All my stepchildren carried the burden of my fame. Sometimes they would read terrible things about me, and I’d worry about whether it would hurt them. I would tell them: ‘Don’t hide these things from me. I’d rather you ask me these things straight out, and I’ll answer all your questions.’
A woman knows by intuition, or instinct, what is best for herself.
Fame is like caviar, you know – it’s good to have caviar but not when you have it at every meal.
I used to think as I looked out on the Hollywood night, ‘There must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me dreaming of being a movie star.’ But I’m not going to worry about them. I’m dreaming the hardest.
I learned to walk as a baby, and I haven’t had a lesson since.
If I’m a star, then the people made me a star.
I think I have always had a little humor.
Consider the fellow. He never spends his time telling you about his previous night’s date. You get the idea he has eyes only for you and wouldn’t think of looking at another woman.
For a long time I was scared I’d find out I was like my mother.
I’ve always felt toward the slightest scene, even if all I had to do in a scene was just to come in and say, ‘Hi,’ that the people ought to get their money’s worth and that this is an obligation of mine, to give them the best you can get from me.
In Hollywood a girl’s virtue is much less important than her hairdo.
An actor is supposed to be a sensitive instrument. Isaac Stern takes good care of his violin. What if everybody jumped on his violin?
Fame will go by and, so long, I’ve had you, fame. If it goes by, I’ve always known it was fickle. So at least it’s something I experience, but that’s not where I live.
Fear is stupid. So are regrets.
I know I will never be happy, but I know I can be gay!
Sometimes, wearing a scarf and a polo coat and no makeup and with a certain attitude of walking, I go shopping or just look at people living. But then, you know, there will be a few teenagers who are kind of sharp, and they’ll say, ‘Hey, just a minute. You know who I think that is?’ And they’ll start tailing me. And I don’t mind.
I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one.
I don’t look at myself as a commodity, but I’m sure a lot of people have.
It’s not true I had nothing on, I had the radio on.
There was my name up in lights. I said, ‘God, somebody’s made a mistake.’ But there it was, in lights. And I sat there and said, ‘Remember, you’re not a star.’ Yet there it was up in lights.
Having a child, that’s always been my biggest fear. I want a child and I fear a child.
I’ve never dropped anyone I believed in.
I have too many fantasies to be a housewife. I guess I am a fantasy.
There are many times when a woman will ask another girl friend how she likes her new hat. She will reply, ‘Fine,’ but slap her hand to her forehead the minute the girl leaves to yipe, ‘What a horror!’
To put it bluntly, I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation. But I’m working on the foundation.
Sometimes I’ve been to a party where no one spoke to me for a whole evening. The men, frightened by their wives or sweeties, would give me a wide berth. And the ladies would gang up in a corner to discuss my dangerous character.
If a star or studio chief or any other great movie personages find themselves sitting among a lot of nobodies, they get frightened – as if somebody was trying to demote them.
A woman can’t be alone. She needs a man. A man and a woman support and strengthen each other. She just can’t do it by herself.
Like any creative human being, I would like a bit more control so that it would be a little easier for me when the director says, ‘One tear, right now,’ that one tear would pop out.
A strong man doesn’t have to be dominant toward a woman. He doesn’t match his strength against a woman weak with love for him. He matches it against the world.
I don’t know if high society is different in other cities, but in Hollywood, important people can’t stand to be invited someplace that isn’t full of other important people. They don’t mind a few unfamous people being present because they make good listeners.
I was brought up differently than the average American child because the average child is brought up expecting to be happy.
Someday I want to have children and give them all the love I never had.
I myself would like to become more disciplined within my work.
When I was 11, the whole world was closed to me. I just felt I was on the outside of the world.
I have feelings too. I am still human. All I want is to be loved, for myself and for my talent.
In fact, my popularity seems almost entirely a masculine phenomenon.
The real lover is the man who can thrill you just by touching your head or smiling into your eyes – or just by staring into space.
The truth is, I’ve never fooled anyone. I’ve let men sometimes fool themselves.
I don’t digest things with my mind.
I want to be an artist, an actress with integrity, and that includes all kinds of parts.
Before marriage, a girl has to make love to a man to hold him. After marriage, she has to hold him to make love to him.
I don’t consider myself an intellectual. And this is not one of my aims. But I admire intellectual people.
A smart girl leaves before she is left.
What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.
At twelve I looked like a girl of seventeen. My body was developed and shapely. I still wore the blue dress and the blouse the orphanage provided. They made me look like an overgrown lummox.
If there is only one thing in my life that I am proud of, it’s that I’ve never been a kept woman.
Next to my husband, and along with Marlon Brando, I think that Yves Montand is the most attractive man I’ve ever met.
With fame, you know, you can read about yourself, somebody else’s ideas about you, but what’s important is how you feel about yourself – for survival and living day to day with what comes up.
I’ve often stood silent at a party for hours listening to my movie idols turn into dull and little people.
I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.
Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.
Beauty and femininity are ageless and can’t be contrived, and glamour, although the manufacturers won’t like this, cannot be manufactured. Not real glamour; it’s based on femininity.It’s all make believe, isn’t it?
