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Marilyn Monroe

American actress, model, and singer
The truth is I've never fooled anyone. I've let people fool themselves. They didn't bother to find out who and what I was....

Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; 1 June 19265 August 1962) was an American actress, singer, model, and one of the most famous Hollywood icons of the twentieth century.

Contents

QuotesEdit

 
Please don't make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe. I don't mind making jokes, but I don't want to look like one. I want to be an artist, an actress with integrity.
 
An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like a machine. A money machine.
 
I don't want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.
 
Hollywood's a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul
 
It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.
  • Everyone's childhood plays itself out. No wonder no one knows the other or can completely understand. By this I don't know if I'm just giving up with this conclusion or resigning myself — or maybe for the first time connecting with reality. How do we know the pain or another's earlier years, let alone all that he drags with him since along the way at best a lot of leeway is needed for the other — yet how much is unhealthy for one to bear. I think to love bravely is the best and accept — as much as one can bear.
    • Marilyn's personal diaries (1958), as quoted in Fragments (2010), by Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment
  • For life: It is rather a determination not to be overwhelmed. For work: The truth can only be recalled, never invented.
    • Marilyn's personal diaries, as quoted in Fragments (2010), by Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment
  • I know I will never be happy but I know I can be gay! Remember I told you Kazan said I was the gayest girl he ever knew and, believe me, he has known many. But he loved me for one year and once rocked me to sleep one night when I was in great anguish. He also suggested that I go into analysis and later wanted me to work with Lee Strasberg. Was it Milton who wrote: "The happy ones were never born"? I know at least two psychiatrists who are looking for a more positive approach.
    • In a letter to her psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, in 1961, quoted in Marilyn's Last Sessions (2010) by Michel Schneider
  • I had the radio on.
    • As quoted in TIME magazine when "asked if she really had nothing on in the photograph [for a 1949 calendar]" ("Something for the Boys." Time 60, no. 6 (August 11, 1952): 90)
  • If you get massages, you'll never need another sleeping pill.
    • As quoted in Marilyn Monroe Confidential (1980) by Lena Pepitone and William Stedien p. 172
  • I'm a failure as a woman. My men expect so much of me, because of the image they've made of me — and that I've made of myself — as a sex symbol. They expect bells to ring and whistles to whistle, but my anatomy is the same as any other woman's and I can't live up to it.
    • Statement c. 1962, as quoted in Marilyn (1992) by Peter Harry Brown and Patte B. Barham, Ch. 30
  • Unfortunately, I am involved in a freedom ride protesting the loss of the minority rights belonging to the few remaining earthbound stars. All we demanded was our right to twinkle.
    • Telegram, turning down a party invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy (13 June 1962)
  • I think that when you are famous every weakness is exaggerated. … Goethe said, "Talent is developed in privacy," you know? And it's really true. … Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you're a human being, you feel, you suffer. You're gay, you're sick, you're nervous or whatever.
    • "Marilyn Monroe Pours Her Heart Out" interview by Richard Meryman, in LIFE (3 August 1962)
  • Say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to the president, and say goodbye to yourself, because you're a nice guy. … I'll see, I'll see.
  • Please don't make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe. I don't mind making jokes, but I don't want to look like one... I want to be an artist, an actress with integrity... If fame goes by, so long, I've had you, fame. If it goes by, I've always known it was fickle. So at least it's something I experienced, but that's not where I live.
    • Her last taped interview, with Richard Meryman, published in LIFE magazine a few days before her death. (3 August 1962); quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972)
  • Say good-bye to Pat, say good-bye to Jack and say good-bye to yourself, because you're a nice guy.
    • Last words to actor Peter Lawford, in August 1962, as quoted in US News & World Report (7 October 1985)
  • An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like a machine. A money machine.
    • As quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 38
  • Why? — It paid the rent.
    • On why she had posed nude for a calendar photograph, quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 39
  • I restore myself when I'm alone. A career is born in public — talent in privacy.
    • As quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 40
  • That's the trouble, a sex symbol becomes a thing. But if I'm going to be a symbol of something, I'd rather it be sex than some of the things we've got symbols of... I just hate to be a thing.
    • Comment on her sex symbol status, quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 40
  • I'm not interested in money, I just want to be wonderful.
    • As quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 41
  • The studio people want me to do "Good-bye Charlie" for the movies, but I'm not going to do it. I don't like the idea of playing a man in a woman's body — you know? It just doesn't seem feminine.
    • On turning down a role, eventually played by Debbie Reynolds, as quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 41
  • First, I'm trying to prove to myself that I'm a person. Then maybe I'll convince myself that I'm an actress.
    • As quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 42
  • The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.
    • Handwritten note responding to a question about posing nude, as quoted in International Herald Tribune (5 October 1984)
  • Husbands are chiefly good as lovers when they are betraying their wives.
    • As quoted in Marilyn Monroe : In Her Own Words (1983), edited by Roger Taylor
  • My work is the only ground I've ever had to stand on. I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation — but I'm working on the foundation.
    • As quoted in Marilyn Monroe : In Her Own Words (1983), edited by Roger Taylor
  • Hollywood's a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.
    • As quoted in Marilyn Monroe : In Her Own Words (1983), edited by Roger Taylor
  • When you're famous you kind of run into human nature in a raw kind of way. It stirs up envy, fame does. People you run into feel that, well, who does she think she is, Marilyn Monroe? They feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you, of any kind of nature — and it won't hurt your feelings — like it's happening to your clothes not you.
    • Comment on fame, quoted in Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress (1993) by Carl E. Rollyson, and in Symbolic Leaders: Public Dramas and Public Men (2006) by Orrin Edgar Klapp
    • Variant: People feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you, of any kind of nature — and it won't hurt your feelings — like it's happening to your clothing.
    • As quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 40
  • Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn't that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.
    • As quoted in The Films of Barbra Streisand (2001) by Christopher Nickens and Karen Swenson
  • I don't know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.
    • As quoted in Her Inspiration : Secrets to Help You Work Smart, Be Successful, and Have Fun (2008) by Mina Parker
  • I sleep in the nude but I pull the sheets up.
    • Jock Carroll, "Rare Marilyn: a portfolio work by 20 photographers", American Photo (May - June 1997)

On Being Blonde (2007)Edit

 
It's better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone —so far.
 
