Marilyn Monroe and Mental Illness

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Marilyn Monroe and Mental Illness
By: Whitworth
PSY 410
May 20, 2012

Marilyn Monroe and Mental Illness
Marilyn Monroe, her given name Norma Jeane Mortenson, was born on June 1, 1926. The name Norma Jeane Mortenson was baptized as Norma Jeane Baker (Bio True Story, 2012). When Marilyn was born, during the 1920’s, single parenting was not regarded highly. Marilyn’s mother, Gladys Mortenson, named Marilyn after Norma Tallmadge, famous actor during the mid- 1920’s. Marilyn was born with no father figure in which to influence her life. Marilyn’s birth certificate lists Edward Mortenson as the father, of which he was Gladys’ second husband, biographers have since agreed that Norma Jeane’s father was actually Stanley Gifford. Gifford abandoned Gladys upon learning of the pregnancy (Bio True Story, 2012).

Norma Jeane never had the pleasure of knowing her father, and Gladys her mother started showing signs of mental illness early in the actress childhood. Gladys was eventually placed into a mental institution. During Norma Jeane’s childhood, she spent the greatest part in foster care or orphanages. In 1937, a close family friend and her husband took care of Norma Jeane for a period of approximately 3 years. When The Godard’s were transferred due to Doc Goddard’s job in 1942, they could not afford to take Norma Jeane with them (Bio True Story, 2012). Norma Jeane had no desire in which to return to the orphanages or foster care, her only option left was marriage. In June of 1942, Norma Jeane Mortenson married her then boyfriend Jimmy Dougherty. Jimmy was a member of the merchant marines, whom was sent to the South Pacific shortly after the marriage. Jimmy returned in 1946, to find that his wife had carved out a career as a model (Bio True Story, 2012).

According to Doll (1998-2012), When Norma Jeane was a child, she had asked her mother about a portrait hanging on a wall, of a handsome man, with a thin moutache, Norma’s mother susposedly replied that it was the...
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