Norma Jeane Mortenson, better known as Marilyn Monroe was a Golden Globe Award-winning American Hollywood legend, movie star, actress, singer, model and pop icon. She became known for her comedic skills and screen presence, going on to become one of the most popular movie stars of the 1950s. Later in her career, she worked towards serious roles with a measure of success. However, long-standing problems were exacerbated by disappointments in both her career and personal life during her later years. Her death has been subject to speculation and conspiracy theories.
Marilyn Monroe personified Hollywood glamour with an unparalleled glow and energy that enamored the world. Although she was an alluring beauty with voluptuous curves and a generous pout, Marilyn was more than a '50s sex goddess. Her apparent vulnerability and innocence, in combination with an innate sensuality, has endeared her to the global consciousness. She dominated the age of movie stars to become, without question, the most famous woman of the 20th Century.
Monroe was a shimmering on-screen presence - luminous, sensual and larger-than-life. Certain cinematic images, such as her skirt billowing above the subway in Seven Year Itch, or her dressed in a vivid pink gown singing "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend", have become iconic. She was a gifted comic actress, with an instinctive feel for timing. And she projected a smouldering sexuality that was revolutionary in the repressive 1950s.
What she is less remembered for is her singing career, but, as this collection shows, she carried it off with aplomb. Monroe was the ultimate showgirl. Witness her playing her ukelele and giving a raucous rendition of "Running Wild" in Some Like It Hot, or wiggling her way through "A Little Girl From Little Rock" with Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
But as with her acting, Monroe was underrated as a vocalist, perceived by many to be the archetypal `dumb blonde’. Her singing voice wasn’t perfect, but it was expressive, seductive and theatrical. Why else has "I Wanna Be Loved By You" become such a classic, regularly used in advertising and TV? Monroe's voice suggests mood and glamour, something that she worked hard to create
Monroe proved she could carry a big-budget film when she received star billing for Niagara in 1953. Movie critics focused on Monroe's connection with the camera as much as on the sinister plot. She played the part of an unbalanced woman of easy virtue who is planning to murder her husband.