Marilyn Monroe: Hollywood Museum Remembers 50th Anniversary of Her Death

Marilyn Monroe in "The Prince and the Showgirl"

The most iconic blond bombshell of all time (although she was actually a natural redhead, for details sake) Marilyn Monroe would have been 86 years old this year if she hadn’t tragically died of an overdose on August 5th, 1962.  She was a complicated woman, a beautiful and photogenic actress admired and fawned over by millions, and yet, she was always struggling to get things she wanted most in life: to be a mother, and to have respect as an actress.  Hollywood in the 1960s was a complicated place.  Photographer Lawrence Schiller recently surfaced with some rare photographs of Marilyn; he had spoken to her the day before she found dead in her home.  He had a lot of intriguing things to say about the woman behind all the iconic photographs:

I had read that for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which she’d made in 1953, Jane Russell had been paid $200,000 while Marilyn, the blonde referred to in the title of the movie, had earned all of $1,250 per week—about $15,000—for the entire picture.

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell put in their hand prints at Grauman's Chinese Theater

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell put in their hand prints at Grauman’s Chinese Theater; come see them right across the street from our office!

Marilyn Monroe's handprints up close today...

Marilyn Monroe’s handprints up close today…they are so petite!

Funny of course that no on hardly knows who Jane Russell is today (at least, youngsters) and Marilyn is still a household name.  You can come see her handprints right across form our office and compare sizes!  We also visit her home on our Stars Homes Tour and can tell you a lot more.  This summer, to honor the 50th Anniversary of her passing, the Hollywood Museum put together a rare look into the closet of Hollywoods most undisputed star for “Marilyn Monroe: The Exhibit” which is just for this Summer, from June 1st, 2012 – September 2nd, 2012 to give the public a closer look at her life.


Some of the highlights include the actual dresses she wore in Some Like It Hot and Gentleman Prefer Blondes, never-before-seen pictures taken by  George Barris, who’s best known as the last photographer to have a session with the actress shortly before her death;movie scripts, various hand-written personal letters, and Monroe’s 1961 Fleetwood Cadillac limousine…

The Hollywood Museum mentions these highlights:

  • Marilyn Monroe’s million-dollar honeymoon dress, worn on her honeymoon for her marriage to Joe DiMaggio.  This was Marilyn’s favorite gown designed by Ceil Chapman, hand beaded in Marilyn’s signature style. Marilyn wore this gown on numerous occasions including a USO tour to entertain 10,000 troops in Korea in 1954.
  • Marilyn’s famous cream colored, beaded costume worn in the 1957 film The Prince and the Show Girl.
  • Personal wardrobe items including the lime green Pucci blouse Marilyn Monroe wore in the last ever photos of her taken alive, together with Marilyn’s favorite furs and accessories.
  • The evening cape worn by Marilyn to the 1955 world premiere of the James Dean classic East of Eden.
  • Furniture and artwork from Marilyn’s Brentwood home, including the solid wood dresser that was next to Marilyn’s bed in her bedroom the night she died.
  • Never before seen photographs of Marilyn Monroe taken by her close personal friend George Barris.
  • NBC’s critically acclaimed “Smash” will have a special costume display featuring their Marilyn Monroe dresses.
  • The famous “Red Velvet” photographs by photographer Tom Kelly. Shot in 1949, Marilyn was still a struggling actress, delinquent in her monthly car rental payments and on the brink of having her car repossessed. To earn quick money, Marilyn agreed to pose at a typical “day rate” for what would become this legendary photo shoot.
  • Original works of art by famed artist Robert A. Delgadillo and LUDVIC.
  • Max Factor ‘s “Marilyn Monroe” makeup room where he created the famous “Marilyn Monroe blonde” hair including Marilyn’s makeup case and other personal items on display.
  • A prescription pill bottle and the Decodron vial found next to her bed at the time of her death.
  • A vast photograph collection of many never-before-seen photos of Marilyn’s childhood, family and early modeling career, including an array of photographs showing how Monroe lived, worked and played in Los Angeles.
  • Original Magazine and newspaper articles conveying Monroe’s popularity and the kinds of coverage accorded both her career and personal life.
  • Rare family photographs of Marilyn Monroe.
  • Marilyn Monroe’s annotated film scripts, personal letters, invoices, receipts and financial accounting documents, showcasing in great detail the personal and very private life of the greatest film star of all time.
  • An original Ralph Emerson Jr. High School photo showing a young Norma Jeane.
  • Marilyn’s personal Kodak Brownie camera from her childhood.

We know a lot about Marilyn Monroe and other classic Hollywood history at LA City Tours.  In our Stars Home Tour, we go by the houses she lived in and ponder her life.  And The Hollywood Museum is right on Hollywood and Highland, just a few paces away from our office.  So if you want to see the Stars’ Homes and cruise for today’s celebs, or go on a trip to Santa Monica Pier and beaches and fill you in on other things to do, come to Hollywood.  LA has so much to see!  If you’re in Los Angeles on vacation or planning one, come down to our office on Hollywood boulevard for shopping tours, trips to Santa Monica beach, LAX layover, or entire Los Angeles vacation packages.  Today is a great day to go!  Every day is a great day in southern california, so give us a call or visit LA City Tours if you’re coming anytime soon!


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