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Celebrating the life of Michael David Larsen AKA Eyedea Tags: michael david larsem eyedea those we've lost word life production featured blog

Micheal David Larsen (November 9, 1981 – October 16, 2010), better known by his stage name Eyedea, was an American rapper of Lebanese and Irish origins. He was battle freestyle battle champion and songwriter from Saint Paul, Minnesota. He had appeared as a solo artist under the pseudonym Oliver Hart, and as the MC half of the duo Eyedea & Abilities (along with longtime friend and collaborator DJ Abilities)] Larsen was first signed under Slug's independent hip-hop label Rhymesayers before founding his own record label "Crushkill Recordings". Eyedea's style of music is philosophical, abstract, political and poetic.

Eyedea first stepped into the hip-hop scene battling against other emcees at notable freestyle joints. His notable wins which included a victory at Scribble Jam (1999) and the televised Blaze Battle sponsored by HBO (2000), turned Eyedea into a hip-hop mogul. Notable hip-hop outlets have labeled Eyedea as a legendary freestyle icon. Eyedea has released numerous albums alongside DJ Abilities where the two performed under the duo name "Eyedea & Abilities". In 2001, Eyedea & Abilities released their debut studio album First Born, which included their successful single "Big Shots". The single was later chosen to appear on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. In 2004, Eyedea & Abilities released their second studio album titled E&A, which included the singles "Paradise" & "Man vs Ape". In July 2009, Eyedea & Abilities released their third and final studio album called By the Throat, which was followed by highly acclaimed positive ratings. The lead single "Smile" is Eyedea's most viewed music video on YouTube and was listed in Abbey's top 10 best hip-hop songs ever, respectively.

In 2014, Eyedea ranked #2 on Abbey Magazine's Top 25 'greatest freestyle emcees of all-time'. Eyedea died in his sleep on October 16th, 2010 at age 28; the cause of his death was ruled as an accidental overdose. Eyedea was a member of the music groups Eyedea & Abilities, The Orphanage, Face Candy, Carbon Carousel, Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream, and Guitar Party.

Eyedea lived just east of Downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota, where he attended Highland Park Senior High School.

Eyedea became known as a battle MC, touring the circuit between 1997 and 2001. During this time, he won top prizes at Scribble Jam '99, the Rock Steady Anniversary 2000, and Blaze Battle New York 2000. He contributed a track to the Anticon compilation, Music for the Advancement of Hip Hop. Additionally, he toured extensively as second MC and support DJ for Atmosphere.

In 2001, he released First Born with his partner DJ Abilities (collectively, they were initially called the Sixth Sense, but later changed the name to Eyedea & Abilities). In 2002, under his pen name "Oliver Hart", he released the self-produced The Many Faces of Oliver Hart, or: How Eye One the Write Too Think. In 2004, he reunited with Abilities to release the self-titled album E&A.

All of Eyedea's releases have been on the Rhymesayers record label, with the exception of the Carbon Carousel EP, which was released on his own Independent music label, Crushkill Recordings. In addition to touring independently and with Rhymesayers labelmates and members of Face Candy, Eyedea & Abilities participated in the Def Jux-sponsored "Who Killed the Robots?" tour, titled by Eyedea.

He was signed to Rhymesayers Entertainment and collaborated with Slug of the underground hip hop group Atmosphere as well as Sage Francis, Aesop Rock, and Blueprint. He was also a member of a MC super group called "The Orphanage" along with Slug, Aesop Rock, Blueprint, Sage Francis & Illogic. Although never releasing a full CD to the public, songs were recorded and released.[2]

After Eyedea released This Is Where We Were, recorded with his live freestyle rap/jazz group Face Candy, he created Carbon Carousel, an alternative rock band. They have released one EP, entitled The Some of All Things, or: The Healing Power of Scab Picking. This brought on speculation that Eyedea & Abilities were no longer together. However, in August 2007, the duo announced on their Myspace that they would be at the Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-Hop performing old songs and new material.

