Exactly 50 years ago the world lost a beloved actress, a sex symbol, an icon, a legend. Marilyn Monroe passed away on august 5th 1962. She was 36 years old.
At the time a lot of people did not realize the impact she had had on the world. But there was one man who did realize what she had become: her acting teacher Lee Strassberg. In the eulogy he delivered at her funeral he said: Marilyn Monroe is a legend. He probably had no idea how right he was.
Hollywood lost a lot of its most beloved members too young. Some are still remembered, other stars have faded away. But none of them is as alive today as Marilyn Monroe. Her face is one of the most recognizable in the world as it is used for countless pieces of merchandise. Her legions of fans are so enamored with her, that some have even called it ‘the church of Marilyn’. She still reigns in polls about the most beautiful or sexy women. And even people who have no interest in Hollywood whatsoever, know who Marilyn Monroe is.
She has become a symbol, not just of sex, but of many things. A symbol of Hollywood, a symbol of fame, a symbol of sex-appeal, a symbol of the little girl lost, a symbol of the fact that no matter how much fame and fortune you may have…..it can never buy you happiness. Because if there is one thing that we know about Marilyn the person, rather than the symbol, it is that she had a lot of burdens to bear. Marilyn might have become immortal, but above all things she was human. And as we all have our own burdens to bear, we can all relate.
But, as friends of her have said, Marilyn did not see herself as a victim. She was ambitious, hungry for knowledge and full of life. And though she was known for her beauty and sex-appeal, no one ever accused her of arrogance or a big ego. If anything, she was known as a kind person, who never judged. It is these traits that makes her loyal fans not just admire, but love her.
Some say that Marilyn’s fame has lasted all these years because of the questions surrounding her tragic and mysterious death. But that theory is flawed. Hollywood is filled with tragic and mysterious deaths, but unfortunately there aren’t many people who will recognize these names today.
Marilyn was many things, but above all she was unique. Many have tried to emulate her mixture of childlike innocence and sex-appeal, her mixture of undeniable beauty and talent for acting and her mixture of relateability and mystery. But nobody has even come close.
So why ís Marilyn still so famous and so loved? What is it that makes her so unique? There are many theories. But maybe the fact that we’ll never really now, is what makes her so special.