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Thread: Reliving the Magic of Marilyn Monroe

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    Red face Reliving the Magic of Marilyn Monroe

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    Forty nine years after Marilyn Monroe's death, a cool $2million or so can buy you the iconic dress she wore in The Seven Year Itch. The dress is part of a Hollywood memorabilia collection belonging to actress Debbie Reynolds. The auction will be held on June 18 in Beverly Hills. Many would say that Monroe's dress is the star of the collection which is a tribute to the everlasting iconic status of Marilyn Monroe.

    A snapshot of the actress who gave us some of the most breathtaking moments from the movies.
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    The world has never stopped loving Marilyn Monroe. She created an archetype, a woman who was sensuous and hedonistic yet innocent and seemingly unaware of the effect she had. As she famously said (among many other things) : "I am not interested in money, I just want to be wonderful".
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    Wonderful she was and much more. Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles. Her mother was divorced and mentally ill and abandoned her to the care of a series of foster homes. The actress had a series of bizarre interactions with her unstable mother, recollected in My Story, the autobiography Marilyn wrote with screenwriter Ben Hecht. Her mother's friend Grace McKee took her in and reportedly it was Grace who first introduced the idea of a career in showbiz to an incredibly beautiful young Marilyn. “You're going to be a beautiful girl when you get big...an important woman, a movie star, “ she would say.
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    Due to financial difficulties, Jeane was later placed in an orphanage but continued to visit Grace and her relatives. "The world around me then was kind of grim. I had to learn to pretend in order to...I don't know...block the grimness. The whole world seemed sort of closed to me...(I felt) on the outside of everything, and all I could do was to dream up any kind of pretend-game”- her words expressed a kind of loneliness not many endure.
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    In September 1941, Jeane was again living with Grace when she met Jim Dougherty, who was 5 years her senior. Encouraged to enter the relationship by Grace, Jeane ended up marrying Dougherty on June 19, 1942. Dougherty joined the Merchant Marines in 1943 and in 1944 was sent overseas.

    "Grace McKee arranged the marriage for me, I never had a choice. There's not much to say about it. They couldn't support me, and they had to work out something. And so I got married."
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    Norma Jeane, while working in a factory inspecting parachutes in 1944, was photographed by the Army as a promotion to show women on the assembly line contributing to the war effort. Her overwhelming beauty captured a photographers heart, who induced her to pose for posters for the troops. By spring of 1945, she was quickly becoming known as a "photographers dream".
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    Meanwhile, her marriage to Dougherty was doomed.
    "My marriage didn't make me sad, but it didn't make me happy either. My husband and I hardly spoke to each other. This wasn't because we were angry. We had nothing to say. I was dying of boredom." In the fall of 1946, she was granted a divorce.
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    In 1946 she signed a contract with Twentieth Century-Fox Studios but had only two small film roles before she was dropped by the studio. A contract with Columbia Pictures followed in 1948. This stint yielded appearances in a low-budget musical, Ladies of the Chorus (1949), and in the film Love Happy (1949), in which she had a bit part with the Marx Brothers.
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    20th Century-Fox came back to Marilyn with a contract in 1950. Over the next few years she was noticed on screen, though her roles were still small. Monroe's first lead role was in Don't Bother to Knock (1952), as a psychotic babysitter. By 1953 she was appearing as a star in such films as Niagara, How to Marry a Millionaire and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
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    She met her future lover and mentor super-agent Johnny Hyde, of the William Morris Agency- credited with have first discovered her. Marilyn quickly went on to become “Hyde's girl”, and an already married Hyde was also falling wildly for the budding and hungry young star. When they first met in 1949, Marilyn was 22 and Hyde, 53. Many still believe Johnny Hyde was the only man responsible for making Marilyn Monroe a star.
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    Hyde set up a home in North Palm Drive in Beverly Hills in an effort to convince Marilyn to marry him. She declined repeatedly, but he did get her to move in with her.Reportedly he even offered to give her his entire empire if he were to die married to her. John Hyde literally forced her footage down every Hollywood studio but the constant parties, networking and ambition to make Marilyn a star took a toll on his health. He suffered a final heart attack on December 18, 1950.

    Later, Marilyn described the loss of her friend: “Sometimes I felt wrong in not marrying him and giving him what he wanted. But I also knew it would be wrong to marry a man you didn't really love. I didn't regret the million dollars I had turned down. I never stopped regretting the loss of Johnny Hyde”
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    In 1949, Tom Kelly's calendar featuring Marilyn Monroe was released. Photographs from the calendar would later appear in the very first issue of Playboy Magazine in 1955, making Marilyn the premiere centerfold. "It's not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on," she later said.
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    "Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul"- Marilyn had famously said. Her first serious acting job came in 1950 when she had a small but crucial role in "The Asphalt Jungle".
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    Marilyn met Joe DiMaggio in early 1952, she was 25 and he was 37. DiMaggio, recently retired from baseball, had expressed a desire to meet the famous star. "...If you can make a girl laugh - you can make her do anything...", Marilyn said and by Feb the romance was in full bloom.
    “He treated me like something special.”
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