Quotes By and About Marilyn Monroe


Marilyn Monroe Quotes

“I am not interested in money. I just want to be wonderful.”

“No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they aren’t.”

“I’m going to be a great movie star some day.”

“I learned to walk as a baby and I haven’t had a lesson since.”

“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.”

“Gee, I never thought I had an effect on people until I was in Korea.”

“That’s the trouble, a sex symbol becomes a thing. But if I’m going to be a symbol of something, I’d rather have it sex than some other things we’ve got symbols of.”

“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.”

“Sex is part of nature. I go along with nature.”

“He [Arthur Miller] wouldn’t have married me if I had been nothing but a dumb blonde.”

“I don’t want to play sex roles any more. I’m tired of being known as the girl with the shape.”

“[Hollywood is] a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”

“I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one.”

“Everybody is always tugging at you. They’d all like a sort of chunk out of you. I don’ think they realize it, but it’s like ‘grrr do this, grr do that…’ But you do want to stay intact–intact and on two feet.”

“It stirs up envy, fame does. People…feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you–and it won’t hurt your feelings–like it’s happening to your clothing.”

“She [Sadie Thompson] was a girl who knew how to be gay even when she was sad. And that’s important–you know?”

“I want to grow old without facelifts. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I have made.”

“Fame is fickle and I know it. It has its compensations, but it also has its drawbacks and I’ve experienced them both.”

“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 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.”

“Only the public can make a star. It’s the studios who try to make a system out of it.”

“It’s a make believe world, isn’t it?”

Things Marilyn Monroe DID NOT say…

Quotes About Marilyn Monroe

“This girl had something I hadn’t seen since silent pictures. She had a kind of fantastic beauty like Gloria Swanson and she radiated sex like Jean Harlow. She didn’t need a soundtrack to tell her story.” ~Leon Shamroy, the cinematographer who shot Marilyn’s first screen test

“Marilyn was one step from oblivion when I directed her in The Asphalt Jungle. I remember she impressed me more off the screen than on…there was something touching and appealing about her.” ~John Huston, director of The Misfits and The Asphalt Jungle

“She seemed very shy, and I remember that when the studio workers would whistle at her, it seemed to embarrass her.” ~Cary Grant, co-star in Monkey Business

“I did Niagara with her. I found her marvelous to work with and terrifically ambitious to do better. And bright. She may not have had an education, but she was just naturally bright.” ~Henry Hathaway, director of the 1952 film

“She represents to man something we all want in our unfulfilled dreams. A man, he’s got to be dead not to be excited by her.” ~Jean Negulesco, director of How to Marry a Millionaire

“Marilyn’s a phenomenon of nature, like Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon. All you can do is stand back and be awed by it.” ~Nunnally Johnson, producer of How to Marry a Millionaire

“It’s a toss-up whether the scenery or the adornment of Marilyn Monroe is the feature of greater attraction in River of No Return. The mountainous scenery is spectacular, but so in her own way is Miss Monroe.” ~Bosley Crowther, movie critic for The New York Times

“She had a great natural dignity and was extremely intelligent. She was also exceedingly sensitive.” ~Edith Sitwell, poet

“Marilyn was history’s most phenomenal love goddess.” ~Philippe Halsman, photographer

“She saw herself drowning in Hollywood in 1955 and told her studio, ‘I’m not just wiggling my behind.’ Marilyn is not any one thing; she’s multidimensional. As an actress, she has lots of imitators- but only Marilyn survives.” ~Eli Wallach, Marilyn’s co-star in The Misfits

“I saw that what she looked like was not what she really was, and what was going on inside her was not what was going on outside, and that always means there may be something to work with. In Marilyn’s case, the reactions were phenomenal. She can call up emotionally what is required for a scene. Her range is infinite.” ~Lee Strasberg, creator-director of the Actors Studio

“She is a brilliant comedienne, which to me means she also is an extremely skilled actress.” ~Sir Laurence Olivier, co-star of The Prince and the Showgirl

“She was wonderful. We were taught never to clap at the Actors Studio-it was like we were in church-and it was the first time I’d ever heard applause there.” ~Kim Stanley, the actress who originated Marilyn’s Bus Stop role on stage

“Marilyn is as near a genius as any actress I ever knew. She is an artist beyond artistry. She is the most completely realized and authentic film actress since Garbo. She has that same unfathomable mysteriousness. She is pure cinema.” ~Joshua Logan, director of Bus Stop

