05 August 2012

Marilyn Monroe Anniversary: Juicy gossip and one very cute dog

We are all caught up in Olympic fever with drooling over Ryan Lochte, but today is the 50th anniversary that the world lost one of its brightest stars. I've blogged about Marilyn a few times including a Marilyn Monroe Exhibiton a Hollywood Legends Auction full of memorabilia and sharing some beautiful unseen photos of her, so you could say I'm just a tad obsessed.

Marilyn Monroe was found dead on the 5th August 1962, she was just 36. Her death has been full of controversy, some blaming her relationship with JFK to be the cause, but her it was ruled as probable suicide from an overdose of drugs. Marilyn is still loved and adored all over the world and is one of the most iconic stars of Hollywood movies. She was known for her incredible beauty and made having wobbly bits and not being stick thin acceptable, so ice cream loving, Fox biscuits gorgers like myself owe her a lot.
Here are some interesting facts about the beauty that you may not know.

1.Marilyn's real name is Norma Jean Mortenson, but was baptised with the surname Baker. She originally modelled under the names Jean Norman and Mona Monroe. Her initial idea for a screen name was Jean Adair. However she legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe in 1956. Well people do say it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind.

2. Marilyn was born on the 1st June 1926 in Los Angeles California so she would be 86 years old now and still effortlessly gorgeous.

3. She had a very hard childhood and was placed with eleven sets of foster parents after her mother Gladys was institutionalised. Marilyn also spent a year of her life in the Children's Aid Society Orphanage in LA.

4. To escape another orphanage or foster family Marilyn married a sailor called James Dougherty when she was just sixteen. He was sent to the Pacific with the merchant marines and this is when she began working on a production line. Their marriage lasted four years and they broke up in September 1946.

5. Marilyn was discovered in 1945 by a Photographer called David Conover when he visited Adioplane, a munitions factory that she was working on the assembly line at. Within months she became a successful model and pin up securing dozens of magazine covers and a screen test with 20th Century Fox.

6. She was actually pretty athletic and in the 1940's Marilyn studied weightlifting with former Olympic champion Howard Corrington. Nope I can't imagine it either.

7. Marilyn had gorgeous blue eyes and her natural hair colour was brown. By the end of 1946 her hair had become a platinum blonde shade. That must have taken a hell of a lot of nice 'n' easy.

8. Her beauty regime included whitening her skin with hormone cream, TOWIE ladies take note. One of the side effects included a growth of blonde hair on her face. Marilyn refused to remove this fuzz, believing it gave her face a soft glow on camera. Thank god it didn't grow brown, no one wants to look like a beared lady, especially if you're kissing Clark Gable.

9. Along with hormone cream she would sometimes smear Vaseline and cold cream over her face too. Her first husband recalls that she used to rinse her face fifteen times after every wash. When she decided to have a lazy day although I doubt it was slumping around in monkey pajamas, she applied Lanvin or Olive oil on her face as a protecting agent.

10. Marilyn was a keen fan of Chanel No.5 (isn't everyone?) and she would sometimes take ice baths, prepared by her masseur, Ralph Roberts, into which she would add Chanel No. 5. She is quoted in saying 'What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.'

11.The extremely glitzy beaded Jean Louis dress she wore to sultrily sing Happy Birthday to President Kennedy for his 45th birthday celebration, was a nude champagne colour silk soufflé gown with more than 6,000 beads. In 1999 the gown was sold at Christie's in New York for over $1.26 million.

12. Another dress that was iconic was the dress she wore in the film 'The Seven Year Itch'. It is the famous white billowing dress that blew up in the famous Subway scene. It was put up for sale by Debbie Reynolds in 2011, where it made $4.3 million.

13. Marilyn wasn't just a pretty face. She started her own production company and was the second woman to do so. 'Marilyn Monroe Productions' was formed in 1955 and she helped produce 'The Prince and the Showgirl'.

14. Her hero was Abraham Lincoln and she said that she used to read everything about him that she could find. She was quoted in her autobiography saying that 'he was the only American who seemed most like me, at least in his childhood'. I can't see old Abraham with blonde platinum hair and a flowing dress on though, can you?

15. Marilyn did her famous nude photoshoot in 1947, six years before the photos were used for Playboy's 1953 first edition. The rights to the photos were purchased for $500 by the lad that is Hugh Hefner and Marilyn Monroe became the first 'Sweetheart of the Month'. Later the name was changed to Playmate of the Month.

