Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 - August 5, 1962) was an American film actress. She was born Norma Jean Mortenson in Los Angeles, California, but later took her mother's name Baker and called herself Norma Jean Baker. Marilyn Monroe was her screen name.
Passed among several homes as a girl, sexually abused as a teenager, Norma Jean thought little of herself. Yet she also had a gritty, opportunistic side, and dreamed of being a big movie star. She knew she had a soft voice and she climbed the ladder. She was both more intelligent and more unhappy than her screen goddess image ever suggested.
Marilyn Monroe was also Playboy's first centerfold. She did not pose for Playboy, however. The photos were taken for a calendar several years earlier and Hugh Hefner purchased them for his men's magazine.
Marilyn died in her Los Angeles home at age 36, supposedly a suicide from drug overdose[?], but circumstances surrounding her death have led many to believe that her death was not a suicide. Rather, some believe that she was killed because of her involvement with members of the Kennedy family. Decades after her death people still speculate.
Numerous books with photographs of Marilyn have been published over the years and once every two or three years "new, never before published" photos surface. For those interested not only in photos but in her life, Goddess, the Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe, written by Anthony Summers is suggested reading.
A story that Marilyn Monroe was born with six toes resulted from the publication of photographs taken by the photographer Joseph Jasgur[?] in March 1946. The pictures were published in the book The Birth of Marilyn: The Lost Photographs of Norma Jean (1991) by Jasgur and Jeannie Sakol[?]. Two of the pictures can be interpreted as showing six toes, although they can also be explained as tricks of the light. Since there is no corroborating evidence from other photographs or written records, the story is commonly dismissed as an urban legend (See Snopes (http://www.snopes.com/movies/actors/mmtoes.htm)).