19 Tragic Quotes About Marilyn Monroe That Will Remind You Why She’s An Icon

Wikimedia / George Barris
Wikimedia / George Barris

American author Joyce Carol Oates spoke about her epic book, Blonde, that was all about the life and death of Marilyn Monroe. She delivered such soul-hitting quotes about Monroe in the Time Magazine piece, we wanted to see what other celebrated people had said about the fabulous Marilyn Monroe. What we found were a compilation of quotes that speak to the mystery and wonder that surrounds Monroe’s life:


“I think that Monroe is a representative American of a time, a place, a category of being, with whom virtually anyone can identify.” — Joyce Carol Oates


“I got a cold chill. This girl had something I hadn’t seen since silent pictures.

She had a kind of fantastic beauty like Gloria Swanson, when a movie star had to look beautiful, and she got sex on a piece of film like Jean Harlow.” — Leon Shamroy, describing one of Monroe’s screentests


“When you look at Marilyn on the screen, you don’t want anything bad to happen to her. You really care that she should be all right…happy.” — Natalie Wood


“Marilyn’s insecurities nearly screamed out of her. If she had an eight o’clock date, I had to be there at noon to start on her.

If I was two minutes late she was furious, though she thought nothing of keeping others waiting for hours or days.” — George Masters


“If she’d been dumber, she’d have been happier.” — Shelley Winters


“I must admit there were times in this process, as tax reform wended its way through the sometimes convoluted passageways of Congress, that even I had some momentary doubts. I told a group last night that it was a little like the time Marilyn Monroe, the late Marilyn Monroe, met Albert Einstein. And Marilyn grabbed him by the arm and said, “Let’s get married.” And Einstein looked at her and replied, “But, my dear, what if our children had my looks and your brains?” — Ronald Reagan


“She was not the usual movie idol. There was something democratic about her.

She was the type who would join in and wash up the supper dishes even if you didn’t ask her.” — Carl Sandburg


“When you speak of the American way of life, everybody thinks of chewing gum, Coca-Cola and Marilyn Monroe.” — The Russian magazine “Nedvela”


“Marilyn’s need to be desired was so great that she could make love to a camera. Because of this, her lust aroused lust in audiences, sometimes even among women. There was nothing subtle about it. She was no tease. She was prepared, and even eager, to give what she offered.” — William Manchester


“Marilyn played the best game with the worst hand of anybody I know.” — Edward Wagenknecht


“The trouble with Marilyn was she didn’t trust her own judgment, always had someone around to depend on. Coaches, so-called friends. Even me.” — Allan ‘Whitey’ Snyder


“Marilyn was so bright about acting. Her trouble was only that she’d get so scared she wasn’t going to be able to do it, and so tied up in knots, that then everyone thought she was dumb.” — Peggy Feury


“I had always thought that all those amusing remarks she was supposed to have made for the press had probably been manufactured and mimeographed by her press agent, but they weren’t. She was a very bright person, an instinctive type.” — Elliott Erwitt


“You say hello to her or it’s a nice day today, and she answers with a line from the script. She forgets everything but the work.” — Jean Negulesco


“She once got her life so balled up that the studio hired a full-time secretary maid for her. So Marilyn soon got the secretary as balled up as she was, and she ended up waiting on the secretary, instead of vice-versa.” — Jane Russell


“This is a little kid who wants to be with the other little kids sucking lollipops and watching the rollercoaster, but she can’t because they won’t let her.

She’s frightened to death of that public which thinks she is so sexy. My God, if they only knew.” — Allan “Whitey” Snyder


“She is a beautiful child. I don’t think she’s an actress at all, not in a traditional sense. What she has – this presence, this luminosity, this flickering intelligence- could never surface on the stage. It’s so fragile and subtle, it can only be caught by the camera But anyone who thinks this girl is simply another Harlow or harlot or whatever, is mad. I hope, I really pray, that she survives long enough to free the strange lovely talent that’s wandering through her like a jailed spirit.” — Constance Collier


“Marilyn Monroe’s unique charisma was the force that caused distant men to think that if only a well-intentioned, understanding person like me could have known her, she would have been all right. In death, it has caused women who before resented her frolicsome sexuality to join in the unspoken plea she leaves behind – the simple, noble wish to be taken seriously.” — Time Magazine


“Do you remember when Marilyn Monroe died? Everybody stopped work, and you could see all that day the same expressions on their faces, the same thought: ‘How can a girl with success, fame, youth, money, beauty . . . how could she kill herself?’ Nobody could understand it because those are the things that everybody wants, and they can’t believe that life wasn’t important to Marilyn Monroe, or that her life was elsewhere.” — Marlon Brando

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