I have always had a talent for irritating women since I was fourteen.
Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you’d never complete your life, would you? You’d never wholly know you.
Depending upon my activities, I sleep between five and ten hours every night. I sleep in an extra-wide single bed, and I use only one heavy down comforter over me, summer or winter. I have never been able to wear pajamas or creepy nightgowns; they disturb my sleep.
I wish I knew why I am so anguished.
There isn’t anybody that looks like me without clothes on.
Men are so willing to respect anything that bores them.
The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.
I always have a full-length mirror next to the camera when I’m doing publicity stills. That way, I know how I look.
Of course, it does depend on the people, but sometimes I’m invited places to kind of brighten up a dinner table like a musician who’ll play the piano after dinner, and I know you’re not really invited for yourself. You’re just an ornament.
My work is the only ground I’ve ever had to stand on. To put it bluntly, I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation, but I’m working on the foundation.
I’ll think I have a few wonderful friends and all of a sudden, ooh, here it comes. They do a lot of things. They talk about you to the press, to their friends, tell stories, and you know, it’s disappointing.
I want the world to see my body.
I’m looking forward to becoming a marvelous – excuse the word marvelous – character actress. like Marie Dressler, like Will Rogers.
It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone – so far.
I’ve been on a calendar, but I’ve never been on time.
A man has a tendency to accept you the way you are, while most women immediately start to pick flaws and want to change you.
The ‘public’ scares me, but people I trust.
An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like a machine. A money machine.
It’s nice to be included in people’s fantasies but you also like to be accepted for your own sake.
Dogs never bite me – just humans.
I am alone; I am always alone no matter what.
What’s the good of drawing in the next breath if all you do is let it out and draw in another?
How do I know about a man’s needs for a sex symbol? I’m a girl.
I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.
What I really want to say: That what the world really needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negroes, Jews, Arabs. We are all brothers.
I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.
You know, most people really don’t know me.
Millions of people live their entire lives without finding themselves. But it is something I must do.
When I was five, I think, that’s when I started wanting to be an actress. I loved to play. I didn’t like the world around me because it was kind of grim, but I loved to play house. It was like you could make your own boundaries.
Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.
Some of my foster families used to send me to the movies to get me out of the house and there I’d sit all day and way into the night. Up in front, there with the screen so big, a little kid all alone, and I loved it. I loved anything that moved up there and I didn’t miss anything that happened and there was no popcorn either.
Men who think that a woman’s past love affairs lessen her love for them are usually stupid and weak.
A woman can bring a new love to each man she loves, providing there are not too many.
Fame may go by and – so long, I’ve had you.
I have noticed… that men usually leave married women alone and are inclined to treat all wives with respect. This is no great credit to married women.
It’s not to much fun to know yourself too well or think you do – everyone needs a little conceit to carry them through & past the falls.
[Image: If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything. – Marilyn Monroe] If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.
Experts on romance say for a happy marriage there has to be more than a passionate love. For a lasting union, they insist, there must be a genuine liking for each other. Which, in my book, is a good definition for friendship.
I like to feel blonde all over.
Fame is fickle, and I know it. It has its compensations but it also has its drawbacks, and I’ve experienced them both.
Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.I restore myself when I’m alone.We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.
I like actors very much, but to marry one would be like marrying your brother. You look too much alike in the mirror.
I guess I have always been deeply terrified to really be someone’s wife since I know from life one cannot love another, ever, really.
I just got to feel that whoever I marry has some real regard for me.
Only the public can make a star. It’s the studios who try to make a system out of it.
I’ve always wanted a baby.
I am trying to find myself. Sometimes that’s not easy.
I’m very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.
If I close my eyes and think of Hollywood, all I see is one big varicose vein.
I want to be an artist, not… a celluloid aphrodisiac.
I was honoured when they asked me to appear at the president’s birthday rally in Madison Square Garden. There was like a hush over the whole place when I came on to sing ‘Happy Birthday,’ like if I had been wearing a slip, I would have thought it was showing or something. I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, what if no sound comes out!’
It’s often just enough to be with someone.
I don’t need to touch them.
Not even talk.
A feeling passes between you both.
You’re not alone.
Friends accept you the way you are.
Husbands are chiefly good as lovers when they are betraying their wives.
Marriage destroyed my relationship with two wonderful men.
When Clark Gable died, I cried for 2 days straight. I couldn’t eat or sleep.
Fame doesn’t fulfill you. It warms you a bit, but that warmth is temporary.
Dreaming about being an actress, is more exciting then being one.
I don’t want everybody to see exactly where I live, what my sofa or my fireplace looks like.
Confidentially, the type of male I find most enjoyable for a friend is one who has enough fire and assurance to speak up for his convictions.
I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.
No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they’re pretty, even if they aren’t.
I defy gravity.
Respect is one of life’s greatest treasures. I mean, what does it all add up to if you don’t have that?
Sometimes I feel my whole life has been one big rejection.
