Odd Things You Never Knew About Marilyn Monroe

Don't Bother to Knock Marilyn Monroe, 1952
Everett Collection

Marilyn Monroe, whose real name was Norma Jeane Baker, is one of those stars shrouded in mystery that people love to discuss years after her death. She tragically died on August 5, 1962, at the age of 36. During her short life, she became one of the most famous people in the world.

To celebrate what would have been her 98th birthday this year, on June 1, let’s learn some fascinating facts about her life, along with some beautiful photos of the star.

She had to be sewn into her famous “Happy Birthday, JFK” gown

Actress Marilyn Monroe sings "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, for his upcoming 45th birthday.

Getty Images

If you’re a fan, you definitely have seen her sultry performance of “Happy Birthday” to JFK more than a few times. Her dress has also become synonymous with the performance, and reportedly she had to be sewn into the beaded gown. Many people gasped because, at first, they thought she was nude.

She once thought Clark Gable was her father

The Misfits Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, 1961

Everett Collection

Monroe had a tumultuous childhood as the daughter of a mentally ill woman who was in and out of hospitals, while Monroe bounced around with different families. She once believed her father was Clark Gable after she saw a photo her mother had that looked like him. Eventually, she discovered that her father was Charles Stanley Gifford, but he didn’t want anything to do with her. He died just three years after she did.

She had an alter ego

Niagara Marilyn Monroe, 1953

20th Century-Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection

To avoid being recognized in public by fans and the paparazzi, she became “Zelda Zonk.” She wore a dark wig and sunglasses and adopted the alter ego to stay private while in public.

Frank Sinatra gave her a special gift

Something's Got to Give Marilyn Monroe, 1962

(Pictured with another dog) 20th Century Fox Film Corp./Everett Collection

Frank Sinatra was one of Monroe’s alleged lovers, but at the very least, they were friends and he once gifted her a Maltese terrier puppy. She named it Mafia, or Maf for short, referencing Sinatra’s alleged mob connections. In 1999, two Polaroid photos of Maf were auctioned off for over $220,000!

Now comment and let us know what else you know about Marilyn Monroe!

Hollywood Glamour
Want More?

Hollywood Glamour

May 2020

Celebrate the most glamorous leading ladies from the Golden Age of Hollywood

Buy This Issue
More Of This: