Why Was Marilyn Monroe Fired From 20Th Century Fox: Expert Tell You

Marilyn Monroe's firing from 20th Century Fox remains shrouded in mystery, impacting her Hollywood legacy. Discover the rise and fall of a star.

The Rise of Marilyn Monroe: A Star is Born

Marilyn Monroe’s career began in the late 1940s after she secured a contract with 20th Century Fox. Her blonde hair, beautiful face, curvaceous figure and bubbly personality quickly made her a rising star. marylin monroe ‘s film debut in 1947’s The Shocking Miss Pilgrim did not impress critics, but her role as the dumb blonde in the comedy Ladies of the Chorus caught the attention of audiences and elevated her status within the studio.
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marylin monroe, golden age, orange and gray fruits on tree
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Marilyn Monroe’s Professional Challenges at 20th Century Fox

Marilyn Monroe faced numerous hurdles early on in her career at 20th Century Fox. Studio executives and directors were unsure how to market her and struggled to find her the right roles. She was often typecast in simple, secondary parts and had trouble securing meatier lead roles.

When Monroe first signed with 20th Century Fox in 1946, studio head Darryl Zanuck “did not consider her star material.”[1] She was given small, unchallenging roles and typecast as the dumb blonde. Some of her earliest parts included an extra in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948) and a bit part as a secretary in A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950).

Monroe struggled with being taken seriously as an actress. Directors found her ditzy and difficult to work with. Her self-confidence was low and she battled personal demons including depression. All of these factors contributed to her numerous delays and absences on set which further frustrated studio executives.

Over time:

  • Roles:
  • Orphan girl – Dangerous Years (1947)
  • Chorus girl – Ladies of the Chorus (1948)
  • Secretary – A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950)

  • Issues:

  • Labeled “dumb blonde”
  • Seen as difficult and ditzy
  • Battled depression

It would not be until the mid-1950s after leaving 20th Century Fox that Monroe would really begin to hit her stride as an actress and transform into the global icon she is remembered as today.

marylin monroe, golden age, a woman with makeup on her face and a necklace
Photo by Godz1 / Unsplash

The Mysterious Circumstances Surrounding Marilyn Monroe’s Dismissal

The circumstances surrounding Marilyn Monroe’s dismissal from 20th Century Fox remain unclear to this day. The official reason given was that she was late, difficult to work with and depressed on set. However, some hypothesize that the real reason was due to conflicts with powerful studio head Darryl Zanuck who disliked her personal life.

Monroe was officially let go from her contract in 1955. The studio claimed it was due to her frequent absences and tardiness. Monroe had a history of showing up late to film sets and struggling with memorizing her lines. Directors found her unpredictable and difficult during filming.

However, some have speculated that the real reasons may have been more personal. Zanuck reportedly disapproved of Monroe’s tumultuous personal life which included three marriages and affairs with prominent figures like the Kennedys. There were also rumors of a feud between Monroe and Zanuck’s wife Virginia which may have influenced his decision.

After her departure from 20th Century Fox:

  • Joined Columbia Pictures and starred in The Seven Year Itch and Bus Stop

  • Was chosen to play the lead role in Some Like It Hot by United Artists

  • Won a Golden Globe award and received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in Some Like It Hot

  • Became one of the biggest movie stars and sex symbols of the 1950s

While 20th Century Fox cited professional reasons for Monroe’s dismissal, the clouded circumstances and her subsequent rise to stardom after leaving the studio have led many to speculate there were deeper political and personal factors at play behind the scenes. The true story may never be fully known.

marylin monroe, golden age, purple flower in green grass field
Photo by Christina Deravedisian / Unsplash

The Aftermath: Marilyn Monroe’s Legacy and Impact on Hollywood

After leaving 20th Century Fox, Marilyn Monroe went on to sign with other studios where she starred in some of her most iconic and successful films. She cemented her status as one of the biggest sex symbols and movie stars of all time, changing Hollywood forever with her unique brand of stardom.

Monroe signed with Columbia Pictures and starred in two major successes – The Seven Year Itch and Bus Stop. These roles showcased her talent for comedy and drama and helped transform her image beyond the dumb blonde.

She was then chosen to play the lead role in Some Like It Hot by United Artists. The film has gone down as one of the greatest comedies ever made and cemented Monroe’s status as a serious actress beyond just a sex symbol.

The impact was immense:

  • Monroe won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress

  • She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress

  • Some Like It Hot is now #1 on AFI’s list of greatest comedy films of all time

  • Monroe became an international superstar and cultural icon. Her image and legend only grew after her tragic death at age 36.

In summary, Monroe’s departure from 20th Century Fox freed her from the limits of her dumb blonde typecasting. She was able to work with innovative directors and take on challenging roles that showed off her true comedic and acting talents. After leaving the studio, Monroe finally achieved the fame and recognition as one of the true greats of Hollywood cinema.

marylin monroe, stardom, woman in black and white polka dot dress standing on the street
Photo by VENUS MAJOR / Unsplash

More Helpful Guide

Frequently Asked Question

What was Marilyn Monroe’s measurements?

Marilyn Monroe’s measurements were 35-22-35 inches.

What movies was Marilyn Monroe famous for?

Marilyn Monroe was famous for movies like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Seven Year Itch, and Some Like It Hot.

What mental illness did Marilyn Monroe suffer from?

Marilyn Monroe suffered from mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

Did Marilyn Monroe have any children?

Marilyn Monroe did not have any children.

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