Marilyn Monroe : Fame, Money And Success Is Not Everything

Norma Jean Mortensen was born on June 1st 1926 to a poor single mother who could not care for her. As an adult she adopted the stage name Marilyn Monroe. Her early years were spent in a state of instability that in no way hinted at her future as one of the most enduring icons of womanhood in film. At the time of her death her net worth was an estimated $370,000 but it has risen since then to almost $27 Million.


Norma Jean Mortensen was born on June 1st 1926 to a poor single mother who could not care for her. As an adult she adopted the stage name Marilyn Monroe. Her early years were spent in a state of instability that in no way hinted at her future as one of the most enduring icons of womanhood in film. At the time of her death her net worth was an estimated $370,000 but it has risen since then to almost $27 Million.

marilyn monroe's sad story

Behind the glamour and success lies a sad story of a woman who never had peace in her mind

Tragic Childhood And Sexual Abuse

Marilyn’s mother was mentally ill and given to erratic behaviour that made her an unfit guardian. Her father’s identity has never been discovered and despite being given her mother’s ex-husband’s surname, the date of her conception is too long after the divorce for him to be a likely candidate.

In either case, he was never a part of her life and unable to assist her in the trying times ahead. She lived with several foster families and in orphanages where she she did housework to ‘earn her keep’. 

At age nine she lived with Grace McKee, a friend of her mother’s who would teach her about hair styling and makeup and inspire her to be in the movies. Unfortunately, McKee could not take care of her for long and she was soon sent to another orphanage until a distant relative took her in.

While in that home it is suspected that she suffered sexual abuse which together with her history of neglect had long lasting psychological consequences for her and affected many of her later actions. She was returned to the care of McKee and her new husband but suffered further sexual abuse in their home.

marilyn monroe wax statue

Marilyn Monroe was the icon of Hollywood during her days. She is still popular today with over 2 Million searches on the internet a month. Picture shows a wax statue of the celebrity.

Moving On

At age 16, faced with the prospect of another stint in foster care, Marilyn married a young pilot and finally ended the cycle of instability and abuse of her childhood.

During their brief marriage she started her modeling career and by age twenty she was divorced with a renewed purpose in life: the pursuit of her dream of movie stardom.

The natural brunette bleached her hair to its now iconic blonde and left her old name behind her. Her stage name combined her mother’s maiden name and the first name of another starlet at the time.

Her screen test at 20th Century Fox was impressive and she was granted an initial short term contract that gave lessons in performing which she took advantage of the chance to better her prospects.

All of her roles were non-speaking ones save for a single line in “Scudda Hoo, Scudda Hay!” and she left at the end of her contract for greener pastures at Columbia Pictures where she met her long time acting coach, Natasha Lytess. Her work with that studio did not quite lead her to the level she expected however and before long she was headed elsewhere.

marilyn monroe stamps

So famous was Marilyn Monroe that countries around the world used her as the icon on their stamps

The Big Break

In 1950, Marilyn’s work in “All About Eve” brought her back to the attention of Twentieth Century Fox who signed her to a much longer contract and gave her the first starring role of her career in 1953 in the film “Niagara”.

That same year she also released “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” which helped send her to superstar status. The year 1955 saw two major events for her with the release of “The Seven Year Itch” and her marriage to baseball legend, Joe DiMaggio.

They divorced less than a year later and sensing a need for greater depth in her acting, Marilyn took further acting lessons and therapy which paid off in her subsequent roles.

marilyn monroe's hollywood walk of fame star

She had it all, "Fame, Success And Influence". Its tragic she died at such a young age without peace in her life

The Bitter End

After years of emotional turmoil, failed marriages and love affairs, Marilyn isolated herself from her former life and was found dead of an overdose on August 5th, 1962.S he was only 36 years old. There were many conspiracy theories surrounding her death which involved the CIA, Mafia and even President Kennedy. 

Lessons We Can Learn From Marilyn Monroe:

  • Sometimes a minor change (like your hair color) can radically alter your chances of success
  • Talent sometimes thrives in the midst of tragedy.
  • Fame and money are poor substitutes for peace of mind.

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References:

Forbes (The ultimate site for billionaire rankings)

CelebrityNetWorth (The ultimate site for net worth of celebrities)

TheRichest (Great site for things about money and rich people)

Wikipedia (Greatest site on earth for lots of information)