Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson, June 1, 1926 August 5, 1962) was a twentieth-century movie star, sex symbol and pop icon. Raised as Norma Jeane Baker, her rise to stardom began when she was recruited to do magazine modeling while her first husband was in the army. She was soon discovered and offered a movie contract by 20th Century Fox, where she adopted the name with which she gained fame. After starting with bit roles, she soon became known for her comedic skills and remarkable screen presence. She worked toward serious acting roles later in her career, but constant publicity and romantic disappointments led her to the problems with drinking and drugs which prevented her from realizing these goals. The circumstances surrounding her untimely death have been the subject of much speculation, but have not tarnished her reputation as a legendary screen actress.
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