Many remember the beautiful Marilyn Monroe for her breathtaking looks, blonde hair, and a wide gorgeous smile that never seemed to fade away. However, behind the wide grin was a tormented woman.
Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson in 1926, and a fortnight later, her mother Gladys Baker gave her up to a California foster home ran by Ida and Wayne Bolender.
Baker already had two older children taken from her by an ex-husband, but she was determined to keep Monroe around so she would visit her often in the foster home.
Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait laying on the grass in 1954 in Palm Springs, California. | Source: Getty Images
MONROE'S TROUBLED CHILDHOOD
They were reunited when Monroe was seven, but at the time, Baker had been showing signs of mental instability. In 1934, after learning that her older daughter had passed on from kidney disease, Baker caved and was soon institutionalized.
She was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and in the years that followed, Monroe would see her mother intermittently. At the time, she was still living in an orphanage.
Together with a childhood friend, James Dougherty, they planned to get married — not necessarily for love, but mostly as a means to help Monroe escape. The two married when Monroe was only 16. However, the chaos was just beginning for Monroe.
Marilyn Monroe | Source: Getty Images
She described herself as lonely and insecure from the onset of the marriage. Her fears that her husband would return to his ex-girlfriend left her with deep-rooted feelings of inadequacy and vulnerability towards men.
The union failed after a few years, but the ever-determined Monroe overcame her rough childhood to become one of Hollywood's most celebrated actresses.
MONROE'S CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD
Her career in Hollywood began at Fox, and for the first six months, she trained in dancing, acting, and singing. In 1947, she played her first significant role in "Dangerous Years" and the 1948 "Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!"
In 1953, she was cast in the first of many roles that would place her in Hollywood as the US most sought after sex-symbol. She played the femme fatale in "Niagara."
In 1955, she began taking acting classes with the renowned acting teacher Lee Strasberg. During one of the classes, when she was asked to enact a scene, she broke down crying due to what Strasberg would come to discover later were memories of sexual abuse during her childhood.
INVOLVEMENT WITH THE MIGHTY AND POWERFUL
After a series of failed marriages, Monroe was distraught and was looking for a rich, influential man to take care of her. That is how she became acquainted with the likes of the former US president, J. F. Kennedy, and his brother, Bobby Kennedy.
Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait in circa 1952. | Source: Getty Images
Monroe and J. F. Kennedy met in 1962, having been introduced to each other by actor Peter Lawford. Soon after, an alleged affair ensued. Despite this bringing her face to face with the mighty and powerful, it also became her biggest undoing.
Not long after that, Kennedy is said to have gotten tired of the beauty and passed her on to his attorney general brother, Bobby. Monroe's involvement with America's most powerful and dangerous men would soon put her in a tight spot.
Between her relationship with J. F. Kennedy, Bobby, Frank Sinatra, and the Chicago mob boss San Juan, plus the supposedly communist activities of her ex-husband Arthur Miller, Monroe was holding many secrets against many influential people.
A portrait of actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) surrounded by reporters and fans outside Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California | Source: Getty Images
It was these secrets she held against them and which she threatened to expose that became the genesis of her downfall. She started believing that she was being monitored by members of the mafia, as well as the FBI.
She'd also started writing her most profound secrets in her diary. Everyone - the Kennedy's, the mafia, and the FBI, wanted a hold of it, as it contained incriminating evidence on the whole lot.
FINDING COMFORT IN THE DOCTOR'S ARMS
And so, with her woes, she found comfort in Dr. Ralph Greenson's arms, seeing as she could disclose to him secrets she could not tell anyone else.
American actress, singer, model and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. | Source: Getty Images
The relationship between a psychiatrist and a patient requires professionalism, and the "Hippocratic Oath" often binds doctors. Still, for Greenson, it became difficult to remain professional whenever Monroe walked into his office.
The doctor had fallen madly in love with Monroe, as many more had before him. Monroe, on the other hand, was looking for a rich man to take care of her, and thus the game began.
Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait in circa 1953. | Source: Getty Images
In a recent episode of the "The Killing of Marilyn Monroe" podcast, journalist Charles Casillo says that Monroe became dependent on the doctor. He adds:
"That was crossing all kinds of bad lines for doctor-patient because there was no separation between her therapy and her friendship.”
Greenson was making all kinds of decisions for Monroe, from dictating to her who she could see and who she couldn't to who she could and could not be friends with.
Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) arriving at the premiere of the film 'There's No Business like Show Business'. | Source: Getty Images
When treating her, Greenson diagnosed Monroe with a "borderline paranoid addictive personality." Against any doctor's practice, he took the unorthodox way and started inviting Monroe to his home, sometimes for dinner and social gatherings.
He also encouraged her to cut ties with old friends and instead insisted that his children befriend her. He even persuaded Monroe to purchase a hacienda that he had her decorate to resemble his home.
He admitted to giving her prescriptions to help her overcome the constant feelings of emptiness that constantly infuriated and depressed her.
Actress Marilyn Monroe in a scene from 'Bus Stop' in 1956. | Source: Getty Images
But it did not seem to work as Monroe, in the years that would follow, still suffered from severe bouts of depression. After her divorce from Miller, she got so depressed that her friends committed her to a mental health facility against her will.
MONROE' PASSES ON
In 1962, in what was later ruled as a suicide, Monroe was found dead in her apartment by Dr. Greenson. Despite the ruling, some people still believed that Dr. Greenson, being as obsessive as he was with Monroe, may have played a role in her death.
Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait in circa 1953. | Source: Getty Images
Some say he killed her by administering a fatal dose of the sedative pentobarbital. It has, however, never been proven that he did it.
Just recently, Private detective Becky Aldrige discovered a box containing Monroe's document and is convinced that that could just be the proof that Monroe was indeed murdered.
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