born Norma Jean Mortenson on June 1, 1926
died on August 5, 1962
"She is a beautiful child . . . I don't think she is an actress at all, not in any traditional sense. What she has --- this presence, this luminosity, this flickering intelligence --- could never surface on the stage. It's so fragile and subtle, it can only be caught by the camera. It's like a hummingbird in flight; only a camera can freeze the poetry of it." Constance Collier, quoted by Truman Capote, in "A Beautiful Child"
"She was luminous – on that much everyone seems to agree. Even Laurence Olivier, who mostly couldn’t stand her, had to concede that every time she appears in The Prince and the Showgirl, she lights up the scene (the cinematographer Jack Cardiff said that she glowed). That is just one of the things about her that makes her inimitable. But luminousness can be a cover. Monroe’s beauty is dazzling, blinding (no other actress is defined in quite these terms). What does she allow us to see and not to see? Monroe herself knew the difference between seeing and looking. ‘Men do not see me,’ she said, ‘they just lay their eyes on me.’ Read the rest of Jacqueline Rose's article on Marilyn Monroe here.
image source: Life Magazine, via jazzinphoto.com