In December 2007, Eyedea & Abilities embarked upon their Appetite for Distraction Tour with Crushkill labelmate Kristoff Krane and Minnesotan duo Sector7G.

The summer of 2009 saw Eyedea & Abilities joining the touring hip hop festival Rock the Bells for a limited number of dates, performing alongside such acts as Sage Francis, Evidence, M.O.P. and the Knux. E&A also performed at the first Rock the Bells concert in 2004, infamous for being Ol' Dirty Bastard's last performance with the Wu-Tang Clan.

In 2011, an EP of 4 of Eyedea's freestyles, previously released in 2010 but only sold at live shows, were made available for 'pay what you want' download. Guitar Party a group consisting of vocalist (and first grader) Mijah Ylvisaker, drummer J.T. Bates (Face Candy, Carbon Carousel, The Pines) and guitarists Jeremy Ylvisaker (Carbon Carousel, Alpha Consumer, Andrew Bird, The Cloak Ox), Jake Hanson (Halloween, Alaska), Andrew Broder (Fog, The Cloak Ox) and Micheal Larsen (Eyedea & Abilities, Carbon Carousel, Face Candy) released a recording of the only live show they had managed to play before Eyedea's death called 'Birthday [I feel Triangular]' .The second Face Candy album was released on May 24, 2011 on Rhymesayers. This album was recorded in two days at the Winterland studios and one night in front of an audience at St. Paul's Black Dog Cafe.

Death

Eyedea died in his sleep on October 16, 2010. He was found dead by his mother, according to friend. Cause of death was released November 18, 2010 and ruled an accident, from "opiate toxicity," according to the Ramsey County medical examiner's office. The specific drugs found in Larsen's system have not been revealed to the public.Various hip-hop artists went on their Twitter accounts to pay their tribute to him.

On December 25, 2013, it was announced on Eyedea & Abilities' Facebook page that a star was registered under the name Eyedea to commemorate Larsen on the web site Online Star Register.

Source: Wikipedia

 

We celebrate the life of the King of the Ring - Owen Hart Tags: owen hart king ring word life production honoring those lost word life production new

Owen Hart was born on May 7, 1965, in Calgary, Canada, into a large family with 12 children. His father, a professional wrestler, trained him in a basement studio. Hart, a champion college wrestler, joined his father's professional team in 1986 and 1988 entered the World Wrestling Federation. He died on May 23, 1999, when he fell 90 feet during a pre-match publicity stunt.

Professional wrestler Owen Hart was born on May 7, 1965, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The youngest of 12 children, Hart was one of six brothers and four brothers-in-law in the Hart family to become professional wrestlers. The Hart boys studied wrestling from an early age in a basement studio under the watchful eye of their father, Stu, himself a talented wrestler.

Successful Wrestling Career

Owen wrestled at the amateur level and became a Canadian college champion before making his professional debut in 1986 as part of his father's Stampede Wrestling tour. After touring in Europe, Japan, Mexico and Canada, Hart entered the World Wrestling Federation in 1988.

As "the Rocket" or "the Blue Blazer," Hart became a popular fixture in the WWF. His fierce, although staged, rivalry with his older brother, the five-time WWF champion Bret "the Hitman" Hart, attracted viewers, as did their teaming up to form "the Hart Foundation" in 1993. Individually, Owen won the King of the Ring title in 1994 and the Intercontinental title in 1997. After Bret unofficially retired in late 1997, Owen was the only remaining Hart on the professional wrestling scene.

Untimely Death

Over the years, Hart became disenchanted with the outrageous character of the WWF and especially with federation owner Vince McMahon. In early 1999, he was reportedly preparing to retire and spend more time with his family—he had a son, Oje, and a daughter, Athena, with his wife Martha. He thought of beginning a teaching career.

An accident during a pre-match publicity stunt on May 23, 1999, at Kansas City's Kemper Arena put an abrupt and tragic end to those hopes. In front of more than 16,000 fans, most of them totally unaware of the chilling reality of what they were watching, Hart fell some 90 feet when a release mechanism disengaged on a cable affixed to the ceiling from the safety vest he was wearing, hitting his head on one of the wrestling ring's padded turnbuckles. He was later pronounced dead of internal bleeding.

