Marilyn Monroe was, is and always will be the definitive Hollywood legend. That legend, marred and twisted beyond recognition, belied the human being beneath it all: an envelope-pushing businesswoman, a hell of a good actress, and an emotionally troubled, tragic figure whose inner demons were often as vicious as those that occupied the world around her.
Volumes have been penned about Monroe: her troubled life picked at and analyzed, her death speculated on and sensationalized, her beauty idealized and romanticized—her dignity stripped. Even today, her 84th birthday, the focus isn’t on Marilyn as a person but rather the discovery of the only known photo of Marilyn and President John Kennedy together. (Sorry, we won’t be providing a link. You’ll have to Google it yourself.)
This being the case, The Pictorial has resolved not to rehash her history, not to throw around salacious gossip and rumors, not to fawn over her exceptional beauty, but rather do something that, even now, the majority doesn’t seem interested in doing: let Marilyn speak for herself.
Our last-minute tribute may be very humble, but it is very sincere in its admiration of a troubled but great lady.
“Hollywood is a place that pays a $1,000 for a kiss and 50 cents for your soul.”
“[Stardom] scares me. All those people I don`t know, sometimes they`re so emotional. I mean, if they love you that much without knowing you, they can also hate you the same way.”
“Please don`t make me a joke … I want to be an artist, an actress with integrity.”
“I love a natural look in pictures … it shows an inner life. I like to see that there`s something going on inside them.”
“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.”
“Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die, young, but then you`d never complete your life, would you? You`d never wholly know yourself…”
“A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night.”
“I`m a failure as a woman. My men expect so much of me, because of the image they`ve made of me and that I`ve made of myself, as a sex symbol. Men expect so much, and I can`t live up to it.”
“I want to be an artist… not an erotic freak. I don`t want to be sold to the public as a celluloid aphrodisiacal.”
“If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.”
“A career is born in public — talent in private.”
“I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.”
“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”