The fashion icon of the 1930s, actress Marilyn Monroe, died on May 20, 1940, just months after her marriage to John Wayne.
It was her third wedding in the decade to be married to a male.
In fact, Monroe’s first marriage, to actor Harry Cohn, was to a woman named Eleanor M. Dolan, but it ended in divorce after five years.
She married another man, actor John Cusack, in 1957, and was married three more times.
Marilyn Monroe died in Los Angeles on May 21, 1940.
(AP) In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2014, Monroe recounted the early days of her life in an attempt to explain why she wore black.
In the interview, she said, “I wore black because I was a little girl.
When I was eight years old, my parents came home from school and I saw my mother with my brother and sister.
I didn’t know what to say, but I just said, ‘I think I’m gonna wear black.'”
The interview, which was first reported by the Washington Post, said Monroe was “really angry about it” and was “furious” when she learned of her husband’s “blackface.”
(ABC News) In a 2013 interview with Esquire, Monroe said she did not think blackface was racist at the time, but that she now believed it was.
She also admitted that she wore a black veil when she met her future husband, who was in the military during World War II.
“I never thought it was racist.
And then you see how quickly the world changed.
So it was a shock to me.
I was upset, I was really angry, and I felt I had to do something about it.
But I thought if I could get rid of it, it would be a much better place for me,” Monroe said.
(ABC) As part of her effort to explain her decision to wear a black dress, Monroe recalled a conversation with her father about her decision, saying that “I felt like if I wore a mask and had my head shaved, people would know what I was.”
(Vanity Fair) She said she was not aware of the Black Panthers or the KKK at the start of her marriage.
In a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, Monroe wrote: “I don’t really think it’s a bad thing to be different, because I think we should be different.”
(Reuters) Monroe said that she did wear a mask in her relationship with Cohn because she was a black woman, and that she feared her husband would take offense if she wore one.
(NBC News) A year after she met Cohn, she married actor John D. Thomas, and they had two daughters.
In February 1951, Monroe gave birth to their son, Charles, who died two days later.
She was a single mother with three children.
In 1956, Monroe married actor Richard Burton.
Burton was known for his roles in films such as Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz and The Wizard.
(CNN) After she divorced her husband, Monroe made a statement that she had changed, saying, “Now that I have been married, I have gone from a black person to an American.”
(CBS News) The following year, she appeared on the cover of Time magazine.
In an essay that was included in the magazine, Monroe described herself as a “black American,” saying she felt like a “new person” and saying she would not wear a veil for her husband.
(Time) In 1959, she starred in the film The Wizard, which starred John Wayne as a black man who is forced to wear the disguise of a white woman after the death of his mother.
The film was a huge hit, with more than 2 million copies of the film sold in the United States and Canada.
(TIME) Monroe also had an interesting career as a model.
She appeared in many films and television shows, including The Great Gatsby, The Producers, The Great Escape and the films The Manchurian Candidate and The Godfather.
She did not make a huge splash in the 1950s, but she became a pop culture icon in the 1960s.
She starred in such films as The Man in the Suit, The Naked Gun and The Wild Bunch, among others.
(Daily Mail) Monroe died on December 23, 2020, in Los Gatos, California.