People had a habit of looking at me as if I were some kind of mirror instead of a person. They didn't see me, they saw their own lewd thoughts, then they white-masked themselves by calling me the lewd one.
Quotes of Monroe from On Being Blonde : Wit and Wisdom from the World's Most Infamous Blondes (2004) by Paula Munier
  • It's far better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone — so far.
    • p. 52
  • It stirs up envy, fame does. People you run into feel that, well, who does she think she is, Marilyn Monroe? They feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you, of any kind of nature — and it won't hurt your feelings — like it's happening to your clothes not you.
    • p. 52
  • The truth is I've never fooled anyone. I've let people fool themselves. They didn't bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn't argue with them. They were obviously loving somebody I wasn't. When they found this out, they would blame me for disillusioning them and fooling them.
    • p. 52
  • A career is wonderful, but you can't curl up with it on a cold night.
    • p. 53
  • Arthur Miller wouldn't have married me if I had been nothing but a dumb blonde.
    • p. 54
  • People had a habit of looking at me as if I were some kind of mirror instead of a person. They didn't see me, they saw their own lewd thoughts, then they white-masked themselves by calling me the lewd one.
    • p. 54


MisattributedEdit

Many social media and self-help books images tend to misattribute quotes to Marilyn Monroe.

  • A woman knows by intuition, or instinct, what is best for herself.
    • Attributed to Monroe in self-help books and on social media, this quotation is of unknown origin and date.
  • I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.
    • Attributed to Monroe in self-help books and on social media, this quotation is of unknown origin and date.
  • To all the girls that think you're fat because you're not a size zero you're the beautiful one it's society who's ugly.
    • Attributed to Monroe in self-help books and on social media, this quotation is of unknown origin and date.
  • A sex symbol is a heavy load to carry when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.
    • Attributed to Monroe on social media, but this quote was actually said by Clara Bow.

Quotes about MonroeEdit

Sorted alphabetically by author or source
 
If the world offered nothing, nowhere to support or make bearable whatever her private grief was, then it is that world, and not she, that is at fault. ~ Thomas Pynchon
  • I think Marilyn is bound to make an almost overwhelming impression on the people who meet her for the first time. It is not that she is pretty, although she is of course almost incredibly pretty, but she radiates, at the same time, unbounded vitality and a kind of unbelievable innocence. I have met the same in a lion-cub, which my native servants in Africa brought me. I would not keep her, since I felt that it would in some way be wrong...I shall never forget the almost overpowering feeling of unconquerable strength and sweetness which she conveyed. I had all the wild nature of Africa amicably gazing at me with mighty playfulness.
    • Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen), in a letter to the American author, Fleur Cowles Meyer, in 1961, as quoted in Fragments (2010), by Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment
  • We think of Marilyn who was every man's love affair with America. Marilyn Monroe who was blonde and beautiful and had a sweet little rinky-dink of a voice and all the cleanliness of all the clean American backyards.
  • When Marilyn Monroe got out of the game, I wrote something like, "Southern California's special horror notwithstanding, if the world offered nothing, nowhere to support or make bearable whatever her private grief was, then it is that world, and not she, that is at fault."
    I wrote that in the first few shook-up minutes after hearing the bulletin sandwiched in between Don and Phil Everly and surrounded by all manner of whoops and whistles coming out of an audio signal generator, like you are apt to hear on the provincial radio these days. But I don't think I'd take those words back.
    • Thomas Pynchon in a letter to Jules Siegel, published in Cavalier magazine (August 1965)
  • If Marilyn is in love with my husband it proves she has good taste, for I am in love with him too.
    • Simone Signoret, responding to rumors that her husband Yves Montand was romantically involved with Monroe. The New York Journal-American (14 November 1960)
  • I remember her on the screen, huge as a colossus doll, mincing and whispering and simply hoping her way into total vulnerability.
    • Gloria Steinem from “Marilyn Monroe: The Woman who Died Too Soon” in Ms. magazine (August 1972); later published in Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (1983)
  • My God, I think there have been more books on Marilyn Monroe than on World War II, and there's a great similarity. It was not easy. It was hell. But it was well worth it once you got it on the screen.
  • You want me to talk about Marilyn? My God, I think there have been more books on Marilyn Monroe than on World War II, and there’s a great similarity.
    It was a very complex thing working with her because she had tremendous problems with herself. She was on the edge of deep depression – whatever you want to call it – at all times. There was always a question, which you sweated out: "Is she going to show up? Is she going to show up on time? Is she going to live through the scene? Is she going to finish the picture?" And that is a very nerve-wracking thing if you’ve got eight million dollars in the enterprise. But when it’s all done, it’s well worth it. It’s that old thing that I said, I don’t know, four hundred years ago: "Look, if we wanted somebody to be on time and to know the lines just perfectly, I’ve got an old aunt in Vienna. She’s going to be there at five in the morning and never miss a word. But who wants to look at her?"

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit