Marilyn the Muse

She dated a famous athlete, married a playwright, wore tight skirts, and got drawn into a tragic car chase with the paparazzi.  Marilyn Monroe, was the original tabloid blonde bombshell. Though her short life was marked by unhappiness and loss, her image, burnished by time and early death, has become a 20th-century icon.

Between sex appeal and art

"The reason behind Marilyn Monroe's unusual success can be found in her corporeality," writes author Barbara Sichtermann in her new book about the Hollywood star. "It would be hard to find a feminine trait that she didn't have." As such, her talent as an actress was often pushed into the background. "Her celebrity and her sex appeal [...] overshadowed her other work."