What is it about Marilyn Monroe? Fifty years after her death on Aug. 5, 1962, people are still trying to answer that question.
The fascination began in 1947, when Norma Jeane Mortenson dyed her hair blonde and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe. From then on, Monroe would become not only a sex symbol, but an icon of Hollywood’s golden years.
But behind her bombshell body and gorgeous face, there was a sweet sadness behind her eyes that stemmed from an unhappy childhood, several unhappy marriages, remarkably low self-esteem and years of alcohol and prescription pill abuse.
Many have tried — and failed — to figure out why the object of every man’s desire was such a conflicted spirit.
Decades after her tragic death, people are still trying to put a finger on what made her so fascinating. It seems that every other month Vanity Fair publishes a story on a new Marilyn Monroe revelation, and book after book is written about the events in her life and surrounding her death.
There will probably never be a conclusion on who the elusive Marilyn really was, and why she killed herself — or if she killed herself. But there will always be these photos that prove exactly why she was so celebrated in life and in death.