Aftermath

The circumstances surrounding Hart's death sparked much discussion about the increasingly dangerous nature of the WWF's publicity tactics and provoked calls for some action to be taken by the federation to protect its wrestlers. A wrongful death lawsuit filed against the WWF by Hart's family, who accused the wrestling organization of making dangerous demands on Hart in pursuit of money and television ratings. They reached an out-of-court settlement in late 2000. The WWF is pursuing its own lawsuit against the company that manufactured the equipment used during the deadly stunt.

© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.

Remembering Fred “Rerun” Berry Tags: fred rerun berry honoring those lost remembering word life production feature weekly blog

Fred Berry, aka “Rerun” and “Mr. Penguin,” was one of the most iconic dancers, actors and performers in show business history. He was also a good friend of mine. His style of dancing was often imitated but never duplicated. Although overweight, he was smooth and light on his feet and he could out-dance a number of professional dancers.

Born March 19, 1951 in St. Louis, Missouri, Fred grew up in public housing before he and his family later moved to Los Angeles. In the recent SoulTrain.com Diary of an Ex-Soul Train Dancer interview, Don Campbell of the legendary Lockers dance troupe explained that he and Fred first met at the club Maverick’s Flat. Fred was real quiet but after he watched Don dancing he started getting into dancing. Eventually, Fred and Don became close friends and Fred wound up becoming a dancer on Soul Train and became a standout, mixing locking with his own freestyle moves. He later became a part of the Lockers dance troupe and was given the nickname “Penguin.”

Aside from the Lockers, Fred also did outside work, performing in a Dick Clark-produced TV special about the history of dance and also appeared in a club scene in the 1972 movie Hammer starring Fred Williamson.

After performing with the Lockers for four years, Fred auditioned for a new television sitcom for ABC called What’s Happening!!, which was loosely based on the motion picture Cooley High. The role he auditioned for, Rerun, was originally written for a skinny white guy. Fred said that when he showed up for the auditions, the casting directors and producers told him they needed a skinny white guy for the role but Fred kept insisting to them that, “I am a white skinny guy!” Fred’s persistence paid off as the casting directors and producers fell out laughing at the sight of this young, portly black guy proclaiming he was a skinny white guy. The role of Rerun was rewritten for a fat black guy, and Fred won the role.

Fred played the role of Frederick “Rerun” Stubbs, a high school kid who always wore a red tam and rainbow suspenders and loved to eat as well as dance. He was nicknamed Rerun due to repeatedly getting left back and having to “rerun” all of his classes. He was best friends with Roger Thomas and Dwayne Nelson (played by Ernest Thomas and Haywood Nelson, respectively), all of whom often got into typical teen mischief. Rerun often verbally sparred with Shirley Wilson (played by the late comedian Shirley Hemphill), a loudmouth, no-nonsense waitress at the neighborhood teen hangout Rob’s Place. Rerun was also the target of putdowns by Roger’s bratty kid sister, Dee (played by Danielle Spencer), while he and Dwayne were often treated as sons by Roger’s mother Mabel Thomas (played by the late Mabel King).

Although Fred was no longer a part of the Lockers, he never forgot his old companions and helped to get all of them on the fourth episode of the series in which they played a dance group called The Rockets and Rerun wanted badly to become a part of their group.

The character of Rerun, like that of Jimmie Walker’s J.J. character on Good Times, was often criticized for being silly and buffoonish. Black critics of the time felt that those characters gave bad images to impressionable young black kids watching (particularly the characters’ lackadaisical attitudes toward school). But What’s Happening!! was just a comedy. Rerun and J.J., just like Lucy, Ralph Kramden and Carol Burnett’s many characters, were essentially just comedic characters designed to entertain and make people laugh. If there were characters like this in the dramatic landmark miniseries Roots, for example, criticism could be justified (imagine Kunta Kinte yelling “DY-NO-MITE” during that horrible whipping scene).

