Marilyn Monroe is remembered most for her beauty and the controversy around her death. Was it suicide or murder? Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane. She never knew her father, and her mother suffered with mental issues all her life. Norma Jeane spent much of her childhood with foster parents and in an orphanage, taunted by schoolgirls and being an outsider. After a failed marriage, Norma Jeane changed her name to Marilyn Monroe and pursued an acting career. The movie Some Like It Hot propelled her into Hollywood stardom. But her personal life remained full of tragedy—failed marriages, substance abuse, and the legacy of a loveless childhood.