How Did Marilyn Monroe Die?

One of the all-time great movie stars, Marilyn Monroe, appeared in some of the biggest films of the late 1950s and 1960s. These include Some Like It Hot, Bus Stop, All About Eve, The Seven Year Itch, and How to Marry a Millionaire.

Monroe cultivated an image of a glamorous siren, but in her private life, the actress was a tortured soul who suffered several miscarriages, failed marriages, and troubled relationships with people in her inner circle. Her life has been the subject of intense speculation.

Even now, fifty years after her death, people are still fascinated with Monroe and the many mysteries that surround her life — and her tragic death.

Marilyn Monroe had many tragedies in her life

Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe | George Silk/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

The sad story of Monroe started when she was born as Norma Jeane Baker. Her mother was mentally unstable, and young Norma Jeane spent her childhood years being passed around from foster home to foster home.

Ultimately, her mother was placed in an institution at the age of 32. Though Monroe kept in contact with her for the remainder of her life, visiting her in the institution often, it is said that her mother often didn’t even recognize her daughter. Monroe never really knew her father. 

Monroe broke into the movie business as a model, and got a “Hollywood” makeover, changing her name from Norma Jeane to Monroe. She had her hair dyed platinum blonde, changed up her makeup look, and reportedly even got plastic surgery in order to fit into what the studio heads envisioned for her.

Although Monroe spent her early years in Hollywood acting in very small roles, she eventually broke through the sea of other wannabe actresses to become the biggest star in the world. 

When did Marilyn Monroe die?

Monroe seemed to have everything, but her marriages all ended up failing. She married baseball star Joe DiMaggio, only to split several years later. It was reported that DiMaggio and Monroe had a very contentious relationship. And, reportedly, Monroe’s difficulty bearing children was one of the reasons for their eventual split.

Her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller was also doomed, and they divorced in 1961 after only four years of marriage.

For years, Monroe suffered from an addiction to prescription drugs. Between the prescription opiates and her long history of mental health problems, Monroe was sadly on borrowed time.

In August 1962, Monroe was found dead in her Brentwood home with a telephone receiver in her hand. While many suspected that Monroe had committed suicide, she didn’t leave a note. Her death came as a shock to many that knew her.

Although her death was ultimately ruled as being caused by the drugs in her system, questions about the circumstances of her passing have lingered for over fifty years.

The conspiracy theories around Marilyn Monroe’s death

In the years since Monroe’s death, many different conspiracy theories have sprung up. The most pervasive rumor is that the Kennedy family somehow instigated Monroe’s death. Monroe reportedly had an affair with President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert Kennedy, as well. Some sources claim that when Monroe threatened to go public with the affair and that led the Kennedy family to want to keep her quiet for good. 

Others believe that Monroe’s team of doctors accidentally gave her a lethal overdose of drugs. And, after realizing what they had done, they staged the scene to make it look as though Monroe had killed herself. 

While the mysteries of Monroe’s untimely death might never be solved, there’s no doubt that fans will continue to speculate about it for years to come.