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Marilyn Monroe: 90 Years of an American Icon

10 things you might not know about Marilyn Monroe, in pictures

Top image: AP Photo

On June 1, Marilyn Monroe would have turned 90 years old. It's hard to fathom she died over a half a century ago. The blonde bombshell remains — and will forever remain — a global icon. Volumes have been written about the Californian born Norma Jeane Mortenson, and her image continues to help sell Snickers. She is one of the most widely known humans to have ever graced this earth. That being said, there are still some biographic details about the star that might surprise you. 

Tune in to Decades on Wednesday, June 1, as we celebrate her birthday with programming including documentaries, the film Marilyn and Bobby: Her Final Affair and a Dick Cavett interview with Monroe biographer Norman Mailer. Here are 10 fascinating facts about Monroe. 

Image: AP Photo

When first embarking on her entertainment career, Monroe roomed with Shelley Winters. One day, the roomies decided to list their "sexiest guys in the world." Winters went with Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, etc. Monroe listen Einstein and Lewis.

Image: AP Photo

Monroe shared her dieting tips in an interview with Pageant magazine in 1952.

Image: AP Photo

Concerned with blemishes, Monroe had a rigorous cleansing routine. To moisturize, she used Nivea creams and Vaseline.

Image: AP Photo

Castroville is an artichoke growing hub in the Monterey Bay area of California. In 1947, they named the starlet honorary Artichoke Queen. She posed wearing a sash and holding the vegetable for a photo used to promote the produce.

Image: AP Photo

Her first Tippy, given to her by her foster father around the age of 5, met a tragic end. Her final, unfinished movie, 1962's Something's Got to Give, featured a dog with the same name.

Image: AP Photo

She was one of the first celebrities to promote yoga. Check her out posing in a variety of asanas, in pictures taken in 1948.

Image: AP Photo

“I used to read everything I could find about him,” she proclaimed in her autobiography, My Story. “He was the only famous American who seemed most like me, at least in his childhood.”

Image: AP Photo

In 2010, Reform Judaism magazine released letters that showed her commitment to converting to the faith.

Image: AP Photo

Cut her some slack. The studio had just given Norma Jean her new handle.

Image: AP Photo

Monroe kept an impressive library of classics. She loved to read Ulysses aloud for the language. In 1951, she took evening classes in Art Appreciation and Literature at UCLA.


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