5 Shocking Facts You Didn't Know About Marilyn Monroe

Norma Jeane Mortenson, who would become better known around the world as Marilyn Monroe–was born on this day in 1926. Here are five interesting facts that even the paparazzi didn't know about Marilyn Monroe...


Monroe Changed Her Name a Number of Times Born in Los Angeles on June 1, 1926, Monroe's birth certificate bore the name Norma Jeane Mortensen, but she was baptized Norma Jeane Baker. In her 20s, she modeled under the names Jean Norman and Mona Monroe. Once she became an actress, her initial idea for a screen name was Jean Adair, and she would sign into hotels as Zelda Zonk. She unofficially changed her name to Marilyn Monroe in 1946 but didn't legally change it until Feb. 23, 1956.

Hugh Hefner Snagged a Spot Next to Her for Eternity. Monroe famously graced the cover of the first ever Playboy magazine, and though she and Hefner never met in life, they'll be spending eternity next to each other in Westwood Cemetery in Hollywood. The plots next to Monroe have quite the history—Joe DiMaggio originally owned the crypt above her but sold it after their divorce. Hefner bought the plot from a private seller who realized that the spot in the crypt next to Monroe could fetch a good price. The Los Angeles Times reported that Hefner paid $75,000 to buy the drawer next to Monroe's in a Los Angeles mausoleum, where her crypt is often marked by the lipstick kisses of her fans.


Britney Spears Owns a Pair of Her Levis. Marilyn Monroe's closet has a history of selling for some pretty insane prices. Her spangled dress worn while singing "Happy Birthday" to John F. Kennedy sold for well over $1.2 million, and her iconic white dress worn in The Seven-Year Itch sold for a whopping $4.6 million at a Beverly Hills auction. Tommy Hilfiger bought a pair of her Levis for over $40,000 and then gifted them to a young Britney Spears during a photo shoot.  

She Helped Make Ella Fitzgerald a Star Initially, Ella Fitzgerald couldn’t get a booking at the Hollywood nightclub, Mocambo, because of her race. Being on of her biggest fans, Marilyn  Monroe called the owner of popular Hollywood nightclub Mocambo and asked them to book Ella Fitzgerald. In return, the famous actress promised to take a front table at the club every night — and she did, helping to propel Fitzgerald's legendary music career. 

She Only Got $50 for Her Nude Photographs Marilyn Monroe was only paid $50 for the famous nude photographs that appeared in Playboy Magazine. These photos were originally taken in 1949 by photographer Tom Kelley and were used to be in the calendar. Hugh Hefner bought the photographs years later for $500 and used them in the inaugural issue of Playboy Magazine and went on to make millions from the photographs.