Fifty years ago today, Norma Jeane Mortenson -- the actress, model and singer better known as Marilyn Monroe -- died in Los Angeles of a drug overdose. She was just 36.
Though not a natural blonde, Marilyn was the prototypical blonde bombshell.
Such was -- and is -- her popularity that Forbes' annual list of top deceased celebrity earners estimates that her estate made $27 million last year. Monroe tweets at nearly 54,000 followers from (at)marilynmonroe and has a website and official Facebook page with more than 3.3 million fans.
While she was alive, at last one cartoon made a reference to her: In Knight-mare Hare, Bugs Bunny squares off against wizard Merlin of Monroe.
And, in the past 50 years:
Cool World: Holli Would sings "Let's Make Love" as she rehearses. Happy Feet: Nicole Kidman's character is named Norma Jean. Hercules: a Muse apes the "subway grate" pose from The Seven Year Itch. Monkeybone: Monkeybone impersonates Marilyn Monroe during his performance in the Coma Club scene. Shrek 2: The Fairy Godmother makes Fiona ape the "subway grate" pose from The Seven Year Itch. The Smurfs: Smurfette apes the "subway grate" pose while standing over a heater on the floor. The Tigger Movie: Tigger dresses as Monroe from The Seven Year Itch.
Pebbles and Bamm Bamm: The character Cindy Curbstone (voiced by Gay Hartwig in this series) is patterned after Marilyn Monroe. Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps: In "Angelina's Gift for Ms. Mimi," a gust of wind makes Angelina ape the "subway grate" pose from The Seven Year Itch. Clone High: Monroe hangs out at The Grassy Knoll with Nostradamus. The Critic: In "Marathon Mensch," Jay imagines himself as a Monroe impersonator aping the "subway grate" pose from The Seven Year Itch. Dexter's Laboratory: In "Blonde Leading the Blonde," Dexter apes the "subway grate" pose from The Seven Year Itch. Futurama: In "I Dated a Robot," a teenager makes out with "Marilyn Monrobot." The Real Ghostbusters: In "Janine, You've Changed," Janine insinuates that she has claimed Monroe. The Simpsons: In "The Homer They Fall," the "World's Best Jacket" that Homer wants to buy has a patch of Marilyn Monroe with her white dress being blown up by a vent, taken from The Seven Year Itch. In "Rosebud," Smithers imagines Mr. Burns singing "Happy Birthday, Mr. Smithers" à la "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." A photo slide of Mr. Burns shows him aping the "subway grate" pose from The Seven Year Itch. "Thirty Minutes over Tokyo" features a Monroe robot. In "Treehouse of Horror XIV," Professor Frink tells Bart and Lisa that his father "worked on the atom bomb by day, slept with Marilyn Monroe by night, and sold secrets to the Russians at lunch." Moe apes the "subway grate" pose from The Seven Year Itch on Disk 4 of the Season 6 DVD set menu. Dr. Marvin Monroe's original first name was Marilyn.
"In Hollywood, a girl's virtue is much less important than her hairdo. You're judged by how you look, not by what you are. Hollywood's a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty." -- Marilyn Monroe
(This post was edited by eminovitz on Aug 5, 2012, 11:23 PM)
Some other "grate" cartoon references to Marilyn's famous scene in The Seven Year Itch:
The Critic: "L.A. Jay" (1994) A transvestite in a white dress offers to stand over a grate like Marilyn Monroe in the film.
The Simpsons: "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo" (1999) The Americatown restaurant has an animatronic Marilyn Monroe in a white dress, which is being blown upward by a subway vent.
The Simpsons: "Home Away from Homer" (2005) Ned stands over a grate with wind billowing up into his mustache.
Robot Chicken: "Rodigitti" (2006) A guy's kilt blows upward as he stands on a drain. He pushes it back down.
The Simpsons: "Gone Maggie Gone" (2009) A nun tells Lisa, "You must wear your habit modestly at all times -- not like Sister Marilyn," who is shown duplicating the scene in which a breeze blows up Marilyn Monroe's skirt.
Planet 51 (2009) An alien girl tries to hold down her white dress as a vent blows up air, just like the iconic shot of Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch.
Chico & Rita (2010) As she is crossing a street to get to the bus, Rita's dress flies up as in the famous Marilyn Monroe shot.
Futurama: "Attack of the Killer App" (2010) The dress-blowing-up scene is spoofed.
Futurama: "The Mutants Are Revolting" (2010) A girl's dress blows upward like Marilyn's.
(This post was edited by eminovitz on Sep 12, 2012, 3:38 PM)