When we see successful people eating life with a big spoon and living in opulence, we can’t help but grow a tad jealous of them.
But what we fail to consider is how they got there.
True, there are those who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. But then there is this other batch who worked their asses off, slaved day and night just to get to where they are now.
The road to success isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Even one of the biggest Hollywood stars to have ever lived, Marilyn Monroe knew that all too well.
Marilyn Monroe was born in June, 1926 to Gladys Pearl Baker. Her father’s real identity is still unknown to this date. Here’s a fun fact though: She was given the name Norma Jean Mortenson.
However, she changed it to Marilyn (which was suggested to her by Bob Lyon, then a 20th Century Fox big wig) and Monroe which was her mother’s maiden name.
Somewhere in 1944, Monroe got her first stint as a model when her paths crossed with Daniel Conover. She worked with Daniel who had been hired to work on a project for First Picture Motion Unit of the U.S Army Air Forces.
Marilyn would go on to quit her old job at the Radioplane Munitions Factory, and in August 1945, she landed herself a contract with Blue Book Model Agency.
Another Fun Fact: It was around this time that Monroe decided to go blonde by straightening and dyeing her hair!
She worked as a pin-up model. Through what the agency’s owner termed as sheer hard work and dedication, Marilyn had managed to feature in about thirty-three magazine covers among them, US Camera and Pageant.
In 1946, things had started to look up for Monroe and it was then she signed up with an acting agency. She was lucky to get hired by 20th Century Fox on a six-month contract.
She almost narrowly missed out on it, but Darryl Zanuck was later persuaded to consider her.
Even though she was now in contract, she never landed any major film roles and she had to sweat it out at the studios utilizing this time to build on her acting, dancing and singing.
Later on, doors started opening wide for Marilyn Monroe. She got starred in films for minor roles. One shot caller at the Fox studios suggested that, Ed Clark, a photographer with LIFE Magazine take photos of Marilyn to expand her portfolio.
This would, as he believed, greatly increase her popularity since Monroe was still regarded as fresh meat and not a household name yet.
Ed is regarded as one of the photographers that curved out a persona for the starlet as a sex symbol. Although this might be true, things did not quite kick off to a smooth start.
After their first photo shoot, Ed made a point of sending the camera rolls to LIFE Magazine. The response however, was not what he had anticipated.
Instead of lighting her path to fame, LIFE Magazine continuously turned down Monroe’s photos.
Ed stated that he sent the rolls and the response he received was rather harsh and I quote, “Who the hell is Marilyn Monroe.”
But as luck would have it, Marilyn would go on to become one of the world’s most celebrated stars. Eventually, Monroe made it to the magazine’s cover about 6 times!
The Magazine would later pay tribute to her by using some of her photographs including those Clark had originally sent before her untimely demise.
Here is the reel that ED Clark took and was turned down by LIFE’
The tribute honored her in part by saying how her death ebbed the loveliness of the world in which we live.
Marilyn Monroe’s life might have been considered beautiful at face value, but her personal life was nothing close to it.
She went through a traumatizing childhood, struggled with her marriages, was unable to have children and to top it all, struggled with drugs and alcohol.
Even though she is no longer with us, her photographs will always be a constant reminder of the beautiful star that once roamed this earth. Godspeed Marilyn!
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