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50 Years with Marilyn

23rd April 2012

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With nearly a hundred million results and over 2000 news articles in the last wee k alone, Google proves that Marilyn Monroe continues to capture the attention of audiences worldwide. She has recently been portrayed by Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn and a new TV show Smash follows a theatre group as they prepare to stage a musical based on- you’ve guessMarilyn Monroeed it- Marilyn herself. It may be 50 years since her death, but this Hollywood actress shows no sign of giving in.

Her life lends itself very well to the big-screen, with Marilyn g etting her fair share of drama. She was married three times, had several miscarriages and starred in over 30 films in a period of fifteen years. Her hectic schedule no doubt played a role in her demise, as she became increasingly unstable- even accusing her husband Arthur Miller and actor Laurence Olivier of conspiring against her on The Prince and the Showgirl. Her mental state had long been a source of worry since a history of mental issues plagued the family. Her own mother was institutionalised when Monroe, then Norma Jeane Baker, was only 7 years old and she was sent to live in foster homes, in which she later claimed to have been sexually assaulted. Instability in her early life must have left Marilyn feeling incredibly vulnerable, which only makes her rise to fame all the more astounding.

Hers is a true and modern Cinderella story. Scandal broke once nude photos of her were discovered, yet she defended herself by saying that she was in poverty at the time. However she went about it there is no denying that she went from rags to riches and her ascendancy has recently inspired talk of a new reality show entitled ‘Finding Marilyn.’ This would follow 12 young women competing for a chance to get their big break in Hollywood and an opportunity ‘to emulate Marilyn Monroe’s iconic journey to stardom’ (Nick Woodhouse, CMO of the estate of Marilyn Monroe). Monroe starred in some of the most famous films of all time such as Some Like it Hot and The Misfits, yet her transition from Norma Jeane to global superstar was an immense struggle and is not something you can simply copy in a TV show.

The problem is that most people merely think of her blonde hair, flirtatious pose in The Seven Year Itch and her tragic drug overdose. However her determination to leave a traumatic past behind her indicates that Marilyn was so much more than just a ‘dumb blonde.’ Her appearance and enduring appeal may be envied by many young women today, but her turbulent and troubled lifestyle should be left far behind. 


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