In hindsight and in all fairness, Rerun was a black kid who was just trying to find his way. His constant eating habits were a sign of insecurity as well as an emptiness he was trying to fill on the inside. Like all teenagers, Rerun was searching for self, his place in the world. When he was cracked on by Shirley or Dee or anyone else, the hurt was evident in Rerun’s eyes; but he persevered, trying to make something of himself. He had big dreams beyond his inner city neighborhood of Watts and wanted to do better and become better, hence his desire to be a professional dancer and an actor before he eventually landed a job at ABC as a TV studio page in the program’s last season.

After What’s Happening!! went off the air in April 1979, Fred continued to do dance work and even reappeared for a brief time as a Soul Train dancer in 1984. He also did some film and TV work, including appearing as Sugar Pimp Dorsey in the 1982 movie Vice Squad and appearing as a breakdancer named Bobo on a 1984 episode of the television sitcom Alice.

In 1985, Fred returned to television in the series What’s Happening Now, which featured all of the original characters of the classic What’s Happening!! series. Rerun had a job as a car salesman, while Roger became a fledgling writer and Dwayne became a computer programmer. However, Fred’s stint on the show was short-lived as he left after one season (the show itself was cancelled in May 1988)
Fred had sporadic work here and there (including a 1993 episode of Martin and in Snoop Dogg’s music video “Doggy Dogg World,” which celebrated 70s black film and TV icons). He moved to New York City in 1997 and opened up an acting school called Rerun’s Acting School. I was one of his students and I had the pleasure of going to his studio suite on West 33rd Street every Saturday morning. I was surprised at how deep his actual voice was. He said he made his voice go high whenever he played the younger role of Rerun. He would have me perform monologues and create commercials and do other acting exercises. I learned so much from this man not only about the acting business but the business of acting and the entertainment business as well.

Fred shared a story with me about the child actress Reina King (sister of actress Regina King) who played Carolyn, Roger Thomas’ adopted daughter on What’s Happening Now. There was an episode which spoofed The Wizard of Oz–in which Carolyn played Dorothy, and the lines called for her to become hurt and sad that her dog Toto was taken away by the Wicked Witch. Reina laughed it off, looking at the plot matter as silly. Fred told me he took her aside and told her that she was an actress and had to take this seriously, so she eventually was able to get through the lines. But this is how Fred was in his acting class. He was totally serious about the acting profession and show business in general. He wanted to be sure that I remembered lines, went to rehearsals prepared and maintained my energy level (I actually made him cry during one of my recitations and he got up and gave me a hug).

Fred also taught dance classes as well at his school and I learned steps from him that I still do today.
I would sometimes go with Fred to a restaurant across the street where his photo was on the wall along with other celebrities. As he would eat his breakfast, I would also see him taking his medicine for his diabetes, which he shared with me he was battling.

Eventually, Fred moved his acting school to Los Angeles, in the hopes of getting more clients. We became good friends during his time in New York City. Once when I was at a dance party, Fred was a special guest and he gave me a shout out as one of his students. I never forgot that.
Fred did some more film work, such as 1998′s In The Hood and 2000′s Big Money Hustlas. Before he moved back to Los Angeles, he had shared with me some footage of an independent film he was working on with Sinbad. He also appeared on the TV sitcom Scrubs and did a cameo in Will Smith’s “Will 2 K” video, pop locking down the Soul Train line. He also appeared in the 2003 film Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star. His last TV appearance a few weeks before his passing was on the program Classmates, which reunited former classmates. Fred appeared with Charles Bradshaw, a beefy football player whom he thanked for defending him when other kids teased him because of his weight.

Fred’s last movie role was in The Land of Merry Misfits which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. In our last correspondence, he told me he became a minister and I was very happy for him.

In October 2003 I got a call from former Soul Train dancer Damita Jo Freeman that Fred had passed away, succumbing to Type 2 diabetes. I was saddened to hear about the loss of my friend and I miss him to this day.

