On August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe, born Norman Jeane Mortenson, died at the age of thirty-six. The official cause of death was ruled “probable suicide” caused by an overdose of barbiturates. Since her death there have been other theories about the cause and circumstances surrounding her death, including murder and even a conspiracy theory involving John and Robert Kennedy. Rumors circulated about items being removed from her home, including a diary and note. Witnesses also claimed Marilyn was taken away by ambulance and then returned to the home. There were those who were involved in the case that refused to believe she was suicidal. There was talk of secret tapes from with Marilyn and murder suspects. This caused the Los Angeles County district attorney's office to reexamine the case in 1982. Though they found discrepancies and unanswered questions, it wasn’t enough to launch a criminal investigation.
Almost fifty years after her death, Marilyn Monroe continues to intrigue and entertain us. Hundreds of books and dozens of movies have chronicled everything from her life growing up to her Hollywood career to her tragic death. Now a new drama, Smash, centers around the creation of a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe. I’ve watched the first few episodes and the characters writing the musical are determined to show the human side of Marilyn, to portray who she was and what she wanted.
To me Marilyn was a lost soul looking for something: love, acceptance, happiness. And like anyone else she wanted to be treated with respect. “I have feelings too. I am still human. All I want is to be loved, for myself and for my talent. ” Hopefully, Marilyn will be remembered not for the mystery surrounding her death, but for the beauty and love she portrayed, and for the joy she so obviously wanted to spread.