Who: Born Norma Jeane Mortenson
What: American actress, model and singer
Where: Born in Los Angeles, California, USA.
Why: One of the most famous sex symbols of all time.
When: Born June 1st, 1926, died August 5th, 1962.
“I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it” – Marilyn Monroe
One of the most recognizable women in history, the originally brunette Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson in LA. After growing up in a series of foster homes, she worked in a munitions factory during the Second World War, becoming one of the thousands of ‘Rosie the Riveters’. When a photographer visited the factory to take photos of the workers for an army magazine (on the orders of a young Ronald Reagan), her photo was taken, and she was encouraged to try out for modelling agencies. She then changed her name to Marilyn Monroe and signed a movie contract with Twentieth Century Fox, dying her hair platinum blonde, and eventually broke through as one of the leading starlets of 1950s and 1960s Hollywood. She married thrice, to James Dougherty, baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller and is alleged to have had affairs with both John and Robert Kennedy. She died in 1962 from an overdose of barbiturates, classed as ‘probable suicide’, though possibly accidental or even murder.