Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, singer, model and showgirl who became a major sex symbol
Sex symbol
A sex symbol is a celebrity of either gender, typically an actor, musician, supermodel, teen idol, or sports star, noted for their sex appeal. The term was first used in the mid 1950s in relation to the popularity of certain Hollywood stars, especially Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte...

, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s.

After spending much of her childhood in foster
Fosterage, the practice of a family bringing up a child not their own, differs from adoption in that the child's parents, not the foster-parents, remain the acknowledged parents. In many modern western societies foster care can be organised by the state to care for children with troubled family...

 homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946. Her early film appearances were minor, but her performances in The Asphalt Jungle
The Asphalt Jungle
The Asphalt Jungle is a 1950 film noir directed by John Huston. The caper film is based on the novel of the same name by W. R. Burnett and stars an ensemble cast including Sterling Hayden, Jean Hagen, Sam Jaffe, Louis Calhern, James Whitmore, and, in a minor but key role, Marilyn Monroe, an unknown...

 and All About Eve
All About Eve
All About Eve is a 1950 American drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, based on the 1946 short story "The Wisdom of Eve", by Mary Orr.The film stars Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star...

 (both 1950) drew attention to her—by now her hair was dyed blonde.

It's not true I had nothing on. I had the radio on.

On reports of her nude photographs for a calendar, as quoted in TIME magazine (1952)

Don't you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn't marry a girl just because she's pretty, but my goodness, doesn't it help?

As "Lorelei Lee" in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes|Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

I've been on a calendar, but never on time.

Look magazine (5 March 1957)

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. 27

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 (magazine)|LIFE (3 August 1962)

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|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