Marilyn Monroe would have been 94 years old today.
Unfortunately, Marilyn died when she was just 36 years old and also when she was only starting to get a chance to reveal what she was truly capable of as an actress. It’s a shame, because I would have liked to have seen what type of roles she would have played in her 40s and her 50s. Would she have eventually become a respected, award-winning character actor or would she have ended up like Bette Davis, doing cameos in films that weren’t particularly worthy of her talents? Who knows but it’s a shame that the world will never get to find out.
For her birthday, I’m going to share a scene from one of her earlier films, 1952’s Don’t Bother To Knock. In this film, Marilyn plays an unstable woman who is staying at a hotel. Her cousin (played by Elisha Cook, Jr.) gets her job as a babysitter but is shocked to find out that Marilyn has been trying on her employer’s clothes. After getting admonished by her cousin and pretending to be sorry, she proceeds to then summon another gust (played by Richard Widmark) over to her room.
It’s a simple scene but it’s wonderfully played by Monroe. This was one of her first truly dramatic roles and she does a good job with it.
From Don’t Bother To Knock, here is a scene that I love: