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Marilyn Monroe (1926–1962), baptized Norma Jeane Baker, was an American actress, singer, and model. After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946.
The typecasting of Monroe's "dumb blonde" persona limited her career prospects, so she broadened her range. She studied at the Actors Studio and formed Marilyn Monroe Productions. Her dramatic performance in Bus Stop was hailed by critics, and she won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Some Like it Hot.
The final years of Monroe's life were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for being unreliable and difficult to work with. The circumstances of her death, from an overdose of barbiturates, have been the subject of conjecture. Though officially classified as a "probable suicide", the possibility of an accidental overdose, as well as the possibility of homicide, have not been ruled out. In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute.