“All this publicity makes me a little shy and afraid. I’m afraid that people will expect too much of me, right now when I’ve only started my acting career.” — Marilyn Monroe in 1952.
Photographer: Frank Powolny (1952)
“My father’s occupation is listed as ‘baker’ on my birth certificate, but that isn’t why they called me Norma Jean Baker. My mother was married when she was 15, in Mexico, and Baker was her first husband’s name. My grandfather was a housepainter.” — Marilyn Monroe
Source: Maurice Zolotow (1960)
Photo: Joseph Jasgur (1946)
“I only did 35 words a minute and didn’t do them very well, so they gave me a job inspecting parachutes. One day some photographers came in and they said, ‘Where have you been hiding?'” — Marilyn Monroe
Source: Earl Wilson (1949)
“I worked in one picture, ‘Scudda Hoo, Scudda Hay’ – a little tiny part, but they cut me out.” — Marilyn Monroe
Source: Philip K. Scheuer (1950)
“Even though I was born there, I still can’t think of one good thing to say about it. If I close my eyes, and picture L.A., all I see is one big varicose vein.” — Marilyn Monroe
“You know that when a producer calls an actress into his office to discuss a script that isn’t all he has in mind. And a part in a picture, or any kind of stock contract is the most important thing in the world to the girl, more than eating. She can go hungry, and she might have to sleep in her car, but she doesn’t mind that a bit – if she can only get the part. I know, because I’ve done both, lots of times. And I’ve slept with producers. I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t…” — Marilyn Monroe
Source: Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe
by Anthony Summers
Photo: Asphalt Jungle (1950)
“People keep asking me if I don’t hate having the wolves pester me. I don’t. I like it. I like men. Lots better than women. And I like having them like me.” — Marilyn Monroe
“She could overcome her sense of inferiority only by feeling desired. When she was placed before a camera, she would try to seduce the lens. As pathetic as it was, her effort to excite and desire for her always made a wonderful picture.” — Philippe Halsman.
Source: Joe McCarthy (1964)
Phototographer: Harold Lloyd (1952). With photographer Philippe Halsman.
“Marilyn had it her way; she did what she wanted to do. Hollywood didn’t ruin her. She was brought up in Hollywood. Her mother worked at RKO as a cutter.” — Mamie Van Doren
“People expect to find me one of two things. Either a tart or a dumb blonde. I’m neither.” — Marilyn Monroe
Source: Sid Ross (1952)
Photo: Bruno Bernard (1952)
“In Hollywood a girl’s virtue is much less important than her hairdo. You’re judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood’s a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty.” – Marilyn Monroe
“Just because a girl wants to widen her range doesn’t mean she’s going to grow black hair and wear a Mother Hubbard.” — Marilyn Monroe
“I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.” — Marilyn Monroe
Photo: John Florea (1953)
“Enjoy the fact that you’re a woman and men will enjoy it, too.” – Marilyn Monroe in 1953.
Photographer: Milton Greene
Source: Hal Boyle
“Dreaming about being an actress is more exciting than being one.” ― Marilyn Monroe
Wardrobe test for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
“Too much publicity makes you lonely. Suddenly you see people speaking to you and being nice to you. But they never did before, and you feel it’s happening only because you’re now a ‘personality.'” — Marilyn Monroe
Source: Sid Ross (1952)
Photographer: Alfred Eisenstaedt (1953)
“I bumped into Marilyn Monroe at a party. While other people drank and danced, she sat by herself in a corner almost unnoticed, playing the piano.” — Marlon Brando
Photo: Milton Greene (1955)
“Personally, I react to Marlon Brando. He’s a favorite of mine.” — Marilyn Monroe
Photo: Milton Greene (1955)
“She was a very experienced film actress, but she could forget so many of the mechanical techniques. She would constantly miss her marks so she would be out of focus or out of the light or in a shadow. I think it was a lack of confidence. For somebody who the camera loved, she was still terrified of going before the camera and broke out in a rash all over her body.” — Don Murray
Photo: Bus Stop (1956)
A wardrobe failure.
“I want to grow and mature as an actress. I want to be a good actress.” — Marilyn Monroe
Source: Margaret McManus (1957)
Photo: Milton Greene (1957)
“I feel sexy. But not the way I have to play it on the screen. It’s just that I want to be a glamour girl and an actress combined. I am trying to find myself as a person. And sometimes that’s not easy to do. Millions of people live their entire lives without finding themselves. The best way for me to find myself is to prove I’m an actress.” — Marilyn Monroe
Source: Vernon Scott (1962)
Photographer: Richard Avedon (1957)
“Marilyn Monroe Mimicking Marlene Dietrich.” Photographer: Richard Avedon. Year: 1957.
The B & W was published by Life Magazine on August 17th, 1962.
“She gave more to the still camera than any actress — any woman — I’ve ever photographed.” — Richard Avedon. In this photo, Monroe poses as Clara Bow.
“You know they ask you questions. Just an example: ‘What do you wear to bed? Do you wear a pajama top, the bottoms of the pajamas, or a nightgown?’ So I said, ‘Chanel No. 5!’ Because it’s the truth! And yet I don’t want to say ‘nude,’ you know? But it’s the truth.” — Marilyn Monroe
Source: Georges Belmont (1960)
Photo: Eve Arnold
“The nicest thing for me is sleep, then at least I can dream.” — Marilyn Monroe
Photo: Eve Arnold
“I’m not really Marilyn Monroe. That’s somebody you guys dreamed up.” —Marilyn Monroe
Source: James Bacon (1962)
Photo: Some Like It Hot (1959)
“I’m 35, and I don’t mind at all. I enjoyed being a girl. I’m going to love being a woman.” — Marilyn Monroe
Source: Bob Thomas (1961)
Photo: The Misfits (1961)
“If you see the movie carefully, you’ll see how vulnerable, how unhappy she was for various reasons.” — Eli Wallach
Source: Taylor Michaels (2002)
Photo: The Misfits (1961). With Eli Wallach.
“She went right down into her personal experience for everything, reached down and pulled something out of herself that was unique and extraordinary. She had no techniques. It was all truth, it was only Marilyn. But it was Marilyn plus. She found things, found things about womankind in herself.” — Director John Huston
Photo: Behind-the-scenes of The Misfits (1961)
“The dream of her talent, which she had nurtured as a child, was not a mirage. When she first came to me I was amazed at the startling sensitivity which she possessed and which had remained fresh and undimmed, struggling to express itself despite the life to which she had been subjected. Others were as physically beautiful as she was, but there was obviously something more in her, something that people saw and recognized in her performances and with which they identified. She had a luminous quality – a combination of wistfulness, radiance, yearning – to set her apart and yet make everyone wish to be a part of it, to share in the childish naïveté which was so shy and yet so vibrant.” — Lee Strasberg
Source: Monroe‘s funeral eulogy (1962)
“I was proud to be part of this industy when Marilyn was fired [for Something’s Got to Give]. I don’t think she has a friend in this industry. And many people have tried to befriend her….I think Miss Monroe deserved what she got.” — Joan Crawford
Photo: Something’s Got to Give
“Marilyn Monroe‘s name, like those of her legendary predecessors, will have a place – as firm a place as any perhaps – in Hollywood history.” — London Daily Telegraph in 1962.
Photo: Bert Sixx (1962). It is from the last photo session before death.