Marilyn Monroe,(1 June 1926 5 August 1962), born Norma Jeane Mortenson but baptized Norma Jeane Baker, was an American actress, singer, model and sex symbol.
After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946. Her early roles were minor, but her performances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (both 1950) were well received. She was praised for her comedic ability in such films as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire and The Seven Year Itch, and became one of Hollywood's most popular performers.
The typecasting of Monroe's "dumb blonde" persona limited her career prospects, so she broadened her range. Her marriage to baseball player Joe DiMaggio failed. While married to playwright Arthur Miller, she studied at the Actors Studio and formed Marilyn Monroe Productions. Her dramatic performance in William Inge's Bus Stop was hailed by critics, and she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Some Like it Hot.
The final years of Monroe's life were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for being unreliable and difficult to work with. The circumstances of her death, from an overdose of barbiturates, have been the subject of conjecture. Though officially classified as a "probable suicide", the possibility of an accidental overdose has not been ruled out, while conspiracy theorists argue that she was murdered.
In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute.
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