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UNITED STATES 5 Aug 2012 Tragic Hollywood icon died from overdose 50 years ago

On 5 Aug 2012, 50 years will have passed since American cultural legend Marilyn Monroe was found dead at 36 in her Los A

August 5, 2012 - NULL

UNITED STATES 5 Aug 2012 Tragic Hollywood icon died from overdose 50 years ago

On 5 Aug 2012, 50 years will have passed since American cultural legend Marilyn Monroe was found dead at 36 in her Los Angeles home from an overdose of sleeping pills. The anniversary promises to refresh debate about whether the death was suicide or murder, revive conspiracy theories, increase fan traffic to her grave and count as an occasion for exhibitions of memorabilia. A New York museum could end up with the white dress that blew up around her waist in "Some Like it Hot."

Monroe

UNITED STATES 5 Aug 2012 Tragic Hollywood icon died from overdose 50 years ago

On 5 Aug 2012, 50 years will have passed since American cultural legend Marilyn Monroe was found dead at 36 in her Los Angeles home from an overdose of sleeping pills. The anniversary promises to refresh debate about whether the death was suicide or murder, revive conspiracy theories, increase fan traffic to her grave and count as an occasion for exhibitions of memorabilia. A New York museum could end up with the white dress that blew up around her waist in "Some Like it Hot."

Monroe was found dead in her Los Angeles home after several months in 1962 as a virtual recluse. Her death was attributed to "acute barbiturate poisoning" by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office and recorded as "probable suicide." The "probable" left open the possibility that she was murdered, so her death has long attracted conspiracy theories.

Many center on her alleged affair with John F. Kennedy and the assassinated president's brother, Robert, who was also assassinated. Some theories suggest she knew too much about the president. They hint that some clandestine agency killed her. Other theories suggest she was a Mafia victim.

The 50th anniversary of her death is likely to make 2012 a big year for collectors of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia and NJ2MM, an international Marilyn Monroe club. Anniversary displays will show off items associated with her life. In 1999, a make-up kit that she had owned sold for US $266,500. The white dress is expected to fetch US $1-2 million at a Jun 2011 auction, and is reported to be destined for a museum in New York, where a gust of air from a subway grate sent it billowing upward and into movie history during the making of "Some Like it Hot."

The inaugural issue of Playboy featuring her nude photographs has been reprinted, and is available online in Playboy's searchable database. Playboy named her "Number One Sex Star of the 20th Century" in 1999. Photographs of her that appear to have been taken during her breakout year of 1953 were found at a garage sale in 1980. They are reported to be destined for a yet-to-be determined museum, probably in New York. Some 300 items never placed on public display before are the actress and singer's last phone book and her 1961 desk diary, were on display at the Museum of Icons in Frankfurt from in Dec 2010 to Feb 2011, ahead of the 85th anniversary of her birth.

The dress she wore when she serenaded John F. Kennedy on his birthday sold for US$1,267,500.00 at auction. The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as the most expensive piece of clothing ever sold.

The US postal service and several foreign postal services have issues stamps for Marilyn Monroe's milestone birthdays. A new issue can be expected to mark the 50th anniversary.

The actress is interred at Westwood Memorial Park, Los Angeles, in the Corridor of Memories, crypt #24.

She was born Norma Jean Mortenson on 1 Jun 1926 in the city where she died. Her mother was frequently confined in an asylum, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica biography of the star, and she was reared by 12 successive sets of foster parents and lived briefly in an orphanage. She married at 16, and had married and divorced a total of three times before her death. As her movie career progressed, she succeeded in casting off much of her early image as a dumb and seductive blonde -- nude portraits of her launched the first Playboy Magazine in 1953. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) launched her as a sex symbol superstar, but she won critical acclaim as an actress and comedienne for several of her roles.

She made 23 movies, and has been portrayed in some 14 movies and biopics. The anniversary could inspire a fan to count how many books have been written about Marilyn Monroe. One source puts the figure at 600.

"Some people you cannot take a bad picture of, and she was in that category," said photographer Murray Garrett about Marilyn Monroe. Collections of photos of her by Garrett are also likely to be on show for the anniversary. (WRITTEN Jun 2011)

RELATED READING:
Marilyn Monroe biography (Encyclopedia Britannica)
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/390235/Marilyn-Monroe

New Marilyn Monroe photos unveiled on star's 85th birthday (Telegraph 2 Jun 2011)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/8553169/New-Marilyn-Monroe-photos-unveiled-on-stars-85th-birthday.html

Site for donations to buy "Some Like It Hot" dress
http://www.savethedress.org

Marilyn Monroe (Internet Movie Data Base)
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000054/bio

JFK and Marilyn Monroe: The Story Behind the Image (ABC 1 Jun 2010) http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Media/president-john-kennedy-marilyn-monroe-story-image/story?id=10792148

Effort to return Marilyn Monroe's fluttering white dress to NYC (Reuters 2 Jun 2011)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/02/us-monroe-dress-idUSTRE7515MK20110602

Date written/update: 2012-08-05