Fred Berry, to me, will always be remembered as a lovable, fun person who was smart and intelligent and I was honored to have known him and call him a friend and I learned so much from him. Indeed, Fred “Rerun” Berry, like his famous red tam, will forever be an icon.

Source​–Stephen McMillian

Stephen McMillian is a journalist, writer, actor, filmmaker, performer, former Soul Train dancer, Soul Train historian and soul music and movie historian.

In honor of those we've lost-Let's celebrate the life of Howard Rollins Jr. Tags: howard rollins jr heat night soilders story honoring those lost word life feature blog

Howard Rollins Jr. was born on this date in 1950. He was an African American actor.

Born in Baltimore, Howard Ellsworth Rollins, Jr., was the youngest of four children born to Howard E. Rollins, Sr., a steelworker, and Ruth R. Rollins, a domestic worker. After high school, he attended Towson State College, MD, where he studied theater. In his early years, Rollins vaguely considered becoming a teacher. At 17, a friend convinced him to attend a casting call at a local Baltimore theater, where he won a role in "Of Mice and Men."

Rollins surprised himself with the talent he displayed. Of that experience, Rollins told the New York Times in 1981, "Things made sense to me for the first time in my life." In 1974, he moved to New York City to try to get his career off the ground in earnest.

The big break for Rollins came when director Milos Forman cast him as Coalhouse Walker, Jr., in the 1981 film "Ragtime," based on the best-selling novel by E.L. Doctorow. Set at the beginning of the twentieth century, "Ragtime" includes a powerful storyline about a talented Black pianist who is the victim of racism, demands justice from the legal system and receives none, and ultimately desperately turns to retaliation. Rollins won wide acclaim for his portrayal of Coalhouse Walker and ultimately was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1981.

In 1982, speaking to the Los Angeles Herald Examiner about the treatment of racism in "Ragtime," Rollins stated: "It's as valid today as it ever was. You have neo-Nazis resurging, you have the Klan attempting to resurrect its members. There's no huge difference between 1906 and 1982 if one really looks at it. That movie could be done today and called 'Nowtime.'"

Rollins' performance in "Ragtime" led to many film and television roles. In 1982, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the daytime serial "Another World." He also appeared in a TV production of Carson McCullers' "The Member of the Wedding," in the comedy series "Fridays," and as the late civil rights leader Medgar Evers in "For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story."

In 1984, he played the lead role of Captain Richard Davenport in "A Soldier's Story," a film drawn on the Pulitzer-Prize winning play written by Charles Fuller and originally produced in New York City in 1981 by the famed Negro Ensemble Company. Rollins starred as an Army lawyer sent from Washington, D.C., to investigate the murder of an African-American sergeant on a military base in the South, a murder which may have been committed by Ku Klux Klan members from the area. Captain Davenport's investigation takes a surprising turn and the results demonstrate the pernicious impact of racism on African Americans.

Beginning in 1988, Rollins starred with Carroll O'Connor in the TV series, "In the Heat of the Night," which was drawn on the 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. The series was first shot in a small town in Louisiana and then in a small town in Georgia. Although Rollins had grown up in Baltimore, he often felt uneasy and isolated in the Deep South. He frequently said that when he left the set, derogatory words were used in reference to Blacks. He did not find the environment welcoming or friendly, he found the work on the series to be formulaic, and he began to indulge in cocaine and alcohol. In 1988, while filming in Louisiana, he was arrested for possession of cocaine. Despite efforts at rehab, his problems continued and in the early 1990s, he served a 70-day jail sentence in Georgia for driving under the influence. Despite Carroll O'Connor's continued friendship and loyalty, Rollins was eventually written out of "In the Heat of the Night."

In his last years, Rollins made determined efforts to rebuild his career. He appeared in the TV series "New York Undercover" and "Remember WENN," in the PBS television film "Harambee," and in the theatrical film "Drunks."
Rollins' exceptional acting throughout his career helped to inspire subsequent generations of African American actors, playwrights, and filmmakers. Despite his troubles, he was cherished by his friends inside and outside the entertainment industry.

