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15 things you didn’t know




1

Marilyn Monroe found it almost impossible to learn lines, and took 60 takes to deliver the line "It's me, Sugar", in Some Like it Hot

2


She was a jogger long before jogging became popular. If you lived on a back street in Hollywood in the early 1950s, a glimpse of Monroe running by was a common sight. She would be performing an exercise routine - she used to call it her "jog-trot" - which she did many mornings, typically dressed in jeans and a T-shirt or a halter top - a good twenty-five years before Jim Fixx wrote The Complete Runner and introduced America to the jogging craze

3


Hugh Hefner owns the burial vault next to Marilyn at the Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles. He bought it in 1992 for £50, 000.

4


She went by many names. On her birth certificate she is Norma Jeane Mortenson;she was baptised Norma Jeane Baker;she modelled under the names Jean Norman and Mona Monroe;her initial idea for a screen name was Jean Adair;she signed into hotels as Zelda Zonk and into a psychiatric clinic as Faye Miller. She only legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe in March 1956, when she was already a star.

5


There was an open casket at her funeral. She wore an apple green Pucci sheath dress made of nylon jersey and a platinum wig - her head had been partially shaved during the autopsy

6


Marilyn owned many dogs during her life;her last was a Maltese terrier given to her by Frank Sinatra, which she named Maf (short for Mafia Honey). At the Christie's sale in 1999, two Polaroids of Maf sold for £220, 000.

7


Before her marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, Marilyn was married to James Dougherty. She was 16 when they tied the knot. Dougherty, who later became a detective in the LAPD, was forbidden by his second wife from going to see any of Marilyn's films.

8


She was never nominated for an Academy Award, but she was voted the "Oomph Girl" at Emerson Junior High in 1941;crowned Castroville's first Artichoke Queen in 1948;and was Stars and Stripes magazine's Miss Cheesecake of 1950.

9


She was an early devotee of yoga, and was taught by Indra Devi, a Swedish-Russian Bollywood film star who also taught Greta Garbo and Gloria Swanson.

10


Marilyn was only the second woman to head her own production company (Mary Pickford was the first).

11


She preferred to go naked. Among female studio employees - wardrobe mistresses, hairdressers, make-up artists - she often went without clothes. She gave interviews in the nude and often went out wearing nothing under the black mink that Joe DiMaggio had given her.

12


The books she was reading at the time of her death were Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and Captain Newman MD, a novel by Leo Rosten based on the life of Monroe's psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson.

13


She was athletic. As a young married woman on Catalina Island in the early '40s, she studied weightlifting with a former Olympic champion named Howard Corrington. She later went tandem surfing with a boyfriend, Tommy Zahn, balancing on his shoulders as they cut through the waves.

14


She had highbrow crushes. When she was living with Shelley Winters, the actress, in 1951, they drew up a list of the men they found most attractive: on Marilyn's list were Arthur Miller (whom she had already met) and Albert Einstein.

15


She was an excellent cook, and famous for her bouillabaisse. When writers at The New York Times tried to make her recipe for stuffing, they were surprised to discover that it was highly complex - it took them two hours to finish.

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