Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jean Mortenson in 1926. She starred in many popular films, was married to and divorced from both Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio, and died of an overdose of barbiturates in 1962. Nevertheless, interest in her life and her story continues in popular culture and in feminist studies.
Select Marilyn Monroe Quotations
• I wanted to be treated as a human being who had earned a few rights since her orphanage days.
• It's nice to be included in people's fantasies but you also like to be accepted for your own sake.
• I think that when you are famous every weakness is exaggerated.
• I'm very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.
• I don't mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it.
• People had a habit of looking at me as if I were some kind of mirror instead of a person. They didn't see me, they saw their own lewd thoughts, then they white-masked themselves by calling me the lewd one.
• I don't know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.
• To a reporter: Please don't make me a joke.
• Fame is like caviar, you know -- it's good to have caviar but not when you have it at every meal.
• I've been on a calendar, but never on time.
• I am invariably late for appointments ... sometimes, as much as two hours. I've tried to change my ways but the things that make me late are too strong, and too pleasing.
• I restore myself when I'm alone.
• People respect you because they feel you've survived hard times and endured, and although you've become famous, you haven't become phony.
• Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you're a human being, you feel, you suffer.
• I'm for the individual as opposed to the corporation. The way it is the individual is the underdog, and with all the things a corporation has going for them the individual comes out banged on her head. The artist is nothing. It's really tragic.
About Her Childhood
• I learned also that the best way to keep out of trouble was by never complaining or asking for anything.
• At twelve I looked like a girl of seventeen. My body was developed and shapely. But no one knew this but me. I still wore the blue dress and the blouse the orphanage provided. They made me look like an overgrown lummox.
• (about Norma Jean, her childhood self) With success all around me, I can still feel her frightened eyes looking out of mine. She keeps saying, "I never lived, I was never loved," and often I get confused and think it's I who am saying it.
• I watched the faces of the listeners when the minister would cry out how much God loved them and how much they needed to set themselves right with God. They were faces without any argument in them, just tired faces that were glad to hear Somebody loved them.