“Her quality when photographed is almost of a supernatural beauty.” ~Lee Strasberg

“Her work frightened her, and although she had undoubted talent, I think she had a subconscious resistance to the exercise of being an actress. But she was intrigued by its mystique and happy as a child when being photographed; she managed all the business of stardom with uncanny, clever, apparent ease.” ~Sir Laurence Olivier

“I’ve learned about living from her. I took her as a serious actress even before I met her. I think she’s an adroit comedienne, but I also think she might turn into the greatest tragic actress that can be imagined.” ~Arthur Miller, writer and husband

“Her beauty and humanity shine through…she is the kind of artist one does not come on every day in the week. After all, she was created something extraordinary.” ~Arthur Miller

“She was an absolute genius as a comedic actress, with an extraordinary sense for comedic dialogue. It was a God-given gift. Believe me, in the last fifteen years there were ten projects that came to me, and I’d start working on them and I’d think, ‘It’s not going to work, it needs Marilyn Monroe.’ Nobody else is in that orbit; everyone else is earthbound by comparison.” ~Billy Wilder, director of Some Like it Hot and The Seven Year Itch

“She had flesh which photographed like flesh. You feel you can reach out and touch it. Unique is an overworked word, but in her case it applies. There will never be another one like her, and Lord knows there have been plenty of imitations.” ~Billy Wilder

“She has a certain indefinable magic that comes across, which no other actress in the business has.” ~Billy Wilder

“They’ve tried to manufacture other Marilyn Monroe’s and they will undoubtedly keep trying. But it won’t work. She was an original.” ~Billy Wilder

“Marilyn always dreamt of being an actress. She didn’t, by the way, dream of being just a star. She dreamt of being an actress. And she had always lived somehow with that dream. And that is why, despite the fact that she became one of the most unusual and outstanding stars of all time, she herself was never satisfied. When she came to New York, she began to perceive the possibilities of really accomplishing her dream, of being an actress.” ~Lee Strasberg

“The last time I saw Marilyn was in late 1959, when I appeared in Let’s Make Love at Fox. The wide-eyed Marilyn I had first known was gone. This Marilyn was more beautiful than ever.” ~Milton Berle, comedian

“Marilyn Monroe is the greatest farceuse in the business, a female Chaplin.” ~Jerry Wald, producer

“She listens, wants, cares. I catch her laughing across a room and I bust up. Every pore of that lovely translucent skin is alive, open every moment-even though this world could make her vulnerable to being hurt. I would rather work with her than any other actress. I adore her.” ~Montgomery Clift, Marilyn’s co-star in The Misfits

“Marilyn is a kind of ultimate. She is uniquely feminine. Everything she does is different, strange, and exciting, from the way she talks to the way she uses that magnificent torso. She makes a man proud to be a man.” ~Clark Gable

“She went right down into her own personal experience for everything, reached down and pulled something out of herself that was unique and extraordinary. She had no techniques. It was all the truth, it was only Marilyn. But it was Marilyn, plus. She found things, found things about womankind in herself.” ~John Huston, director of The Asphalt Jungle and The Misfits

“It’s a terrible pity that so much beauty has been lost to us.” ~John Huston

“I know people who say ‘Hollywood broke her heart,’ and all that, but I don’t believe it. She was very observant and tough minded and appealing, but she adored and trusted the wrong people. She was very courageous-you know the book Twelve Against the Gods? Marilyn was like that, she had to challenge the gods at every turn.” ~George Cukor, director

“Nobody discovered her, she earned her own way to stardom.” ~Darryl Zanuck, president of 20th Century Fox

“Her death has diminished the loveliness of the world in which we live.” ~Life magazine

“Marilyn Monroe…the most fragile and loveable legend of all.” ~Look magazine

“She was beautiful and untouched, it was as though she were just beginning.” ~Bert Stern, photographer

“It’s my feeling that Marilyn looked forward to her tomorrows.” ~Eunice Murray, Marilyn’s housekeeper

“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

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

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

“She’s scared and unsure of herself. I found myself wishing that I were a psychoanalyst and she were my patient. It might be that I couldn’t have helped her, but she would have looked lovely on a couch.” ~Billy Wilder

“She had such a magnetism that if 15 men were in a room with her, each man would be convinced he was the one she’d be waiting for after the others left.” ~Publicist Roy Craft

“She was pure of heart. She was free of guile. She never understood either the adoration or the antagonism which she awakened.” ~Edward Wagenknecht