16. Marilyn owned many dogs during her life, her last was a Maltese terrier given to her by Frank Sinatra, which she named Maf. At the Christie’s sale in 1999, two Polaroids of Maf sold for $344,000. Marilyn named the dog “Maf” because of Frank Sinatra’s alleged mafia connections. To spite Arthur Miller her third husband who she was divorced from, Marilyn used to let Maf sleep on an expensive white beaver coat that he had given her. I suppose that's one way to get your own back on an ex. Tying all their shoe laces together usually works well too, take note Marilyn.

Here are some fabulous quotes from the beauty:

'I don't know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.'

'I don't mind living in a mans world as long as I can be a woman in it.'

'A career is wonderful, but you can't curl up with it on a cold night.'

'I'm very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.'

'I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.'

'The real lover is the man who can thrill you by kissing your forehead or smiling into your eyes or just staring into space.'

'Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world.'

'We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.'

'I want to grow old without facelifts. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I have made.'

'Love and work are the only two real things in our lives. They belong together, otherwise it is off. Work is in itself a form of love.'
'It's better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you're not.'

Marilyn Monroe will be permanently etched into our hearts and will always be remembered for her style, curves, innocence, fab acting and gorgeous clothes. So Marilyn if you're sitting up there in Hollywood heaven with your white dress on reading this, remember that we have all permanently fallen in love with you and will never forget you. Oh and say hi to Rock Hudson for me, what a babe. Remember ladies in the words of the beautiful woman herself 'Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.'
Second Hand Rose 


  1. What a brilliant tribute post! I had no idea it was 50 years today, and I also had no idea she had such a tough early life. Thanks for this post it was a great read =) xx

  2. I love all the Marilyn quotes. I had no idea about the face fuzz and the desire to whiten your face, I didn't realise she loved Lincon that much either. I love the photos of her as a brunette, she looks so natural and fun. Thank you for such an eye opening post xxxx

  3. I can't believe she used to lighten her skin with a hormone treatment! What an interesting post, got to love Marilyn!

    I just wanted to say thank you for all your lovely comments, you always make me smile!! :) :)

    Marie x

  4. What a lovely post! Who isn't obsessed with Ms. Monroe? A little secret,I share the same birthday with her!!Fabulous, isn't it?
    Juneli from Fashionably Yours

  5. What a great post! It was really refreshing to read...I wrote a blog post about her on Saturday that sort of went to "the dark side"...a bit darker than I meant it to, honestly, and your post was a nice contrast!
    Thanks :-)

  6. Awwh I love this! She is such an icon, and ridiculously beautiful! x

  7. She is gorgeous! She had such a lovely figure too she really is such a fab role model for girls to look up to! x

  8. What a fitting tribute to her :) I didn't know most of that and I totally learnt so much. She really is a beauty, and I think we owe so much to her with our confidence in our own skin!

    Love, Elizabeth xx


  9. Hi dear,
    such lovely post! I really like it!
    I love how you write your posts;)
    When you have a chance take a look at my latest post:)
    Have a great evening:)
    Fashion tea at 5

  10. What a fascinating insight into Marilyn's life! I did an illustration a while ago of her which I thought you might be interested in http://missimogensmith.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/marilyn.html thank you for all your lovely comments on my blog :) xx

  11. Have a great weekend,lovely:)
    Fashion tea at 5

  12. This is such a good indepth post-with some really good information that I didn't know before! I love some of her quotes :) I just had my photo taken at madame tausauds with her the other day :) I can honestly say I really enjoyed reading this!

    Tanesha x

  13. unforgettable and this is a great post!

    wish you a fantastic & fashionable weekend

    kisses dear

  14. love this, such interesting facts! love her quotes too.

  15. Adddorable post on Marilyn Monroe! I am obsessed with her, I even have a duvet of her hehe.

    Thanks for doing this post, so inspirational! xo

    The Young Bridget Jones

  16. What a wonderful summary of her life! You even threw in some interesting trivia I didn't know before. =) And great photos (your whole blog is full of great pictures!).

    If you can watch the new tv show "Smash" where you live (the second season will start this fall), you will love it - Marilyn fashion and fun music every episode! I drool over at least one dress every episode!


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