Howard Rollins died on December 9, 1996, of complications from lymphoma. He was 46 years old. On October 26, 2006, a statue of Rollins was unveiled in his native Baltimore at the Senator Theater. This statue is now part of the collection of the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore.

Reference:
Bob Lamm, interview with Howard Rollins,
Los Angeles Herald Examiner,
Dec. 18, 1982, p D2.

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In honor of those we’ve lost let us celebrate the life of the gorgeous Marilyn Monroe Tags: marilyn monroe honor those lost word life production feature blog

Actress Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jeane Mortensen on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles, California. During her all-too-brief life, Marilyn Monroe overcame a difficult childhood to become of the world's biggest and most enduring sex symbols. During her career, Monroe's films grossed more than $200 million. Monroe died of a drug overdose on August 5, 1962, at only 36 years old.

Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jeane Mortensen (later baptized as Norma Jeane Baker) on June 1, 1926, in Los Angeles, California. During her all-too-brief life, Marilyn Monroe overcame a difficult childhood to become of the world's biggest and most enduring sex symbols. She never knew her father, and once thought Clark Gable to be her father—a story repeated often enough for a version of it to gain some currency. However, there's no evidence that Gable ever met or knew Monroe's mother, Gladys, who developed psychiatric problems and was eventually placed in a mental institution. As an adult, Monroe would maintain that one of her earliest memories was of her mother trying to smother her in her crib with a pillow. Monroe had a half-sister, to whom she was not close; they met only a half-dozen times.

Growing up, Monroe spent much of her time in foster care and in an orphanage. In 1937, a family friend and her husband, Grace and Doc Goddard, took care of Monroe for a few years. The Goddards were paid $25 weekly by Monroe's mother to raise her. The couple was deeply religious and followed fundamentalist doctrines; among other prohibited activities, Monroe was not allowed to go to the movies. But when Doc's job was transferred in 1942 to the East Coast, the couple could not afford to bring Monroe with them.

At 7 years old, Monroe returned to a life in foster homes, where she was on several occasions sexually assaulted; she later said that she had been raped when she was 11 years old. But she had one way out—get married. She wed her boyfriend Jimmy Dougherty on June 19, 1942, at the age of 16. By that time, Monroe had dropped out of high school (age 15). A merchant marine, Dougherty was later sent to the South Pacific. Monroe went to work in a munitions factory in Burbank, California, where she was discovered by a photographer. By the time Dougherty returned in 1946, Monroe had a successful career as a model, and had changed her name to Marilyn Monroe in preparation for an acting career. She dreamt of becoming an actress like Jean Harlow and Lana Turner.

Famed Career

Monroe's marriage to Dougherty fizzled out as she focused more on her career. The couple divorced in 1946—the same year that Monroe signed her first movie contract. With the movie contract came a new name and image; she began calling herself "Marilyn Monroe" and dyed her hair blonde. But her acting career didn't really take off until the 1950s. Her small part in John Huston's crime drama The Asphalt Jungle (1950) garnered her a lot of attention. That same year, she impressed audiences and critics alike with her performance as Claudia Caswell in All About Eve, starring Bette Davis.

 She would soon become one of Hollywood's most famous actresses; though she wasn't initially considered to be star acting material, she later proved her skill by winning various honors and attracting large audiences to her films. In 1953, Monroe made a star-making turn in Niagara, starring as a young married woman out to kill her husband with help from her lover. The emerging sex symbol was paired with another bombshell, Jane Russell, for the musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). The film was a hit and Monroe continued to find success in a string of light comedic fare, such as How to Marry a Millionaire with Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall, There's No Business like Show Business (1954) with Ethel Merman and Donald O'Connor, and The Seven Year Itch (1955).

With her breathy voice and hourglass figure, Monroe became a much-admired international star, despite her chronic insecurities regarding her acting abilities. Monroe suffered from pre-performance anxiety that sometimes made her physically ill and was often the root cause of her legendary tardiness on films sets, which was so extreme that it often infuriated her co-stars and crew. "She would be the greatest if she ran like a watch," director Billy Wilder once said of her. "I have an Aunt Minnie who's very punctual, but who would pay to see Aunt Minnie?" Throughout her career, Monroe was signed and released from several contracts with film studios.

