Entries in Marilyn Monroe (5)


Marilyn Monroe: 50 Years After Her Death

Frank Worth, Courtesy of Emage International/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Sunday marks 50 years since the death of Marilyn Monroe.

Monroe's death at her Brentwood, Calif. home on Aug. 5, 1962 at the age of 36 was officially ruled a probable suicide by overdose, but Donnelle Dadigan, the president and founder of The Hollywood Museum, which houses a large Monoe exhibit, says in her opinion, there's no way it was suicide.

Dadigan tells ABC News Radio, "She had two contracts for two new movies in front of her at the time. She had finally bought her first home. She received a shipment of custom furnishings for her home the day before she passed away."

"I don't know that this is all behavior of someone who wanted to take their own life. ... I believe there was another hand involved in this," Dadigan says.

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson in 1926, she never knew her father, and her mother spent years grappling with mental illness, leaving Norma Jeane to an early life of orphanages and foster homes. But through a unique combination of grit, guts and good looks, she went on to become one of Hollywood's biggest and most enduring stars.

While she got her start as a model, Marilyn Monroe -- a first name Hollywood producers suggested, coupled with her grandmother's maiden name -- appeared in bit parts as an up-and-coming actress.

However, she soon went on to conquer Hollywood, thanks to performances in classics like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire and Some Like It Hot. She brought to the silver screen -- and to American pop culture -- her own unique blend of sass and sex appeal.

Monroe attracted some of the celebrity world's most eligible men, like ex-husbands Yankee great Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, but also some decidedly ineligible ones: rumors she had affairs with both President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert also led to her mystique.

Dadigan tells ABC News Radio part of the reason we love Marilyn Monroe so much is what she symbolizes. "She represented a wonderful time ... in the lives of Americans and in a great generation," says Dadigan, who explained Monroe's short life ironically fueled her longevity. "We still see her as the beautiful 36-year old. You know, very glamorous, very sexy, very sensual, very beckoning. She got frozen in time."

Jamie Salter, the CEO of Authentic Brands Group, which owns the estate of Marilyn Monroe and has the rights to license her name and likeness, agrees, telling ABC News Radio the legend's appeal isn't limited to those who remember Marilyn when she was alive.

"Her demographic today, between the ages of 15 and 35, is 50 percent of her fan base ... So ... she's going to live for a very very long time. Because you have 15 year olds growing up now loving her."

As far as merchandising, Salter tells ABC News Radio, "She would be right beside Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga and Madonna, if Marilyn were here today and she were 36."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Nude Photos of Marilyn, Madonna Up for Auction

Bonhams(NEW YORK) -- Nude photographs of American icons Marilyn Monroe and Madonna were up for auction at Bonhams.

A black-and-white photograph of Madonna, taken by U.S. photographer Steven Meisel in 1990, hit the auction block Tuesday along with more than 150 other items. The music icon, known for her often-racy outfits, posed naked, cigarette in hand, with only a sheet to partially cover herself.  The photo Tuesday was sold to the highest bidder for $23,750 -- more than double its estimated value of $10,000.

An image of Marilyn Monroe from her final photo shoot with only a sheer scarf to hold over her breasts are set to be auctioned in London on May 17. The photograph of the blonde bombshell is just one of several images included in the collection, which is estimated to be worth $24,000. The picture was taken by U.S. photographer Bert Stern.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Marilyn Monroe the Subject of New Reality Series

Frank Worth, Courtesy of Emage International/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Entertainment One and the Estate of Marilyn Monroe are set to develop a new competition reality series titled Finding Marilyn, reports.

The show will pit 12 young ladies up against each other as they follow in Marilyn Monroe's footsteps on their way to stardom in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Marilyn Monroe Statue and Her Panties Catch Eyes in Chicago

George S. Zimbel/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Marilyn Monroe, in her iconic white dress, is catching a breeze in the Windy City and drawing some controversy.

At 26 feet, a towering sculpture of Monroe's famous pose from the film The Seven Year Itch was unveiled on Chicago's Magnificent Mile. In the film, Monroe's dress billows as she passes over a subway grate.

But the giant re-creation at Pioneer Court of that famous scene is raising eyebrows by revealing too much Marilyn for some people.

The sculpture, entitled "Forever Marilyn" by artist J. Seward Johnson, leaves little to the imagination. The crowd at the plaza can go around to the side and at the back of the sculpture and see Monroe's lace panties.

The panties on the icon have drawn a buzz and some controversy, claiming it is tacky and even offensive.

"There's no getting around the fact that that's a sexual image," said Bren Ortega Murphy, a professor of women's studies at Loyola University. "Of all the images that we could choose from, why do we keep coming up with that?"

But some think it's an honest work of art with a bit of humor. They see no harm in a bold, even brazen attempt to attract more tourists.

"It's so funny that you can actually see the underwear," German tourist Katie Taut said. "I like it."

Despite the wide spectrum of opinions, Melissa Farell of Zeller Realty, the company that commissioned the sculpture, said the company is glad the art is drawing diverse reactions.

"We like the fact that people are talking about it," Farell said. "That it's sparking a dialogue, good or bad."

Regardless of the dialogue, there is no denying that nobody is having their picture taken as much in Chicago as Marilyn Monroe. She will remain in the plaza along Michigan Avenue until next spring, where she will be remembered as being larger than life.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Marilyn Monroe Dress Fetches $4.6 Million at Debbie Reynolds Auction

George S. Zimbel/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress and singer Debbie Reynolds parted with several of her prized possessions in a Beverly Hills auction on Saturday. The most notable item on the block: Marilyn Monroe's famous white dress that was blown upwards by a gust of air during the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch. It sold for 4.6 million dollars, according to KABC-TV. Monroe's red dress from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes fetched 1.2 million.

The dresses were among the approximately 500 pieces of Hollywood memorabilia that were featured in the auction. The 79-year-old Reynolds says she held the auction because she has no room in her home for the costumes, which originally were supposed to be displayed in a museum that ultimately was never built. Prior to the auction, she said, "I collected it for a museum, for the fans. Not for me. I couldn't have all these clothes in my house." A follow-up auction with more of Reynolds' possessions is scheduled for December.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio