Marilyn Monroe would have been 90 years old today, an unthinkable state for the screen queen forever preserved in celluloid glamour. There were other sexy stars in Monroe's time in Hollywood, but her image has proved more durable than nearly all of them -- indeed far more durable than Monroe herself. This sensitive artist constantly struggled to find her way and her self and her professional path -- the struggle informed her art. Yet for all that seeking and shifting her iconic image remains steady and undimmed.
Marilyn Monroe's influence on the very idea of American sexuality persists -- today's sex symbols all owe something to her unique mystique. And Monroe's quintessentially American story of a steep rise from anonymity to unprecedented fame -- her husbands, her ambitions, her triumphs and ultimately her tragic end -- has become sewn into American cultural narrative the way Marilyn used to get sewn into her dresses. She died on August 4, 1962. She was 36 years old.
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