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Final Presentation: Marilyn Monroe
Transcript of Final Presentation: Marilyn Monroe
Her mother, Gladys Baker Mortenson, worked as a film cutter at Consolidated Film Industries, a processing lab for the Hollywood studios, at the time of Marilyn's birth.
Gladys, not oblivious to the glamour and magic of the movies, named her child after Norma Talmadge, who ranked among the most popular of screen idols during the early to mid-1920s. "I was never used to being happy, so that wasn't something I ever took for granted. You see, I was brought up differently from the average American child because the average child is brought up expecting to be happy." -- MARILYN MONROE, 1954 Early Life of Marilyn Monroe Norma Jeane's grandmother, Della Monroe, took Norma to the Foursquare Gospel Church to be baptized
When Norma was 2 years old, Della suffered a complete nervous breakdown and was taken to the Metropolitan State Hospital at Norwalk in LA. A month later, Della pasted way of a heart attack during a seizure. Around 1933, Gladys and Norma Jeane experienced a change in luck. Gladys had earned enough money to put something down on a white bungalow near the Hollywood Bowl; for the first time, Norma Jeane actually lived with her mother.
At the time, Gladys was working as a film cutter at Columbia Pictures, but to make ends meet, she rented out most of the house to an English couple who had fringe jobs in the film industry. The reunion of Gladys and Norma Jeane was all too brief. As the months went by, Gladys became increasingly depressed until, one morning in January of 1935, she lost control. In a 1962 interview, Marilyn recalled her immediate reaction to the orphanage: "I began to cry, 'Please, please don't make me go inside. I'm not an orphan, my mother's not dead. I'm not an orphan -- it's just that she's sick in the hospital and can't take care of me. Please don't make me live in an orphans' home.' " In the summer of 1937, Grace at last rescued Norma Jeane from the orphanage. Despite Grace's attempts at domestic harmony, Grace decided to place her ward in a foster home. For poor Norma Jeane, it was a case of jumping out of the frying pan of the orphanage into the fire of a succession of foster homes. Marilyn's Time In Foster Care "I don't believe you. Don't you dare say such things about that nice man." Despite Grace McKee's determination to keep Norma Jeane, circumstances did not permit it. Now an adolescent, Norma Jeane went to live nearby with Grace's maiden aunt, Ana Lower. The arrangement turned out to be a blessing in disguise because Aunt Ana provided the most stable home environment that the unfortunate girl had ever known. Norma Jeane attended Emerson Junior High School in Westwood Village beginning in September 1939. Thirteen years old at that time, she soon grew tall and her figure developed rapidly, causing a sensation among the boys at school. For the first time in her life, Norma Jeane began to receive favorable attention. Norma Jeane entered Van Nuys High School in
September of 1941 Jim and Norma Jeane began dating casually in December of 1941
By May of 1942, the couple were engaged. Norma Jeane dropped out of University High School in West Los Angeles, where she had transferred in February, to marry Jim. The couple wed on June 19, 1942 -- less than three weeks after Norma Jeane's sixteenth birthday. Aunt Ana helped the Doughertys plan the wedding, and she gave Norma Jeane a simple but elegant wedding gown.
