This Sunday marks the 45th anniversary of the death of the screen legend Marilyn Monroe. To mark the date, a special event will take place in Los Angeles in Monroe’s honor called Marilyn Monroe retrospective from August 3- August 16 at the Cinema du Parc. The celebration includes screenings of 11 of Monroe’s films digitally remastered as well as a display of photoos by George Zimbel and lectures on the life, times, and impact of the star. Among the films being shown are 1952’s “Don’t Bother to Knock” with Monroe in her first leading role, 1961’s “The Misfits,” her final film, and “Something’s Gotta Give,” an unfinished film that Monroe was shooting when she died.

In her lifetime, Monroe made 30 films. Before she became a superstar and Hollywood legend, she was simply known as Norma Jeane Mortenson who was born in Los Angeles in 1926 to Gladys baker. She never knew her father’s identity and was baptized Norma Jeane Baker. Her mother was a film cutter at RKO studios, but her mental health was unstable which led to her being committed to a mental institution. She lived in foster care until 1937 when she moved in with a family friend. When the couple moved to the East Coast in 1942, 16-year-old Norma Jeane decided to marry her 21-year-old neighbor Jimmy Dougherty to avoid being sent back to the orphanage.

In 1944, Dougherty joined the Merchant Marines to fight in the South Pacific during the war. While working at a factory in Burbank, Norma Jean was discovered by a photographer and within two years, she was making a living as a model and was soon pursuing film. She and her husband divorced in 1946, and that same year, she signed her first studio contract with Twentieth Century Fox. She then dyed her hair blonde and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, after her grandmother’s last name.

Her first role was in 1947’s “the Shocking Miss Pilgrim.” In 1950, she made “The Asphault Jungle” and “All About Eve.” She worked steady but did not gain her fame until she made 1953’s “Niagara.” Photoplay magazine voted Monroe Best New Actress that year. In 1954, she married baseball player Joe DiMaggio but divorced 9 months later. In 1956, she started her own motion picture company, Marilyn Monroe Productions which produced “Bus Stop” and “The Prince and the Showgirl.” She also married playwright Arthur Miller that year.In 1959, she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy for “Some Like It Hot.” In 1961, she starred in her husband’s screenplay “The Misfits,” which would become her final completed role. That year, her marriage ended. Then on August 5, 1962, Monroe died in her sleep at her home in Brentwood, California. She was 36-years-old. She was buried in the Corridor of Memories #24 at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles on August 8.

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