It’s been half a century since the beautiful and talented Marilyn Monroe passed away, but her legend still shines on.
Known for her breathy voice, platinum blonde hair and voluptuous figure, the Californian actress was the star of many classic films.
The pin-up actress was just 36 when she died from acute barbiturate poisoning. We have put together some of Marilyn Monroe’s most memorable moments to celebrate her legacy, fifty years on.
After appearing as an extra in various movies, Columbia Pictures snapped Monroe up, and in 1948 she had a major role in the low-budget musical Ladies of the Chorus. As the years went by, her career and success escalate; the LA actress and model soon became Hollywood’s favourite glamorous celebrity.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
This classic film is probably one of Marilyn’s most popular and best known features. Produced by Academy Award winning director Billy Wilder, it is listed as the greatest comedy ever by the American Film Institute. The slapstick comedy also featured Tony Curtis (Handball), Jack Lemmon (The Apartment), and George Raft (Scarface). It received umpteen awards and nominations including a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture as well as an Academy Award for best Costume Design. In addition, it was ranked third in ABC’s Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time in 2011.
Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1953)
This light-hearted musical comedy is a film adaptation of the 1949 stage musical of the same name. Directed by Howard Hawks, the film is known for Monroe’s iconic rendition of Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend where she’s seen wearing a bright pink gown with diamond jewellery dripping off her fingers, ears and neck. Her dress has been copied by many of today’s stars such as Madonna and Kylie Minogue. The film – which earned more than $7.5m at the box office – became the sixth highest-grossing film of 1953. Marilyn starred alongside Jane Russell as they played Lorelei and Dorothy – two characters who have become very popular in pop culture.
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
This Fifties rom-com is based on the two plays The Greeks Had a Word for It and Loco. The music score was penned by the legendary Alfred Newman, who was one of the most respected composers of his time and he has been dubbed one of the ‘godfathers of film music’. The film is known for being the first ever feature to be photographed in the new CinemaScope wide-screen process. Monroe plays Pola, one of the three women who are seeking rich men to marry. Monroe is known for the entertaining scene when she faints after seeing her husband-to-be pulling out a huge wage of cash from his wallet.
Seven Year Itch (1955)
Based on a three act play by George Axelrod, Seven Year Itch features the iconic moment when Marilyn Monore steps onto the subway grate and pushes down her white dress as it is blown up by a passing train. Also starring Tom Ewell (Adam’s Rib) the film received positive reviews from Variety and reached AFI’s Top 100 Comedy Films of the Past 100 years.
Monkey Business (1952)
Known as Howard Hawks’ Monkey Business, the screwball comedy features Marilyn Monroe alongside Cary Grant, Ginger Rodgers and Charles Coburn. This uproarious slapstick farce sees Barnaby (Cary) as a chemist who concocts a formula for rejuvenating youth. It’s leaked into the water cooler by his mischievous pet chimp and soon the staff begin foolishly monkeying around.