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Marilyn Monroe Death

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

Fifty-eight years ago, August 4, 1962 Marilyn Monroe died of a barbiturate overdose and apparent suicide late on a Saturday evening, at her 12305 Fifth Helena Drive home in Los Angeles, California. She was just 36 years old. Her body was discovered before dawn on Sunday, August 5. Monroe was a major sex symbol and one of the most popular Hollywood stars during the 1950s and early 1960s. She was a top-billed actress for a decade, and her films had grossed $200 million by the time of her death. Here is a newsreel at the time of her death:

Monroe had suffered from mental illness and substance abuse for several years prior to her death, and she had not completed a film since The Misfits, which was released in 1961. She had spent 1961 preoccupied with her various health problems, and in April 1962 had begun filming Something's Got to Give for 20th Century Fox, but the studio fired her in early June. The studio publicly blamed her for the production's problems, and in the weeks preceding her death, Monroe attempted to repair her public image by giving several interviews to high-profile publications. She also began negotiations with Fox on being re-hired for Something's Got To Give and for starring roles in other productions. Here is one of those interviews:

Marilyn Monroe's Last Ever Movie Scene and Last Public Appearance:

Monroe spent the last day of her life, Saturday, August 4, at her home in Brentwood. n the morning, she met with photographer Lawrence Schiller to discuss the possibility of Playboy publishing nude photos taken of her on the set of Something's Got to Give. She also received a massage from her personal massage therapist, talked with friends on the phone, and signed for deliveries. Present at the house in the morning were also her housekeeper, Eunice Murray, and her publicist Patricia Newcomb, who had stayed overnight. According to Newcomb, they had an argument because Monroe had not slept well the night before. At 4:30 pm. PDT on Saturday, August 4, Monroe's psychiatrist Ralph Greenson arrived at the house to conduct a therapy session and asked Newcomb to leave. Before Greenson left at around 7 pm, he asked Murray to stay overnight and keep Monroe company. At approximately 7–7:15, Monroe received a call from Joe DiMaggio Jr., with whom she had stayed close since her divorce from his father. He told her that he had broken up with a girlfriend she did not like, and he detected nothing alarming in Monroe's behavior. At around 7:40–7:45, she telephoned Greenson to tell him the news about the breakup of DiMaggio and his girlfriend.

Monroe retired to her bedroom at approximately 8 pm. She received a call from actor Peter Lawford, who was hoping to persuade her to attend his party that night. Lawford became alarmed because Monroe sounded like she was under the influence of drugs. She told him to "Say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to the president (Lawford's brother-in-law), and say goodbye to yourself, because you're a nice guy", before drifting off. Unable to reach Monroe, Lawford called his agent Milton Ebbins, who unsuccessfully tried to reach Greenson, and later called Monroe's lawyer, Milton A. "Mickey" Rudin. Rudin called Monroe's house, and was assured by her housekeeper that she was fine.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 5, Murray woke up "sensing that something was wrong" and saw light from under Monroe's bedroom door, but she was not able to get a response and found the door locked. Murray telephoned Greenson, on whose advice she looked in through a window, and saw Monroe lying facedown on her bed, covered by a sheet and clutching a telephone receiver. Greenson arrived shortly thereafter. He entered the room by breaking a window and found Monroe dead. He called her physician, Hyman Engelberg, who arrived at the house at around 3:50 a.m. and officially confirmed the death. At 4:25 am, they notified the Los Angeles Police Department.

On August 8, Joe DiMaggio directed her funeral at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, where she was interred in a crypt at the Corridor of Memories.

No evidence of foul play was found, and accidental overdose was ruled out due to the large amount of barbiturates she had ingested. Despite the coroner's findings, several conspiracy theories suggesting murder or accidental overdose have been proposed since the mid-1960s. These theories have been debunked, but it is hard for people to accept in their minds that the most glamorous movie star could die alone in the way that she did.

Many of the conspiracy theories involve President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert, as well as union leader Jimmy Hoffa and mob boss Sam Giancana. Due to the prevalence of these theories in the media, the office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney reviewed the case in 1982, but found no evidence to support them, and did not disagree with the findings of the original investigation.

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