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There was more to Marilyn Monroe than just sex appeal and conspiracy. She had a life in which she did many great, new and record-breaking things. Some of these occurred after her passing, but that is what makes her legacy so strong. Even today she is loved around the world and is a part of so many people’s lives.

Here are just some facts and achievements of the things that make Marilyn the icon she is today:

  • She starred in 30 movies, the last of which wasn’t completed (Something’s Got To Give). 
  • Marilyn won 3 Golden Globes (1954 World Film Favorites, Actress In A Leading Role – Musical Or Comedy 1960, World Film Favorites 1962).
  • In 1954, Marilyn performed to 100,000 troops in Korea over the span of 4 days whilst on her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio.
  • At least 40 celebrities have impersonated or channelled Marilyn in photoshoots, music videos, advertising campaigns and movies, including Madonna, Lindsay Lohan and Lisa Marie Presley.
  • 10 of Marilyn’s films were the top-grossing movies in the USA in their release year.
  • From 1954 to 1956 Marilyn was one of ten top money-making stars in the USA.
  • Infamous acting coach Lee Strasberg deemed Marilyn to be one of the greatest actors of all time.
  • She set up her own production company in order to take control over the roles she was playing after being sick of the “dumb blonde” stereotype she had been typecasted as.
  • Some Like It Hot was listed as the greatest American comedy film of all time by the American Film Institute in 2000.
  • By 1962, her movies had grossed $200 million. Adjusted for inflation that is the equivalent of approximately $1.8 billion.
  • Marilyn was one of the first women in Hollywood to start wearing jeans. 
  • She was on the cover of the first-ever Playboy magazine and her photos by Tom Kelley were the centrefold. Marilyn never posed for Playboy or give permission for these photos to be used. She had been paid $50 for her nude pin-up images in 1949 when they were taken.
  • The calendar in which the Tom Kelley images first appeared was re-released due to the discovery that the photos were of Marilyn Monroe. In 1955 they sold approximately 4 million copies. 
  • Marilyn is immortalised at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre with her hand and footprints marked in cement. 
  • She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
  • Creator of Playboy Hugh Hefner is buried next to Marilyn as per his wishes. 
  • Hundreds of books have been written about Marilyn. Too many to count I’m sure…
  • She has been the subject of films, plays and operas as well as works of art.
  • Absolute World: Building #4 and Building #5 are nicknamed “Marilyn Monroe” for their shapely figures.
  • She has been written about by scholars and journalists who are interested in gender and feminism; these writers include Gloria Steinem, Jacqueline Rose, Molly Haskell, Sarah Churchwell, and Lois Banner.
  • Marilyn worked with many charities in her life, many of them with a focus on children.
  • The song “File My Claim” from River of No Return (1954) sold over 75,000 copies in its first three weeks of release.
  • She appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine seven times.
  • There have been several poems and songs written about Marilyn including Candle In The Wind by Elton John and a poem by Norman Rosten, a friend of Marilyn’s. 
  • According to Emmeline Snively from the Blue Book Modelling Agency, Marilyn was one of the hardest working models she’d met. 
  • Marilyn Monroe’s Golden Globe Award sold for a record-breaking $200,000 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills.
  • Art historian Gail Levin stated that Monroe may have been “the most photographed person of the 20th century.”
  • Both Variety and VH1 have placed her in the top ten in their rankings of the greatest popular culture icons of the twentieth century.
  • In June 1999 Marilyn came sixth in the American Film Institute’s list of the top twenty-five female stars of all time.
  • Marilyn’s image/likeness has appeared in over 60 advertising campaigns including Dior and Mercedes Benz.