Never had a significant father figure in her life, Norma Jeane asked Aunt Ana to give her away. In 1953, Jim stated, "Our marriage was a good marriage . . . it's seldom a man gets a bride like Marilyn . . . I wonder if she's forgotten how much in love we really were." Perhaps with the benefit of hindsight, a mature Marilyn realized how much more life had to offer outside of her relationship with Jim. Marilyn recalled in a 1956 interview that she made a suicide attempt but "not a very serious one." In the fall of 1943, during the middle of World War II, Jim began to feel the pressure of being without a uniform. He joined the Merchant Marine as a physical-training instructor, and the Doughertys were shipped to Catalina Island, off the coast of southern California. Things Are Starting to Look Brighter Norma Jeane began life with one significant strike against her: She had no father to help raise her, to protect her, or to love her. Who's my daddy? OR Clark Gable C. Stanley Gifford Edward Mortenson Marilyn Enters
Foster Care Gladys places infant Norma Jeane in the care of Ida & Wayne Bolender of Hawthorne, California. Her two children from a previous marriage were taken by their father, Jack Baker. A devoutly religious couple, Wayne and Ida Bolender lived a comfortable existence in Hawthorne, a less-than-fashionable suburb of Los Angeles As a young child, she went to church often with the Bolenders She had to promise to never drink or swear and was constantly told she was going to hell. Her birth certificate identifies her father as "Edward Mortenson," who was Gladys's second husband, most biographers agree that Norma Jeane's father was actually C. Stanley Gifford. Gifford also worked at Consolidated Film Industries, but he abandoned Gladys after being told of the pregnancy. Marilyn felt a profound loss at having never known a father. It left a scar that never healed. "I have taken the children, and you will never see them again." Norma Jeane quickly learned to hide from the Bolenders if she wanted to sing, dance, or act out a fantasy life "more interesting than the one I had." Marilyn Gets Discovered This 1945 photo by photographer Joseph Jasgur was one of those that confirmed Norma Jeane's affinity for the camera and that opened the door to a whole new world. "Models ask me how they can be like Marilyn Monroe and I say to them, honey, I say to them, if you can show half the gumption, just half, that little girl showed, you'll be a success too. . . . there'll never be another like her." -- EMMELINE SNIVELY, HEAD OF THE BLUE BOOK MODEL AGENCY According to him, his reason for choosing Norma Jeane over the other girls at the Radio Plane Company was simply that "her eyes held something that touched and intrigued me." A commercial photographer named Potter Hueth became interested in Norma Jeane on a professional level after Conover showed him some of his photographs. Hueth asked Norma Jeane if she would be willing to work on "spec." That is, he would shoot some photos of her and then tout them to various magazines, but Norma Jeane would not get paid unless the photos were sold. Norma Jeane signed a contract with Blue Book in the summer of 1945 and landed a modeling assignment right away She would study every photograph made of her, pick out the ones she thought were not successful, and ask the photographers what she had done incorrectly. She took their advice very seriously and never repeated what she considered to be a mistake. Some of Potter Hueth's photographs of Marilyn ended up on the desk of Emmeline Snively, head of the Blue Book Model Agency in Los Angeles. Snively sent Norma Jeane a brochure and expressed interest in using her if she was willing to take Blue Book's three-month modeling course.
In class, Snively taught Norma Jeane to lower her smile to alleviate the shadow cast by her nose. This modified way of smiling resulted in the quivering lips that would later become Marilyn Monroe's trademark. In 1945, for example, Norma Jeane made her first appearance before a movie camera at the Blue Book Model Agency Marilyn recalled later, "I used to think as I looked out on the Hollywood night, 'There must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me, dreaming of becoming a movie star. But I'm not going to worry about them. I'm dreaming the hardest.' " Marilyn Monroe Gets Divorced Her career became Norma Jeane's primary topic of conversation, as opposed to their future. She also spent a great deal of time on modeling assignments while Jim was home on leave, including an extended excursion to the Pacific Northwest with photographer Andrè de Dienes. Dougherty's disappointment was fueled by the realization that he was no longer the center of her attention. Now he was only incidental to her life. In his 1976 book The Secret Happiness of Marilyn Monroe, as well as in various interviews and articles, Jim Dougherty blames the breakup of his marriage on his Merchant Marine duties. He