Marilyn Monroe (named Norma Jeane Mortenson on her birth certificate, but baptized and raised as Norma Jeane Baker; June 1, 1926 – August 5. 1962) was an American actress, singer and model. After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946. Her early film appearances were minor, but her performances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (1950) were well received. By 1953, Monroe had progressed to leading roles. Her “dumb blonde” persona was used to comedic effect in such films as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How To Marry A Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955). Limited by typecasting, Monroe studied at the Actors Studio to broaden her range, and her dramatic performance in Bus Stop (1956) was hailed by critics, and she received a Golden Globe nomination. Her production company released The Prince And The Showgirl (1957), for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination and won a David di Donatello award. She also won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in Some Like It Hot (1959). In 1999, Marilyn was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute (AFI). She remains as one of the biggest pop icons and sex symbols in film history.