A Look Inside Marilyn Monroe’s Devastating Relationship With Her Father

Marilyn Monroe spent her entire life trying to fill the void derived from her absent father. The Hollywood legend never even got the chance to meet him, yet throughout childhood, she held onto the hope that he would rescue her from the string of abusive homes she was forced to grow up in.

Yet sadly, when Monroe tried to contact her biological father, he essentially told her that he wanted nothing to do with her. 

Marilyn Monroe On 'The Misfits' Set
Marilyn Monroe | Ernst Haas/Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe grew up living in multiple foster homes

Before finding her claim to fame on the silver screen, Monroe was shuffled off from one foster home to the next. Her mother, Gladys Baker, wasn’t capable of raising Monroe due to untreated mental health issues. And when it came to her father, he abandoned Gladys once he found out she was pregnant. 

Because of this, Monroe never felt as though she had a family to call her own. In her adult life, she would attempt to fill that void with a string of lovers.

Marilyn Monroe contacted her father, and he told her to never speak to him again

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe | Bettmann/Contributor

While just a starlet at the time, Monroe had finally mustered the courage to contact her biological father. Throughout her entire childhood, she wanted nothing more than a relationship with him. Yet when she finally reached out to him (via a phone call), his response to Monroe was heart wrenching.

When she finally called him, she said, “This is Marilyn Monroe. I am your daughter.”

And in response, he said, “Look, I’m married, and I have a family. I don’t have anything to say to you. Call my lawyer.”

In Charles Casillo’s biography titled Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon, he says this exchange left Monroe “crushed.” 

“Norma Jeane would spend a lifetime looking for this man in others, wanting to know him, loving him, passionately wanting him to love her back,” the biography reports.

Who were Marilyn Monroe’s lovers?

Monroe had several lovers throughout her lifetime. Because she never had a family to call her own, she would give her everything to these men.

So who did she marry?

Before finding fame and fortune, Monroe married a 21-year old police officer when she was just 16. She did this in an attempt to escape her abusive foster homes. 

Next, Monroe went on to marry Joe DiMaggio. DiMaggio was a famous baseball player for The New York Yankees. Although he and Monroe were in love, their marriage became turbulent due to DiMaggio’s jealousy over his wife. He resented the fact that she was more famous than he was. Not long after tying the knot, the two divorced.


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And finally, Monroe married her longtime friend, Arthur Miller. Miller was a playwright, best known for A Death of a Salesman and After The Fall. (The latter is said to be written about Monroe.) Yet, their marriage came to an end after Monroe found his diary entry, which claimed he was “embarrassed” by her. Monroe also felt used in their relationship, assuming Miller was only using her to increase his fame.