paints an idyllic portrait of his life with Norma Jeane in the period before he was shipped overseas. Dougherty implies that if he had not left Norma Jeane alone, circumstances would have been different for them. He talks of Norma Jeane Dougherty and Marilyn Monroe as though they were two different people -- as if in his absence persons and forces beyond his control changed his naive, uncomplicated Norma Jeane into an ambitious, calculating career woman. Finally, in the early autumn of 1946, Dougherty reluctantly signed the divorce papers; Norma Jeane was gone from his life. Meanwhile, her career as a pinup was on the rise. Marilyn Monroe Gets Divorced Her career became Norma Jeane's primary topic of conversation, as opposed to their future. She also spent a great deal of time on modeling assignments while Jim was home on leave, including an extended excursion to the Pacific Northwest with photographer Andrè de Dienes. Dougherty's disappointment was fueled by the realization that he was no longer the center of her attention. Now he was only incidental to her life. In his 1976 book The Secret Happiness of Marilyn Monroe, as well as in various interviews and articles, Jim Dougherty blames the breakup of his marriage on his Merchant Marine duties. He paints an idyllic portrait of his life with Norma Jeane in the period before he was shipped overseas. Dougherty implies that if he had not left Norma Jeane alone, circumstances would have been different for them. He talks of Norma Jeane Dougherty and Marilyn Monroe as though they were two different people -- as if in his absence persons and forces beyond his control changed his naive, uncomplicated Norma Jeane into an ambitious, calculating career woman. Finally, in the early autumn of 1946, Dougherty reluctantly signed the divorce papers; Norma Jeane was gone from his life. Meanwhile, her career as a pinup was on the rise. The Kennedy Scandal "I kept driving past the theater with my name on the marquee. 'Marilyn Monroe.' Was I excited. I wished they were using 'Norma Jeane' so that all the kids at the home and schools who never noticed me could see it."-- MARILYN MONROE, ON THE RELEASE OF LADIES OF THE CHORUS IN 1948 She was forever grateful to Lyon for his support and his help. A few years later, when Marilyn Monroe was on top, she sent Lyon a photograph inscribed: "You found me, named me and believed in me when no one else did. My love and thanks forever."
Armed with a new name, and perhaps a new sense of purpose, Marilyn prepared herself for a career in motion pictures. Marilyn Monroe Quotes Pictures Everyone knows of the JFK scandal, At the end of February Marilyn Monroe was invited to a dinner party in New York that was being held to honor the President, JFK; she sung A sultry version of "Happy Birthday" to Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in 1962 was supposedly was the start of their affair. It is said that JFK and Marilyn had hooked up countless times, JFK felt Marilyn was fun and like a breath of fresh air; but she was not wife material. Marilyn did not take that very lightly. She threatened to go public with the affair, if he did not divorce his wife and marry her—and Jackie stepped in to make a personal plea to Monroe during a tense meeting at New York’s Carlyle Hotel. In an extract, published in America’s Globe magazine, the author writes, “Jackie begged Marilyn not to publicly humiliate her children in front of the world. She also pleaded with Marilyn not to make John, Jr. and Caroline the victims of a divorce.”
Porter claims Monroe was touched by her heart-to-heart with Jackie and agreed to keep her romances with the President and his brother a secret, but the biographer alleges the actress had one more big surprise for Kennedy on the day before her death in August, 1962 - she called to tell the President she had aborted his baby.
The scars of Marilyn's past were visible to anyone who chose to look, and her impulsive and drug-fuelled behavior repeated itself throughout all her relationships.
Hours later, Monroe was found dead in her Los Angeles home; her passing was ruled out as a suicide. She was heavily dependent on prescription drugs and alcohol to control her emotional instability. She feared she had inherited her mother's paranoid schizophrenia and often heard 'voices' or claimed she was being followed. Since childhood, she had been unable to cope with any form of rejection or criticism and, on a number of occasions, took pills in apparent suicide attempts. Insecure, needy and with three failed marriages, she was desperate to find a man to compensate for the lack of a father figure in her disrupted childhood. No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they're pretty, even if they aren't.
Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.
Marilyn Monroe I don't mind making jokes, but I don't want to look like one.
Marilyn Monroe I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.