Tired of bubbly, dumb blonde roles, Monroe moved to New York City to study acting with Lee Strasberg at the Actors' Studio. She returned to the screen in the dramatic comedy Bus Stop (1956), playing a saloon singer kidnapped by a rancher who has fallen in love with her. She received mostly praise for her performance.

In 1959, Monroe returned to familiar territory with the wildly popular comedy Some Like It Hot, with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. She played Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, a singer who hopes to marry a millionaire in this humorous film, in which Lemmon and Curtis pretend to be women. They are on the run from the mob after witnessing the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and hide out with an all-girl orchestra featuring Monroe. Her work on the film earned her the honor of "Best Actress in a Comedy" in 1959, at Golden Globe Awards.

Reunited with John Huston, Monroe starred opposite Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift in The Misfits (1961). Set in Nevada, this adventure drama features Monroe, who falls for Gable's cowboy but battles him over the fate of some wild mustangs. This was her last completed film.

In 1962, Monroe was dismissed from Something's Got to Give—also starring Dean Martin—for missing so many days of filming. According to an article in The New York Times, the actress claimed that the absences were due to illness. Martin declined to make the film without her, so the studio shelved the picture.

At the time, Monroe's professional and personal life seemed to be in turmoil. Her last two films, Let's Make Love (1960) and The Misfits (1961) were box office disappointments.

In her personal life, she had a string of unsuccessful marriages and relationships. Her 1954 marriage to baseball great Joe DiMaggio only lasted nine months (she wed playwright Arthur Miller from 1956 to 1961).

On May 19, 1962, Monroe made her now-famous performance at John F. Kennedy's birthday celebration, singing "Happy Birthday, Mr. President."

Death and Legacy

On August 5, 1962, at only 36 years old, Marilyn Monroe died at her Los Angeles home. An empty bottle of sleeping pills was found by her bed. There has been some speculation over the years that she may have been murdered, but the cause of her death was officially ruled as a drug overdose. There have been rumors that Monroe was involved with President John F. Kennedy and/or his brother Robert around the time of her death.

Monroe was buried in her favorite Emilio Pucci dress, in what was known as a "Cadillac casket"—the most high-end casket available, made of heavy-gauge solid bronze and lined with champagne-colored silk. Lee Strasberg delivered a eulogy before a small group of friends and family. Hugh Hefner bought the crypt directly next to Monroe's, and Monroe's ex-husband, Joe DiMaggio, famously had red roses delivered to her crypt for the next 20 years.

Monroe did not own a house until the last year of her life, and had surprisingly few possessions. One that she prized was an autographed photo of Albert Einstein, which included an inscription: "To Marilyn, with respect and love and thanks."

During her career, Marilyn Monroe's films grossed more than $200 million. Today, she is still considered the world's most popular icon of sex appeal and beauty, and is remembered for her idiosyncratic sense of humor and sly wit; once asked by a reporter what she wore to bed, she replied, "Chanel Number 5." On another occasion, she was asked what she thought of Hollywood. "If I close my eyes and think of Hollywood, all I see is one big varicose vein," she replied. Monroe is also remembered for her romantic relationships with Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Yves Montand and director Elia Kazan, in addition to her three marriages.

Monroe has been imitated over the years by a number of celebrities, including Madonna, Lady Gaga and Gwen Stefani. Actress Michelle Williams portrayed Monroe ina 2011 film, My Week with Marilyn, about Monroe's relationship with Sir Laurence Olivier in 1957's The Prince and the Showgirl.

In 2011, several rarely seen photos of Marilyn Monroe were published in a book of photographs by famed photographer Sam Shaw. August 5, 2012 will mark the 50th anniversary of Monroe's death. A half century later, the world is still fascinated by her beauty and talent.

© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved. http://www.biography.com/people/marilyn-monroe-9412123?page=1

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