such a small, brief output: starring roles in 11 films, released during a nine-year period.

Six decades have passed, she was perhaps the world's favourite sex symbol, with a mixture of sensuality and innocence. Her famous blonde persona was used to great effect in a number of films, her image lusted after by many.

Would she have continued acting? Carved out an Oscar-winning career for herself? Retired to become Mrs. Joe DiMaggio for the second time? What could have been remains a mystery, much like Monroe herself.

Here are 5 things about Marilyn you may not know:

  • She didn’t like diamonds: Although she was famous for singing the song ‘Diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ she later confessed she was in fact not a fan of expensive jewellery.
  • Flowers on the Grave: Before her death, Monroe made her husband Joe DiMaggio vow to leave flowers on her grave every week, if she died. He kept his promise for twenty years and half a dozen roses were delivered to her crypt, three times a week.
  • She went by many names: On Monroe’s birth certificate she is Norma Jeane Mortenson; she was baptised Norma Jeane Baker; she modelled under the names Jean Norman and Mona Monroe; her initial idea for a screen name was Jean Adair; she signed into hotels as Zelda Zonk and into a psychiatric clinic as Faye Miller. She only legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe in March 1956, when she was already a star. 
  • She was named “The Most Advertised Girl in the World”: This was by the Advertising Association of the West in 1953.
  • Marilyn’s hero was Abraham Lincoln: “I used to read everything I could find about him. He was the only famous American who seemed most like me, at least in his childhood.” She wrote in her autobiography.

To celebrate the life of Monroe we are releasing two deluxe editions of Essential Marilyn Monroe.

Both deluxe editions, numbered to just 250 copies includes a letter of authenticity from the Milton Greene estate as well as a print of Marilyn with a gold cup from the ‘Bed Sitting’ or a print from the ‘Negligee Sitting’. It tributes her glamorous, rollercoaster lifestyle presenting 280 photographs, varying from well-known images to unpublished never seen before, restored classics. All 50 of these sessions represent the peak of Marilyn’s timeless beauty, being photographed in various settings from bedroom to the great outdoors. Milton H. Greene was famous for his fashion photography and celebrity portraits from the golden age of Hollywood, and he met Marilyn Monroe on a photoshoot for Look magazine in 1953. His curiosity for her increased the more he got to know her, this lead to Monroe letting him capture moments no one else did.

You can find further information on the Deluxe Essential Marilyn Monroe - The Bed Sitting here and Deluxe Essential Marilyn Monroe - The Negligee Sitting here

Images taken from the book The Essential Marilyn Monroe, published by ACC Editions. Photographed by Milton H. Greene @2017 Joshua Greene #MiltonHGreene