I’m fortunate enough to be part of a television project docu-series called “Celebrity Legacies” on ReelzChannel, where I provided mental health and relationship commentary on the lives of deceased celebrities.
Beneath the Glamour
Marilyn Monroe is perhaps the most iconic figure in Hollywood history. At the height of her fame, she oozed glamour, effortless charm, and sex appeal, and the audiences and critics couldn’t get enough. But beneath the exterior of the “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” singing one-woman empire was a deeply troubled girl riddled with insecurity, family losses, and emotional pain.
A Troubled Childhood
Norma Jean Mortenson had an unstable early childhood. Born in a charity ward in Los Angeles, she moved in and out of foster homes for years, as her mother Gladys was emotionally and financially unstable to raise her. Though Gladys did temporarily regain custody of her daughter a few times, her mental state rendered her unable to permanently care for her, and Norma Jean eventually became a ward of the state. As Gladys was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, Norma Jean lived the rest of her life in fear that she too would experience mental illness. Her tumultuous upbringing was not lost on her; of her experience, she wrote: “this sad bitter child who grew up too fast is hardly ever out of my heart.”