Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home of barbiturate poisoning on this day in 1962, but her status as the Hollywood sex symbol hasn’t died. What was it about her? Billy Wilder, who directed her arguably most iconic performance in “Some Like It Hot,” said she had a “certain indefinable magic”—and that’s what lingers in her very best films (“Gentleman Prefer Blondes” and “Hot” among them) and even in the lesser pictures.
As unpacked in Liz Garbus’ moving HBO documentary “Love, Marilyn,” the actress kept a cache of personal diaries and letters that revealed a woman in trouble, a far more tormented interior life than reflected in the blonde comic persona audiences (and scripts and directors) sometimes ascribed to her. “The fuzzy end of the lollipop,” as it were.
Read her 1962 obit, and watch some of our favorite Marilyn clips below:
She spent her last day alive sunbathing, glancing over filmscripts. playing with two cloth dolls—a lamb and a tiger. She went to bed early, but later her housekeeper noticed light spilling through the crack under her bedroom door, and summoned doctors. They broke in through her windows and found Marilyn Monroe dead. By her bedside stood an empty bottle that three days before had held 50 sleeping pills. One hand rested on the telephone and the other was at her chin, holding the sheets that covered her body.