Some Like It Hot
She was the ultimate sex symbol, a savvy actress who got her start playing a "dumb blonde" to comic effect. Yet Marilyn Monroe became much more than that. Here are 35 photos of the endlessly fascinating star of Hollywood's Golden Age.
"I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love." —Marilyn Monroe
Hello Norma Jeane
A 1947 portrait, taken around the time she appeared as a waitress in her first feature film, "Dangerous Years."
Marilyn and Groucho
Monroe had a thing for geniuses. Here she is with one of them—Groucho Marx—on the set of 1949's "Love Happy."
"Fame will go by ... I've always known it was fickle. So at least it's something I experienced, but that's not where I live." —Marilyn Monroe
A Budding Star Pays a Visit
With Virginia McAllister, the winner of Photoplay magazine's "Dream House" contest, and her son. The first prize: a new home.
An Early Pinup
She was a model in her late teens, before 20th Century Fox gave her a screen test.
On Being Seen as a Bombshell
"Frankly, I've never considered my own figure so exceptional. Until quite recently, I seldom gave it any thought at all." —Marilyn Monroe
A Backlot Portrait
Posing next to a 1950 Pontiac Chieftain at 20th Century Fox.
A Girl's Best Friend
Monroe and co-star Jane Russell put their hands in wet cement outside Grauman's Chinese Theater to promote the June 1953 release of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes."
On What Makes Someone Sexy
"I think that sexuality is only attractive when it's natural and spontaneous." —Marilyn Monroe
Her Youngest Fan
With an admirer at the November 1954 premiere of "How to Marry a Millionaire."
An Encounter With Bogie
With Humphrey Bogart and his wife Lauren Bacall, Monroe's "How to Marry a Millionaire" co-star.
On Being a Symbol
"A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing. But if I'm going to be a symbol of something, I'd rather have it be sex than some other things they've got symbols of." —Marilyn Monroe
Moving to the Next Level
A 1954 portrait, taken the year Monroe married Joe DiMaggio and was named Most Popular Female Star by Photoplay magazine.
A Woman in Uniform
Posing with soldiers while in Korea to entertain U.S. troops in 1954.
"Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and 50 cents for your soul." —Marilyn Monroe
In the subway below Grand Central Station in March 1955. Later that year, Monroe would cause a sensation when she was photographed standing over a subway grate as the wind blew up her skirt.
Nothing Fazes New Yorkers
A Hollywood star rides the subway.
"I dress for men. A woman looks at your clothes critically. A man appreciates them." —Marilyn Monroe
A Costume Fitting
Marilyn gets fitted for her costume before riding a pink elephant in New York's Madison Square Garden for a 1955 circus charity event.
Dancing with Truman Capote
At the El Morocco with the author of "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Audrey Hepburn would play the novel's heroine, Holly Golightly, in the 1961 movie version—despite loud protests from Capote, who wanted Monroe to play the role.
"I don't mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it." —Marilyn Monroe
A New York State of Mind
Leaning over the balcony of the Ambassador Hotel.
Happy Birthday, Miss Monroe
Blowing out the candle on June 1, 1956—her 30th birthday.
On Life's Burdens
"I don't mind being burdened with being glamorous and sexual. But what goes with it can be a burden." —Marilyn Monroe
Stairway to Heaven
Hosting a press party held at her Los Angeles home in 1956.
With Arthur Miller
Monroe and the author of "Death of a Salesman"—her new husband—at New York's Idlewild Airport on their way home from Jamaica.
On Her Fans
"If I am a star, the people made me a star." —Marilyn Monroe
Dancing alone in 1957's "The Prince and the Showgirl," which co-starred Laurence Olivier.
'Let's Make Love'
At a 1960 press conference with French singer/actor Yves Montand, her co-star in "Let's Make Love."
The Last Movie
In the Nevada desert with Eli Wallach. He co-starred with her in "The Misfits," based on a screenplay by her husband Arthur Miller.
"Fear is stupid. So are regrets." —Marilyn Monroe
With John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby at a party following a Democratic party fundraiser where Monroe famously sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President."
One More Kiss
A portrait by the legendary photojournalist and street photographer known as Weegee.
On Being Marilyn
"I never wanted to be Marilyn—it just happened. Marilyn's like a veil I wear over Norma Jeane." —Marilyn Monroe
The making of a guitar hero
Legendary musicians whose distinctive and influential sounds made them true guitar heroes
Every picture tells a story
20 enlightening quotes from the surprisingly spiritual powerhouse who staged one of the greatest comebacks in rock 'n' roll history
Epic recordings from 'Whipping Post' to 'The End'
Even for those of us who were there, it's hard to believe what things cost in the '60s