Marilyn Monroe’s Personal Bank of America Statement

September-October, 1951
Along With Corresponding Bank Check

Marilyn’s personal Bank of America monthly statement for the period September 27 through October 25, 1951. The beginning balance on this statement was just $9.58; the closing balance was $245.99.

When stardom came, Marilyn unenviably became one of the lowest paid top-liners in Hollywood. After so many years struggling to land a long-term studio contract, the seven year deal she signed with Fox in 1951 bound her to a pay scale that lagged woefully behind her burgeoning status. In 1952, the year that she became an established star, she was making just $750 a week, minus tax and 10 percent to her agents, not nearly enough to cover her outgoings which included up to $200 per week on the various drama and singing lessons, employing business manager Inez Melson, paying for her mother’s care and keeping up a room in the prestigious Bel Air Hotel – fortunately she had a little extra money coming in from Don’t Bother to Knock (1952), which she made for RKO Studios. For smash hit Gentleman Prefer Blondes, Marilyn earned $18,000, just one-tenth of what co-star Jane Russell made.

“I’m not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful.”
-Marilyn Monroe


Also part of this collection, a cancelled bank check from the personal Bank of America account of Marilyn Monroe, made payable to Schwab’s Drugs in the amount of $5.00. Dated October 5, 1951, written entirely in Marilyn’s own handwriting. This check corresponds with the above bank statement, having cleared Marilyn’s account on October 9, 1951.


Important activities in Marilyn’s life around this time include:
-Filming of Clash by Night and Don’t Bother to Knock (Fall)
-Release of Love Nest – October 10
-Marilyn appears on the cover of Look magazine for the first time – October 23