"I don't mind making jokes, but I don't want to look like one." ~ Marilyn
Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Baker on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California. She never knew her father and her mother was mentally ill. Marilyn spent most of her childhood in orphanages and foster homes she was sexually abused. At age sixteen she married her neighbor, James Dougherty. After their divorce in 1946 she dyed her hair blond and began modeling. Marilyn appeared on hundreds of magazine covers and often posed nude to earn extra money. She started dating Hollywood agent Johnny Hyde who helped her get small roles in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve. He also convinced her to have cosmetic surgery on her nose and chin. When Johnny died in 1950 Marilyn was so distraught she attempted suicide. She was offered a contract with 20th Century Fox and landed the lead roles in Niagara and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Critics dismissed her as a dumb blonde but audiences made her the most popular actress in Hollywood. Marilyn made headlines when she married baseball player Joe DiMaggio in 1954. The marriage lasted just nine months but they remained close friends. She also enjoyed brief romances with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando.