How did Marllyn Monroe die

In August 1962, it seemed like Marilyn Monroe was trying to get her life under control. She had just bought her first home in Brentwood, California for $ 75,000, it was the cover of Life magazine, and she was hired again for the movie Something’s Got to Give.

In other ways, however, it was the bleakest ever for the Hollywood star. Like no one before, apart from Elivs Presley, it had long since become the projection screen for a whole generation. The year before, she had divorced her third husband, playwright Arthur Miller. There were rumors of an alleged affair between her and President John F. Kennedy, and her normally glamorous performances were just a shadow of herself.

Marilyn Monroe is dead

On August 5, 1962, Monroe was found dead at her home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive. She was holding a telephone receiver and was lying face down on the floor with no clothes on. Next to her was an empty pill bottle with 50 capsules of Nembutal, a drug that is often used as a sleep aid.

The death of Marilyn Monroe at the age of only 36 marked the end of a long climb to fame. After a brief investigation, Los Angeles police concluded that her death "Was caused by a self-administered sedative overdose and that the mode of death is likely to be suicide".Despite this finding, theories about how it actually came about continued to emerge in the decades that followed.

From orphanage to fame

Despite being known as one of the greatest sex symbols in pop culture history, Drama has plagued Monroe's personal life. Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles. Her mother was emotionally unstable and often institutionalized, so Norma Jeane was raised by a number of foster parents and in an orphanage.

At the age of 16, she married a work colleague in an aircraft factory, from whom she divorced a few years later. She began modeling in 1944 and signed a short-term contract with 20th Century Fox in 1946, taking her stage name Marilyn Monroe. She took on minor roles and then returned to the modeling business.

She began to attract attention as an actress in 1950 after appearing in smaller roles in "Asphalt Jungle" and "Alles über Eva". Although she was only briefly seen as a lover on screen in both films, the audience took notice of the blonde. A new contract with Fox was therefore only a matter of form. Her acting career finally picked up speed in the early 1950s with appearances in "Love Nest" (1951), "Darling, I'm Getting Younger" (1952) and "Niagara" (1953).

Another divorce

She was celebrated for her lust and charm and gained international fame for her roles in "Blondes Preferred" (1953), "How Do You Get A Millionaire?" (1953) and "Rhythm In The Blood" (1954). "The Seven Year Itch" (1955) demonstrated her comedic talent and shows the classic scene in which she stands over a subway railing and her white skirt is blown up by the wind of a passing train. In 1954, she married baseball grandmaster Joe DiMaggio, which attracted further publicity, but the divorce followed just eight months later.

In 1955 she studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York City and then was an unfortunate entertainer in "Bus Stop" (1956). In the same year she married the playwright Arthur Miller. In 1957 she directed “The Prince and the Dancer” with Laurence Olivier - a critical and commercial failure - and gave a celebrated performance in the hit comedy “Some Like It Hot” in 1959. Her final role in The Misfits (1961) was directed by John Huston and written by Miller, whom she divorced just a week before the film premiered.

The misunderstanding with Arthur Miller

Marilyn Monroe had her longest marriage to Miller. The couple were a complete contradiction in terms: a movie star as a sex symbol on the one hand and the award-winning playwright on the other. But in the end Miller, just like the second spouse Joe DiMaggio, was not enough for the fragile actress. In addition to marital stressors such as failed pregnancies, misunderstandings and arguments about work, Monroe could not escape their demons, which showed themselves in their alcohol and drug consumption.

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Monroe first met Miller in 1950. At the time, she was still trying to achieve fame, while he was already being hailed as one of the country's foremost playwrights thanks to his Pulitzer Prize-winning Death of a Salesman. At the same time, Monroe was having an affair with Elia Kazan, who was in Los Angeles to sell Arthur Miller to one of his scripts.

When Miller, orchestrated by Kazan, took Monroe to a party, he didn't court her directly. Monroe believed this showed his respect for her, which was more than enough to set him apart from other men she knew. She told a friend about the encounter: "[It was] like a cold drink when you have a fever."

Arthur Miller's return to New York

Monroe said goodbye to Miller at the airport in January 1951 when he returned to New York. He had told her how unhappy his current marriage was, so she expected him to return soon. In the meantime, she put his photo on a bookshelf above her pillow. Although the two exchanged letters, Miller stayed in New York.

Monroe and Miller did not meet again in person until 1955 after she moved to New York City to study at the Actors Studio. Since her most recent marriage to DiMaggio lasted less than a year, she was single and still very interested in Miller. Monroe even dated his friends Norman and Hedda Rosten to get closer to the playwright.

