1950. Like most Hollywood actresses, Marilyn Monroe is a manufactured product. In 1946, four years before posing for this picture, she changes her name from Norma Jean Mortenson. To make her more marketable, her hairline is raised by electrolysis, her hair is bleached to platinum blonde, and a silicone prosthesis is implanted in her jaw. It’s possible she also has a nose job.
For her part, she does what it takes. She hangs around producers, befriends gossip columnists and entertains influential male guests at studio functions. And she attends acting classes. She regards the trading of sex for stardom as “no big tragedy – nobody ever got cancer from sex” and adds, “I’ve slept with producers. I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t.”
To see the contrast between Norma Jean and Marilyn, take a look at Marilyn Monroe – the tragic star who morphed from Norma Jeane.
Photo by Frank Powolny.