"I never wanted to be Marilyn- it just happened. Marilyn's like a veil I wear over Norma Jeane." ♡
Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson, later baptized Norma Jeane Baker on June 1, 1926 at the Los Angeles County Hospital to Gladys Pearl Baker and Charles Stanley Gifford. Unfortunately, Norma never got to truly now her father, due to the fact he abandoned Gladys and her before she was born. Gladys Baker had two children before Norma, named Berniece and Robert, with her first husband, Jasper Baker. But Jasper later cheated and left Gladys, then afterwards came back and kidnaped the two children. Gladys went and found them, but when she discovered they were in a nice home with her first husband and his new wife, she left thinking they were better off.
Throughout most of Norma's childhood, she was in and out of foster homes and an orphanage due to her mother's paranoid schizophrenia, which caused Gladys to become unable to care for Norma. Originally, Gladys would pay the letter carrier $5 a week to give Norma a home. Sometimes Gladys would come and bring Norma to her rooms to spend time with her.
Marilyn's modeling career was a very important stepping stone on her journey to becoming a successful film actress. Marilyn's career as a model began when she was 19 years old and working at Radioplane Company factory in Burbank, California for the war-effort. One June 26, 1945, Private David Conover, a part of the U.S. Army’s First Motion Picture Unit, visited the Radioplane Company Factory and was on an assignment to take photos of women working for the war-effort.
As Norma's popularity in the modeling world grew, her pictures piqued the interest of Ben Lyon, casting director at 20th Century Fox, in July of 1946 and called her in for a screen test. On August 26, 1946, Norma signed a six month contract with the company, that left the option of renewal every six months. Sometime after signing the contract Ben Lyon and Norma Jeane decided on the screen name, "Marilyn Monroe." This was a significant time for Marilyn: she had a contract with a studio and she also divorced Mr. Dougherty on September 13, 1946. Furthermore, while under contract with 20th Century Fox, Marilyn attended singing, acting, and dancing classes and appeared as an extra in a couple films and had one line in the movie "Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!" Unfortunately, Marilyn's contract wasn't renewed after the six months.