"I believe that if I ever lost you I would really have to die"

Soon after, Miller and Monroe began an affair, although he remained a married man. However, in the years since they first met, she had become a star. That meant the press followed Monroe's every step carefully and the relationship didn't go undetected for long.

Monroe wanted to be with Miller, who seemed to offer her both love and the sense of security she had always longed for. She also liked the idea of ​​being seen as a serious actress working with a renowned playwright. Miller was reluctant to leave his wife, but he was deeply in love with Monroe; in a letter he said to her: "I believe that if I ever lost you I would really have to die". In the spring of 1956, he finally went to Nevada to settle there so he could divorce his wife.

Connections to Communism?

While Miller was officially residing in Nevada, he filed a passport application so that he could accompany Marilyn Monroe on filming in England. However, his motion led to a subpoena before the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify about his ties to communism. On June 21, 1956, Miller was in Washington D.C. to appear before the committee.

Miller had never been a member of the Communist Party, but he had attended party-affiliated meetings in the 1940s. He chose not to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-blame and answered questions about his own actions. At the same time, however, he refused to disclose the names of the other participants. This meant that he was likely to be ostracized by Congress. Hence, given her relationship with Miller, Monroe risked losing cinema-goers' affection amid the Cold War.

Playing with fire

Monroe was advised to distance herself from Miller or her career would go up in smoke. However, she ignored this advice and remained loyal to Miller both publicly and privately. Her dedication was a boon to Miller as it was difficult to get the public to turn against a man who had won the heart of an American icon.

Although Miller was charged with disobeying Congress (his later conviction was eventually overturned on appeal), he got his passport. Miller and Monroe were married on June 29, 1956 in a judges' office in White Plains, New York; a Jewish ceremony followed on July 1st. Together they set out next to England so that Marilyn Monroe could work with Laurence Olivier on "The Prince and the Dancer".

Big disappointments

Enthusiastic about their marriage, Monroe once said: "This is the first time that I'm really in love." Filming in England, however, did not go smoothly and she clashed with Olivier. She also happened upon notes Miller had made about her. The exact words she read are unknown, but she reported that Miller was disappointed with their marriage and found Monroe embarrassed at times.

Monroe told Lee and Paula Strasberg about what Miller had written. “He thought I was some kind of angel, but now he suspected that he was wrong. That his first wife had let him down, but I had done something worse. " She had idealized Miller and was devastated by what she considered treason. The discovery of Monroe in England was not enough to end their marriage. She and Miller were to experience happy moments afterwards, for example when he dedicated an edition of his collected pieces to her. But these happy moments were interrupted by other problems.

No objection to an affair

She miscarried in September 1956, lost an ectopic pregnancy in August 1957, and had a second miscarriage in December 1958, shortly after she finished filming "Some Like It Hot". Monroe, who took pills and alcohol regularly, blamed herself for the latest miscarriage.

Miller lacked the calm and emotional peace he needed to write. Marilyn Monroe, on the other hand, was annoyed with her husband. She didn't like the fact that he ignored his principles and lackluster rewritten scenes for her film "Let's do it in love". When she began an affair with co-star Yves Montand out of frustration, she noticed that Miller wasn't fighting for her or even objecting to the liaison.

Monroe and Miller's relationship came to an end when they worked together on their latest film, The Misfits. The script, based on a short story by Miller, was originally intended to help her get perceived as a serious actress. But when the film was shot in the summer of 1960, she didn't like the script and explained: “Arthur said it was his movie. I don't think he even wants to see me in it. Everything is over. We have to stay together because it would be bad for the film if we split up now ”.

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller are getting divorced

Filming was made even more difficult for Monroe by Miller's recast, as she had difficulty relearning her lines at the last minute. Her prolonged drug abuse also complicated work on the film. To find a supposed solution to the problem, she was sent to a hospital in Los Angeles for a week.

Monroe managed to come back and finish the film, but by that point her marriage to Miller was already over for good. Her divorce plans were announced on November 11, 1960. Monroe traveled to Mexico for divorce on January 20, 1961 - a date chosen in the hope that John F. Kennedy's inauguration would divert media attention.

Looking back on her relationship with Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe admitted: “I wasn't always comfortable. He should love the monster too. But maybe I'm too demanding. Perhaps there is no man who can bear me completely. I put Arthur through a lot, I know. But he also put a lot on me. "

The encounter with JFK

Just over a year later, in March 1962, Monroe reportedly first met John F. Kennedy at a Bing Crosby party in Palm Springs. It was just weeks before her famous public appearance at a Democratic fundraiser on May 19, 1962 that Monroe sang her melancholy rendition of "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." For the occasion, she wore a dress by designer Jean Louis, which gave the illusion that she was completely naked.

