Gladys Mortensen on June1st, 1926 at 9:30 am in Los Angeles, California. Gladys was divorced from her husband, C. Stanley Gifford and separatedfrom her husband Ed Mortensen. Ed Mortensen was who Gladys put on Norma Jeans birth certificate as herfather but it is still in question if he was her father of if it was her first husbandJack Baker who was her father. Gladys had two other kids from another marriage. She had them in herfirst marriage to Jack Baker.
They were married when she was sixteen in 1917. The kids names were Hermitt Jack and Berneice. They went to live with theirfathers family in Kentucky after their divorce in 1921. Hermitt reportedly died of Tuberculosis in the early 20s, but Gladysreported both of them dead when Norma Jean was born. Gladys later reunited inthe 60s when Berneice in the 60s when Berneice became Gladys legal guardian.
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After Norma Jean was born Gladys decided she couldnt afford her and soshe sent her to live with a mail carrier and his wife, Albert and Ida Bolender. Norma Jean spent her first years with the Bolenders. They were veryreligious. They boarded children at their property. It was two acres.
They triedto adopt her but Gladys always rejected. Her Grandmother live across the street from the Bolenders. Her namewas Della Hogan Monroe Grainger. She would take Norma Jean to her house forvisits often. Later in life Marilyn said that she awoke in the night fighting for herlifer because her grandmother was holding a pillow over her face. Many peoplesay she couldnt remember this happening because she was only a year old then.Another time Della tried to rescue Norma Jean.
She tired breaking theBolenders door down. She had to be taken away by the police and she was putin an asylum on August 4, 1927, where she died 3 weeks later from a heart attackduring a manic seizure.Norma Jeans situation was very confusing for her. She got weekendvisits from Gladys. Norma Jean never called her her mama though. She didntknow Gladys was really her mother until Ida Bolender pointed it out to her. Shehad always called the Bolenders mom and dad until Ida corrected her.There was another kid there named Lester.
He got away with away withcalling them mom and dad because he had been adopted by them. Yet, theycalled Norma Jean and Lester twins which only confused Norma Jean evenmore.Gladys started spending more time with her daughter and she took her towork with her occasionally. She was five when she saw pictures of the father forthe first time. I felt so excited I almost fell off my chair…
That was my first happytime. (Marilyn by: Kathy Rooks-Denes, copyright 1993, pg. 19). In 1934 Norma Jean was brought to lice with her mom and an Englishcouple.
They urged her out of the religious shell she was in and got her intosinging and dancing and the movies. Gladys worked two jobs. She tried to provide a good family life for herdaughter but in 1935 Gladys was taken away on away on a stretcher. She wasput in the same mental hospital her mom had died in and was diagnosed withparanoid schizophrenia. She would stay in the hospital almost the rest of her life.
Her mother would never allow her to be adopted out so she lived in 12different families, 10 of them foster parents, when she wasnt in a Los Angelesorphaninge. At age 16 Norma Jean was forced into a marriage to 20 year old JimDougherty. She didnt want to marry him. She thought she was way too youngbut she was forced to do so anyways. I had six mothers weeping when I marched down the aisle (Marilyn pg.25) Gladys wasnt there though even though she wasnt in a hospital at the time.
They didnt take a honeymoon and Jim went to work the next day like theirmarriage wasnt any big deal. It was like being retired to a zoo. The effectmarriage had on me was to increase my lack of interest in sex…Actually ourmarriage was a sort of friendship with sexual privileges, (which) brought meneither pain nor happiness. (Marilyn pg. 26)She wanted a baby but he talked her out of it and bought her a collie forcompanionship.
In 1943 Jim joined the merchant marine as a physical training instructor onSanta Catalina Island.In 1944 he got his orders to go to Australia. Norma Jean moved in with hisfamily. She began working at the Radio Plane Company.In June 1945 a photographer named David Conover came into the plant insearch of subjects and Norma Jean caught his eye.
Im going to take yourpicture for the boys in the Army to keep their morale high. (Marilyn pg. 27) The pictures were published in Yank and Stars and Stripes magazines.She was fired from her next job. They said Norma Jean had more thanthe usual amount ot sex appeal. (Marilyn pg. 30) At an agents instance, Norma Jean had her light brown hair bleached tohelp her get more jobs.
When my lawyer wrote Jim in Shanghi about my wanting a divorce, Jimasked if I would wait until he returned home from over seas to see if we couldmake a go of our marriage. I knew then that I wanted to be an actress more thanever. (Marilyn pg. 36)In 1946 Jim showed up at her house with the divorce papers. She met himat the door and told him she had been signed with 20th Century Fox.
She alsotold him of her new name, Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn being after Marilyn Miller andMonroe was her mothers maiden name.In 1952 Marilyn started dating retired baseball great, Joe DiMaggio. Hehated Hollywood but she was not about to give up her career for the house wiferole.On January 14, 1954 she married Joe. At their wedding she asked Joe ifhe would put flowers at her grave every week after she died. The marriage went wrong after only a few weeks. He didnt like herfamous skirt blowing scene and she filed for a divorce 2 weeks after it wasfilmed.
Some of the films Marilyn was in Include: The Shocking Miss Pilgrim 1947Dangerous years 1947You Were Meant For Me 1948Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hey! 1948Ladies of the Chorus 1948Love Happy 1950A Ticket to Tomahawk 1950The Asphalt Jungle 1950All About Eve 1950Dont bother to Knock 1952Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 1953How to Marry a Millionaire 1953The Seven Year Itch 1955Some Like It Hot 1959The Misfits 1961Joe DiMaggio Jr. talked to Marilyn at about 7:00 p.m. the night of herdeath. He said she was happy and anything but depressed, but Peter Lawfordtalked to her at about 7:45 p.m. and said she sounded almost inaudible. He keptasking her what was wrong and she finally said, Say good-bye to Pat, Saygood-bye to the president and say good-bye to yourself, because your a nice guy.
Ill see, Ill see. Then she was silent. (Good House Keeping, May 1993, pg. 216).He received a call at 1:30 saying they had found Marilyn dead at midnight.It is said that she died of a drug over-dose but many people believe shewas murdered. She had had affairs with both John and Bobby Kennedy, so many peoplebelieve she was killed by a government hit man.
Others believe she was murdered by the Mafia. Her death may alwaysremain a mystery along with many of the strange facts of her rather secret life.Her crypt is in Westwood Memorial Cemetery. Joe DiMaggio arranged sothat two red roses would be delivered to her grave two times a week forever.In 1982 he decided forever was over. Robert Slatzer took over after him. She now gets white roses and Slatzer has arranged the flowers keep comingmany years after his death.The Marilyn Monroe that everyone thinks they knew never existed, thewhittles bimbo, the dumb blonde, the self destructive women of easy virtue.
Thisbears no relationship to her at all. (People Magazine, 4-12-93, page 83).