Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962), born Norma Jeane Mortenson, but baptized Norma Jeane Baker, was an American actress, singer and model.
After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946. Her early roles were minor, but her performances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (both 1950) were well received. She was praised for her comedic ability in such films as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, Some Like It Hot and The Seven Year Itch, and became one of Hollywood's most popular and glamorous performers.
The typecasting of Monroe's "dumb blonde" persona limited her career prospects, so she broadened her range. She studied at the Actors Studio and formed Marilyn Monroe Productions. Her dramatic performance in William Inge's Bus Stop was hailed by critics, and she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Some Like it Hot.
The final years of Monroe's life were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for being unreliable and difficult to work with. The circumstances of her death, from an overdose of barbiturates, have been the subject of conjecture. Though officially classified as a "probable suicide," the possibility of an accidental overdose, as well as the possibility of homicide, have not been ruled out.
In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute.
On August 5, 1962, LAPD police sergeant Jack Clemmons received a call at 4:25 a.m. from Dr. Ralph Greenson, Monroe's psychiatrist, proclaiming that Monroe was found dead at her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California. She was 36 years old. At the subsequent autopsy, eight milligram percent of Chloral Hydrate and 4.5 milligram percent of Nembutal were found in her system, and Dr. Thomas Noguchi of the Los Angeles County Coroners office recorded cause of death as "acute barbiturate poisoning," resulting from a "probable suicide." Many theories, including murder, circulated about the circumstances of her death and the timeline after the body was found. Some conspiracy theories involved John and Robert Kennedy, while other theories suggested CIA or Mafia complicity.
On August 8, 1962, Monroe was interred in a crypt at Corridor of Memories #24, at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles. Lee Strasberg delivered the eulogy. The crypt space immediately to the left of Monroe's was bought and reserved by Hugh Hefner in 1992.
In August 2009, the crypt space directly above that of Monroe was placed for auction on eBay. Elsie Poncher plans to exhume her husband and move him to an adjacent plot. She advertised the crypt, hoping "to make enough money to pay off the $1.6 million mortgage" on her Beverly Hills mansion. The crypt's final sale price was $4.6 million.