8 Marilyn Monroe Moments We Hope Her New Biopic TV Series Covers
BBC Studios is producing a new series with the working title The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe, a show focusing on the life and death of the legendary movie star and blond bombshell.
But we hope the writers don’t dramatize just Monroe’s later years — because her entire life story is fascinating.
Here, for your consideration, are eight Marilyn Monroe topics that would make for great television … even if we only see them in flashback form!
Her Turbulent Childhood
Monroe was born Norma Jeane Baker in 1926 to single mother Gladys Pearl Baker, who suffered from mental illness and was ultimately committed to a hospital.
“Gladys didn’t hug, kiss, or smile,” Marilyn’s niece, Mona Rae Miracle, told Closer in 2015. “She was delusional, and she heard voices from electrical appliances. She was antisocial and unable to express any emotion, except anger.”
Her Genesis as a Movie Star
In the mid-1940s, Monroe dyed her hair blonde and chose her famous stage name as she transitioned from military wife to model to movie star, landing film contracts with 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures and breaking out in such films as As Young as You Feel and Monkey Business.
Her Run-Ins With Hollywood Brass
The comedies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire didn’t just make Monroe an A-list star, they also solidified her ditzy screen persona.
Frustrated about being typecast — and chafing under her contract at the time — Monroe refused to start work on the Frank Sinatra musical comedy The Girl in Pink Tights and, as a result, was suspended by 20th Century Fox.
Her Iconic Turn in The Seven-Year Itch
After negotiating a better contract with the studio, Monroe started filming The Seven Year Itch in 1954 and drummed up publicity with a now-legendary New York City photoshoot, with her skirt billowing up above a Lexington Avenue subway grate.
Her husband at the time, Yankees star Joe DiMaggio, was reportedly angry about the stunt, and Monroe filed for divorce the following month.
Her Career Shift
After scratching that Itch, Monroe co-founded production company Marilyn Monroe Productions in 1955, telling the press she was “tired of the same old sex roles” and reminding them that “people have scope.”
She moved to New York City and took method acting classes at Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio.
Her Run-in With Albert Einstein
At some point in her life, Monroe apparently made quite an impression on the astrophysicist. According to Biography, one of the actress’s prized possessions was an autographed photo of Einstein with the inscription, “To Marilyn, with respect and love and thanks.” (Coincidentally or not, the images of Monroe and Einstein are combined in a popular optical illusion, above.)
Her Birthday Serenade
If the phrase “Happy birthday, Mr. President” means anything to you, you’ve likely heard of Monroe’s famous birthday serenade to President John F. Kennedy at NYC’s Madison Square Garden in 1962. Hollywood lore has it that Kennedy and Monroe were having an affair — and that the First Lady was aware.
Her Untimely Death
Monroe tragically died of a barbiturate overdose in August 1962, less than three months after her performance for JFK. She was just 36 years old. Her death was ruled a “probable suicide,” but conspiracy theories about her demise have abounded in the ensuing decades.