by Danielle Walters
Beverly Hills Lifestyle’s Tribute to a Legend
Alluring, audacious, amorous – Marilyn Monroe’s image has graced American film and memory for over half a century. From Andy Warhol’s iconic Marilyn Diptych to her famous scene in Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch, Marilyn Monroe continues to charm audiences.
Iconic as Marilyn Monroe is to 1950’s Hollywood, it’s no wonder her story begins in Los Angeles. Daughter of an estranged father and mentally unstable mother, the young Norma Jeane Mortenson was sent to live with a number of foster parents throughout the Los Angeles area. It was through one of these homes where her foster mother, Grace McKee, told the young girl she would someday be a star. It would be many years before this idea became a reality.
To escape returning to an orphanage shortly after her sixteenth birthday, Norma Jeane married James Dougherty in 1940. The relationship was cut short when Dougherty joined the war effort in 1943. During the war, Norma Jeane took on work as a parachute inspector and paint sprayer in a Los Angeles aircraft factory. This is where she was first photographed in a photo shoot of workers for the war effort. Although she attracted the attention of the photographer immediately, her images did not end up making the final cut for the magazine.