Kennedy responded to the performance by saying: "I can now retire from politics after 'Happy Birthday' was sung to me in such a sweet, warm-hearted way." Neither Kennedy nor anyone else knew that Marilyn Monroe would be dead less than three months later.

Though the memorable appearance fueled long-standing rumors about their affair - journalist Dorothy Kilgallen described them as "Making love with the president in front of forty million Americans" - he also marked the end of their encounters. The Hollywood star and the president briefly mingled with the invited guests at an after party of studio boss Arthur B. Krim, which led to the only known photo of the two (together with Kennedy's brother Robert). After that, they never saw each other again.

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The dwindling fame

While the public debated how much the Miller divorce and rumors of an affair with John F. Kennedy could have had on Monroe's frame of mind, its ups and downs were with lovers (which included romances with Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra ) a turbulent factor throughout her life.

After a series of box office disappointments in the early 1960s, including "The Misfits," Monroe felt the effects of her dwindling fame. In addition, her airs on the set of "Something’s Got to Give" resulted in her being fired from 20th Century Fox Studios on June 8, 1962.

"Being a sex symbol is a heavy burden to bear, especially when you are tired, hurt and confused"

The film studio said the star's constant delays cost the production $ 2 million. This was followed by a lawsuit for $ 500,000. "The management is what is wrong with the business"Monroe replied, according to the New York Times. “To blame Hollywood's problems on the stars is stupid. These executives shouldn't damage their investments. "

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The public fight had damaged her reputation, but Monroe knew what to do. She was preparing to change things. She got the covers of prestigious magazines such as "Life" and "Paris Match" on the front page, and she also negotiated with the studios to be hired again for "Something’s Got to Give". Shortly afterwards she went back to work. She was reportedly making plans for a press conference in the coming days.

Monroe's difficult childhood mixed with the pressures of fame haunted her all her life. Some of her most famous quotes allude to the demons that were constantly present in her mind: "Being a sex symbol is a heavy burden to bear, especially when you are tired, hurt and confused"so it was said from her mouth. "Hollywood is a place where you get $ 1,000 for a kiss and 50 cents for your soul", and "When I close my eyes and think of Hollywood, all I see is a large varicose vein".

Help from the psychiatrist

Shortly before her death, she sought help from the psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson. In fact, at around 5:15 p.m. the Saturday before her death, she had spoken to Greenson for about an hour, who asked her to take a stroll outside to combat her insomnia. The empty pill bottle that was found next to her light was from a prescription she had been given a few days earlier. She should take one pill a night. Another 12 to 15 bottles of medicine lay on the bedside table.

Her housekeeper, Eunice Murray, had seen Monroe go to her bedroom around 8:00 p.m. that Sunday night she died. At around 3:25 am she noticed that Monroe's light was still on. She went to check on her, but got no answers.When the psychiatrist rushed to help Greenson, he broke the window of the bedroom where Marilyn Monroe was already dead.

Murdered by the President?

In the decades that followed, a number of conspiracy theories about her death emerged, most of which suggest that she was murdered by John and / or Robert Kennedy. These theories claim that the Kennedys killed her (or had her killed) because they feared she would make public her love affairs and other government secrets she had collected.

On August 4, 1962, Robert Kennedy, then attorney general in his older brother's cabinet, was actually in Los Angeles. Two decades after the Hollywood icon's death, housekeeper Eunice Murray first announced that Robert Kennedy had visited Monroe and argued with her on the night of her death. The credibility of these statements has been questioned several times.

Arthur Miller did not show up for the funeral

On August 8, 1962, three days after her death, Marilyn Monroe was buried in a coffin on bronze in the Corridor of Memories in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. Among the organizers was her former husband Joe DiMaggio, who was one of the few guests in the closest family and friends. Arthur Miller, however, was not present.

In January 1964, Miller's piece "After the Fall" premiered in New York. One of the characters, Maggie, had the same background, mannerisms, and self-destructive tendencies as Monroe. Maggie was a singer, not an actress, but she was obviously based on Miller's ex-wife while her performer even wore a blonde wig.

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Miller has been widely criticized for making Monroe and her pain material for a play, despite denying the connection. He went on to incorporate characters with ties to Monroe in other works, including 2004's Finishing the Picture, based on the chaotic filming of The Misfits. Apparently, although their relationship had ended decades earlier, he had never forgotten her.

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