Happy Birthday, Marilyn Monroe!

Marilyn_Monroe_Niagara

Marilyn Monroe is perhaps the most famous actress from America. She was born on June 1, 1926, which would make her 87 years old  – were she alive, that is.

Unfortunately, she died. In the year 1962, she was found dead in her home in California. The cause was probably a drug overdose, but there’s still a mystery about it.

Read the information below from Wikipedia, watch a video for a song written by Elton John about Marilyn, read the song’s lyrics, then take the quiz to test your comprehension.

Marilyn Monroe (real name: Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress, model, and singer, who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of successful movies during the 1950s and early 1960s.

After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946 with Twentieth Century-Fox. Her early film appearances were small, but her performances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (both 1950), drew attention.

By 1952 she had her first leading role in Don’t Bother to Knock and 1953 brought a lead in Niagara, a melodramatic mystery that showed her seductiveness. Her “dumb blonde” persona was used in later comedies such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955).

The final years of Monroe’s life were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for unreliability and being difficult to work with. The circumstances of her death, from an overdose of barbiturates, have been the subject of debate. Though officially classified as a “probable suicide,” the possibility of an accidental overdose, as well as of murder, have not been ruled out.

In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth-greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. In the decades following her death, she has often been called a cultural icon as well as the quintessential American sex symbol. In 2009, TV Guide Network named her No. 1 in Film’s Sexiest Women of All Time.

Candle in the Wind

by Elton John & Bernie Taupin

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name

chorus

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude

[repeat chorus]

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
Goodbye Norma Jean
From the young man in the 22nd row
Who sees you as something more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe

[repeat chorus]

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