Marilyn Monroe—life, death, movies and did she marry or have children?

Marilyn Monroe has had a legendary career and is one of the most iconic figures in history, here's what you need to know about the icon

Marilyn Monroe
(Image credit: Baron / Stringer / Getty Images)

Marilyn Monroe is one of the most famous women in the world and although she has been dead for sixty years, the star has remained an icon well into the 21st century.

A newly released 2022 documentary from Netflix called, 'The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes' has renewed fans' interest in the star who was famous in the 1950's but tragically died at just 36.

Although her life was cut short, the star achieved a great deal and is still one of the most beloved figures of the 21st century. But what don't we know about her life?

 Here are the answers to some of the questions you may have about Marilyn Monroe's life, death and relationships.

A black and white picture of Marilyn Munroe

(Image credit: Rex Features (Shutterstock))

When did Marilyn Monroe die? 

Marilyn Monroe died on August 4, 1962. It was reported by the LAPD that she was found dead at her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, from a drug overdose.

A toxicology report suggested that she died from acute barbiturate poisoning. It was suggested by some that this could have been an accident, but suicide was the most common theory when empty medicine bottles were found by her bed and the dosage in her body was several times over the lethal limit.

Why was Marilyn Monroe famous? 

Marilyn Monroe was a famous actress who started her career as a model and starred in a number of famous films such as Some Like it Hot, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Misfits, and The Seven Year Itch.

The actress was a fashion icon, and a singer and famously sang 'Happy Birthday Mr. president' to John F Kennedy on his 45th birthday. For this performance, she wore a beige skin-tight dress covered in rhinestones, which has since been worn by Kim Kardashian and was one of the most divisive Met Gala 2022 moments.

Marilyn Monroe

(Image credit: Bettmann / Contributor / Getty )

Was Marilyn Monroe her real name? 

Marilyn Monroe was not always called Marilyn Monroe. The star's real name was Norma Jeane Mortenson. As a model, Marilyn would occasionally use the name Jean Norman, which was a play on her name Norma Jeane. 

Marilyn Monroe was a stage name that the actress selected because her mother's maiden name was Monroe. Marilyn was a name selected by a 20th-century fox executive who was reminded of the late Broadway star Marilyn Miller who was famous in the 1920s and 1930s. 

Was Marilyn Monroe married and who was her husband? 

Marilyn Monroe was married three times during her life. From 1942 to 1946 the star was married to James Dougherty. Marilyn was 16 when she married 21-year-old James, an American police officer who saved Marilyn from going back to an orphanage when her foster parents moved state. James and Marilyn were married for just four years and their marriage ended when Marilyn signed a modeling contract and began pursuing a career.

Marilyn was also married to Joe DiMaggio, a retired baseball star, from 1954 to 1955. The couple was married for just nine months before filing for divorce. Reportedly Joe was physically abusive and was jealous of Marilyn's success, particularly after her fame skyrocketed after her appearance in The Seven Year Itch, with her infamous subway grate scene.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio

(Image credit: Underwood Archives / Contributor / Getty Images)

Marilyn's final marriage was to playwright Arthur Miller. The couple was married from 1956 until they divorced in 1961, a year before her death in 1962. 

The couple ended their relationship for a number of reasons. Reportedly the key reasons included Marilyn's extra-marital affair, their persistent struggles to have a baby, and Marilyn's increasing reliance on pharmaceutical drugs.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller

(Image credit: New York Daily News Archive / Contributor / Getty Images)

Did Marilyn Monroe have children? 

Although Marilyn and Arthur Miller reportedly tried to fall pregnant, Marilyn did not ever have any children. The star reportedly had an ectopic pregnancy and a miscarriage during her marriage and suffered from endometriosis, which could have hindered her attempts at having children. 

What was Marilyn Monroe's net worth?

Marilyn Monroe

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Marilyn Monroe's net worth was estimated at around $7 million in today's currency. The List reported, "At the time of her death, her net worth was around $800,000, which would be around $7 million as of this writing if adjusted for inflation." This is taking into consideration Marilyn's property and lifetime earnings.

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.