Marilyn Monroe filmography

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Monroe in one of her breakthrough performances as a mistress to an aging criminal in The Asphalt Jungle (1950).

Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) was an American actress, singer, and sex symbol who starred in several commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and the early 1960s. Monroe was born as Norma Jeane Mortensen (later Baker and Dougherty) and spent her early life in orphanages until she married Jim Dougherty in 1942, at the age of 16. She would eventually divorce Dougherty and begin modeling in 1945, while her husband was overseas fighting in the war. She signed a one-year contract with 20th Century-Fox in 1946 and played minor roles in several minor movies for the studio. She garnered attention for playing a top role in Columbia Pictures' low-budget musical Ladies of the Chorus (1948). She went on a New York City tour to promote Love Happy (1949), in which she played a small uncredited role opposite Groucho Marx.

In 1950, Monroe earned critical attention for her performances in The Asphalt Jungle for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and All About Eve for 20th Century-Fox. And although the roles were small, she earned a longer contract with Fox starting at $500 a week. She played dumb blondes in several quick comedies, but, in 1952, she played her first starring role in the film noir Don't Bother to Knock and appeared in Monkey Business (1952), with Ginger Rogers and Cary Grant. Monroe's major breakthrough came in the 1953 Technicolor film noir, Niagara, alongside Joseph Cotten and Jean Peters. She would go on to star in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) with Jane Russell (in which Monroe was nominated for a Golden Globe Award); How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall; River of No Return (1954) with Robert Mitchum; and There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), with Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey and Donald O'Connor. Her white dress scene in 1955's The Seven Year Itch is considered iconic and has been parodied.

Monroe's dramatic star turn in Bus Stop (1956) was well received by critics. Her production studio, Marilyn Monroe Productions, produced the romance film The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) which starred Monroe and Laurence Olivier. Some Like It Hot (1959), with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, may be Monroe's most remembered film and proved to be her greatest success of her entire career. Her last two film appearances, Let's Make Love (1960) with Yves Montand and Tony Randall, and The Misfits (1961) with Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift, weren't successful critically or commercially. The filming of Something's Got to Give in 1962 was suspended after Monroe's death. The film went unfinished until it was rebooted in 1963 as Move Over, Darling with Doris Day and James Garner.

Film appearances[edit]

Year Film Role Studio Further information
1947 The Shocking Miss Pilgrim Telephone operator 20th Century-Fox
  • Unverified
1947 Dangerous Years Evie 20th Century-Fox
1948 Green Grass of Wyoming Square dance extra 20th Century-Fox
  • Unverified
1948 You Were Meant for Me Lady-in-waiting 20th Century-Fox
  • Unverified
1948 Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! Betty 20th Century-Fox
  • Partly edited after filming ended.
1948 Ladies of the Chorus Peggy Martin Columbia Pictures
  • First leading role
1949 Love Happy Grunion's client United Artists
1950 A Ticket to Tomahawk Clara 20th Century-Fox
1950 The Asphalt Jungle Angela Phinlay Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
  • First major movie role.
1950 All About Eve Miss Claudia Caswell 20th Century-Fox
1950 The Fireball Polly 20th Century-Fox
1950 Right Cross Dusky Ledoux Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
1951 Home Town Story Iris Martin Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
1951 As Young as You Feel Harriet 20th Century-Fox
1951 Love Nest Roberta Stevens 20th Century-Fox
1951 Let's Make It Legal Joyce Mannering 20th Century-Fox
1952 Clash by Night Peggy RKO
1952 We're Not Married! Annabel Jones Norris 20th Century-Fox
1952 Don't Bother to Knock Nell Forbes 20th Century-Fox
  • First starring role.
1952 Monkey Business Miss Lois Laurel 20th Century-Fox
1952 O. Henry's Full House Streetwalker 20th Century-Fox
  • Cameo appearance.
1953 Niagara Rose Loomis 20th Century-Fox
  • Her superstar breakthrough film.
1953 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Lorelei Lee 20th Century-Fox
1953 How to Marry a Millionaire Pola Debevoise 20th Century-Fox
1954 River of No Return Kay Weston 20th Century-Fox
1954 There's No Business Like Show Business Victoria Hoffman 20th Century-Fox
1955 The Seven Year Itch The Girl 20th Century-Fox
1956 Bus Stop Cherie 20th Century-Fox
  • Also known as The Wrong Kind of Girl.
1957 The Prince and the Showgirl Elsie Marina Warner Brothers
  • Produced by Marilyn Monroe Productions; the only film made by her company.
1959 Some Like It Hot Sugar Cane Kowalczyk United Artists
1960 Let's Make Love Amanda Dell 20th Century-Fox
1961 The Misfits Roslyn Taber United Artists
  • Her final completed film.
1962 Something's Got to Give Ellen Wagstaff Arden 20th Century-Fox
  • Uncompleted.
denotes an uncredited performance.

Box Office Ranking[edit]

For a number of years exhibitors voted Monroe among the most popular stars in the US:

  • 1953 - 6th (US)
  • 1954 - 5th (US)
  • 1955 - 11th (US)
  • 1956 - 8th (US)
  • 1959 - 20th (US)