15 Facts About The Iconic Marilyn Monroe Fans Should Know

Jordan Claes
Marilyn Monroe in purple dress, acting in 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes'.
20th Century Fox | 20th Century Fox

Hollywood has a long and tiring list of forgotten flash-in-the-pan actresses. But for as long as human beings go on living, there will never be another one quite like Marilyn Monroe.

Even 60 years after her tragic death, Marilyn continues to inspire millions of people all over the world. Now, as a way of paying homage to this towering giantess, here are 15 facts about the iconic Marilyn Monroe that all fans should know.

Hello, Norma Jeane.

Marilyn Monroe in her iconic pink dress in 'Niagara'.
20th Century Fox | 20th Century Fox

Many people may not know that Marilyn Monroe was actually a stage name. The renowned actress/sex symbol's real name was Norma Jeane Mortensen. "Marilyn" was taken from the Broadway actress Marilyn Miller, and "Monroe" was Norma's grandmother's last name.

Marilyn spent much of her childhood in and out of various orphanages.

Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable in 'The Misfits'.
United Artists | United Artists

When Marilyn was a young girl, her mother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was put into a mental health facility. With no one there to care for her, Marilyn became a ward of the state.

The FBI had a file on her.

Marilyn Monroe in her white dress.
Giphy | 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

This was due to her marriage to the playwright (and alleged communist) Arthur Miller. Marilyn had strong feelings regarding civil rights, Black equality in America, and had a strong hatred for FBI director, J. Edgar Hoover.

Marilyn was discovered while working in a California munitions factory.

Marilyn Monroe petting a horse in 'The River Of No Return'.
20th Century Fox | 20th Century Fox

After a chance run-in with a photographer, the highly photogenic Marilyn began her career working as a pinup model. Shortly afterward, she signed a film contract with 20th Century Fox.

Marilyn's home was bugged by the FBI/CIA.

Marilyn Monroe blowing a kiss.

Marilyn was under investigation for her supposed communist ties. In the years since her death, it has been confirmed that every single room of her house was bugged with government-issued listening devices.

She was married (for the first time) at only 16 years old.

Marilyn Monroe in 'The Seven Year Itch'.
20th Century Fox | 20th Century Fox

In an effort to escape the torment of the orphanage and numerous foster families, Marilyn was married off to LAPD officer, James Dougherty. The couple was wed for four years before divorcing.

Marilyn Monroe wasn't a natural blonde.

Marilyn Monroe in 'Niagara'.

According to author Pamela Keogh, Marilyn had to dye her hair every three weeks in order to keep her signature blonde locks looking legit. In-between dye jobs, Marilyn would often use baby powder to help cover up her roots.

She would often refer to herself in the 3rd person.

Marilyn Monroe leaning against the juke box in 'Bus Stop'.
20th Century Fox | 20th Century Fox

This is just further proof that Norma Jeane and Marilyn Monroe were far from the same person. Marilyn functioned more like a character or personality trait that Norma could slip in and out of at will.

Marilyn Monroe was a total bibliophile.

Marilyn Monroe singing on stage.

You might not know it to look at her, but Marilyn Monroe was book obsessed. They became her refuge when her mental health began to decline, and her personal library boasted over 430 volumes.

A dress once owned by Marilyn set a world record at auction.

Kim Kardashian wearing Marilyn Monroe's dress.
instagram | @kimkardashian

The dress that Marilyn Monroe wore while she sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" was purchased at auction for over $4.8 million. It's the same one that Kim Kardashian most recently wore to the 2022 Met Gala.

Marliyn's breakout role was in 1953's film-noir thriller, 'Niagara'.

Marilyn Monroe performing on stage.

In the movie, Marilyn played Rose Loomis — a tormented young wife who plots to murder her husband, alongside her lover. Because Marilyn was still under contract with 20th Century Fox at the time, she wound up making less than her makeup artist.

Marilyn was once married to baseball legend, Joe DiMaggio.

Marilyn Monroe playing the guitar in 'River Of No Return'.
20th Century Fox | 20th Century Fox

To this day, Joe DiMaggio is considered one of the best to ever play the game of baseball. Although the couple was only married for 9 months, Joe continued to send flowers to Marilyn's grave for more than three decades.

Marilyn's official cause of death was labeled suicide.

Marilyn Monroe performing "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend."

Toxicology reports revealed that Marilyn had died due to a self-administered overdose of sedative drugs. She was found lying face down in the nude, surrounded by empty pill bottles prescribed to treat her depression.

There is a slew of conspiracy theories surrounding her death.

Marilyn Monroe in 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes'.
20th Century Fox | 20th Century Fox

The most popular theories posit that Marilyn was murdered by Robert Kennedy, either to cover up an illicit affair or because she simply knew too much. Others suggest Marilyn was killed by the mob, in order to send a message to the Kennedy family.

"Goodbye, Norma Jeane..."

Marilyn Monroe was a cultural icon, who touched the lives of millions of people all over the world. One such person happened to be a young Elton John, whose song "Candle In The Wind" serves as an ode to her life and death.