It is wonderful to have someone praise you, to be desired
The working men, I’ll go by and they’ll whistle. At first they whistle because they think, ‘Oh, it’s a girl. She’s got blond hair and she’s not out of shape,’ and then they say, ‘Gosh, it’s Marilyn Monroe!’
I often wake up in the night, and I like to have something to think about.
First, I’m trying to prove to myself that I’m a person. Then maybe I’ll convince myself that I’m an actress.
Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don’t feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn.
I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.
Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you’re a human being, you feel, you suffer. You’re gay, you’re sick, you’re nervous or whatever.
I never wanted to be Marilyn – it just happened. Marilyn’s like a veil I wear over Norma Jeane
I think that sexuality is only attractive when it’s natural and spontaneous.
The trouble with censors is that they worry if a girl has cleavage. They ought to worry if she hasn’t any.
A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing.
Nothing’s ever easy as long as you go on living.
Arthur Miller wouldn’t have married me if I had been nothing but a dumb blonde.
I won’t be satisfied until people want to hear me sing without looking at me. Of course, that doesn’t mean I want them to stop looking.
There is just no comparison between having a dinner date with a man and staying home playing canasta with the girls.
Someone said to me, ‘If fifty percent of the experts in Hollywood said you had no talent and should give up, what would you do?’ My answer was then and still is, ‘If a hundred percent told me that, all one hundred percent would be wrong.’
My public is growing up just as I am. After all, I’m not 19 anymore and if I stick with the sex bit, who will be paying to see me when I’m 50?
I used to get the feeling, and sometimes I still get it, that sometimes I was fooling somebody; I don’t know who or what, maybe myself.
I am not a victim of emotional conflicts. I am human.
When I was five I think, that’s when I started wanting to be an actress.
A man makes you feel important – makes you glad you are a woman.
I think that when you are famous every weakness is exaggerated.
I love a natural look in pictures.
I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.
Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.
I read poetry to save time.
I have evolved my own exercises, for the muscles I wish to keep firm, and I know they are right for me because I can feel them putting the proper muscles into play as I exercise.
Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn’t that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.
I remember when I was in high school I didn’t have a new dress for each special occasion. The girls would bring the fact to my attention, not always too delicately. The boys, however, never bothered with the subject. They were my friends, not because of the size of my wardrobe but because they liked me.
We human beings are strange creatures and still reserve the right to think for ourselves.
Black men don’t like to be called ‘boys,’ but women accept being called ‘girls.’
When it comes to gossip, I have to readily admit men are as guilty as women.
I am involved in a freedom ride protesting the loss of the minority rights belonging to the few remaining earthbound stars. All we demanded was our right to twinkle.
I’m one of the world’s most self-conscious people. I really have to struggle.
The public doesn’t mind people living together without being married, providing they don’t overdo it.
Girdles and wire stays should have never been invented. No man wants to hug a padded bird cage.
What good am I? I can’t have kids. I can’t cook. I’ve been divorced three times. Who would want me?
The fact is that I find more most men are more open, more generous, and much more stimulating than the majority of females I know.
When I was a youngster I lived with different families. I nearly always felt closer to the man of the house. Maybe because I always dreamed of having a father of my own.
Why is it you always meet people when you look your worst?
A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night.
I once wanted to prove myself by being a great actress. Now I want to prove that I’m a person. Then maybe I’ll be a great actress.
Girls shouldn’t worry about being the equal of men in the business world.
The nicest thing for me is sleep, then at least I can dream.We should all start to live before we get too old.
What good is it being Marilyn Monroe? Why can’t I just be an ordinary woman?
One of the best things that ever happened to me is that I’m a woman.
That is the way all females should feel.
I have never cared especially for outdoor sports and have no desire to excel at tennis, swimming, or golf.
I’ll leave those things to the men.
If you spend your life competing with business men, what do you have?
A bank account and ulcers!
If your man is a sports enthusiast, you may have to resign yourself to his spouting off in a monotone on a prize fight, football game or pennant race.
I enjoy acting when you really hit it right.
The thing I want more than anything else? I want to have children.
I used to feel for every child I had, I would adopt another.
If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere.
I want to grow old without facelifts. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I have made.
A career is born in public – talent in privacy.
Naturally, there are times when every woman likes to be flattered… to feel she is the most important thing in someone’s world. Only a man can paint this picture.
A man is more frank and sincere with his emotions than a woman. We girls, I’m afraid, have a tendency to hide our feelings.
An actor is supposed to be a sensitive instrument.
I have been told my eating habits are absolutely bizarre. But I don’t think so.
My dinners at home are startlingly simple. Every night, I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamb chops or some liver, which I broil in the electric oven in my room. I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all. I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots.
There is a need for aloneness, which I don’t think most people realise for an actor. It’s almost having certain kinds of secrets for yourself that you’ll let the whole world in on only for a moment, when you’re acting. But everybody is always tugging at you. They’d all like sort of a chunk of you.
I’ve found men are less likely to let petty things annoy them.
I am invariably late for appointments – sometimes as much as two hours. I’ve tried to change my ways but the things that make me late are too strong, and too pleasing.
I think one of the basic reasons men make good friends is that they can make up their minds quickly.