The myth, the name and the tragic Hollywood legend known as Marilyn Monroe is going to get the Lifetime Movie treatment starting this weekend as part of a special two-night event. But “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe” is far from the first movie to dip into the legacy of the actress formerly known as Norma Jean Baker.
Marilyn Monroe was known for her bubbly on-screen persona in such movies as “Some Like It Hot,” “The Seven Year Itch” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blonds.” The tabloids loved her personal life because of the multiple marriages and affair rumors that swirled wherever she went. Her tragic death from an overdose at 36, solidified her story into Hollywood lore.
A little over a decade after the actress passed away in 1962, the first Marilyn Monroe biopic was released with Misty Rowe in the title role of “Goodbye, Norma Jean.” The film was mostly focused on the actress’ transformation into the new on-screen persona, but it was a highly fictionalized account.
More portrayals followed, either as a supporting character in movies like 1998’s “The Rat Pack” or 2004’s“The Mystery of Natalie Wood.” Some biopics explored her youth like 1996’s “Norma Jean & Marilyn” or 2001’s “Blond.” Others focused solely on the experience of a specific time as was the case with 2011’s “My Week with Marilyn,” which was set against the filming of the movie “The Prince and the Showgirl.”
Ahead the Lifetime premiere of the new “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe” biopic, starring Kelli Garner (“The Aviator”), flip through the photo gallery above to see some of the actresses who have brought Monroe’s story to life on screens big and small.
“The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe” premieres Saturday, May 30, at 8 p.m. EDT on Lifetime.