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12 takes on Marilyn Monroe


As soon as we saw the first photos (above) of Michelle Williams' Marilyn Monroe make-over for new film My Week with Marilyn (watch the trailer here), we had a hunch she would give a convincing portrayal of the troubled star. The film premiered in New York last night, and Michelle has been receiving rave reviews for her performance - pushing it right to the top of our must-see movie list for Autumn.

But Michelle isn't the first, (and certainly won't be the last) actress to portray Ms Monroe on the big and small screen. From sensational biopics to magazine cover shoots, here are twelve other actresses who tried to take on Marilyn...

1. Catherine Hicks

Based loosely on Norman Mailer's biography Marilyn: The Untold Story, the made-for-TV movie premiered in 1980, with Emmy-nominated actress Catherine Hicks as Marilyn.

2. Susan Griffiths

In 1991, Susan Griffiths played Marilyn in another made-for-TV movie - Marilyn and Me. The film portrays the life of Robert Slatzer, an American writer who knew Marilyn Monroe when she was just starting out. Their affair is secret, but destructive, and the film shows Marilyn torn between her career and her lover.

3. Melody Anderson

Now a social worker and public speaker, Melody Anderson is probably best known for her turn in camp space flick Flash Gordon. She played the actress in Marilyn & Bobby: Her Final Affair (1993), a highly fictionalised account of her supposed affair with Robert F. Kennedy before her drug-overdose.

4. Ashley Judd

In Norma, Jean & Marilyn (1996), a TV movie that features Monroe appearing with her 'former self' Norma Jean in some surreal dream-like scenes, Ashley Judd (seated in the background) plays the younger incarnation of the star.

5. Mira Sorvino

Mira is the older Marilyn in Norma, Jean & Marilyn

6. Barbara Niven

In The Rat Pack (1998), a controversial look at the glamorous and turbulent lifestyle of the famous Rat Pack of the 1960s, Barbara Niven played Marilyn.

7. Poppy Montgomery

Australian actress Poppy Montgomery (who is also set to play JK Rowling in a film about her life) was Marilyn in Blonde (2000), a TV mini-series based on the book by Joyce Carol-Oates, a fictional biography focusing on the inner life of Marilyn Monroe, from her foster parents to failed relationships. Naomi Watts is set to portray Monroe in a film remake, due for release in 2012.

8. Sophie Monk

Another Australian, actress, pop singer and model Sophie Monk played Marilyn in 2004's TV biopic The Mystery of Natalie Wood.

9. Charlotte Sullivan

Canadian actress Charlotte Sullivan (who apparently, was in childhood classic Harriet the Spy) gave a convincing turn as Marilyn Monroe in TV drama The Kennedys (2011).

10. Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan channelled the blonde bombshell for a provocative cover shoot for New York Magazine in 2008, for which she recreated some of the actresses most iconic poses from The Last Sitting, a now iconic 1962 photoshoot with Bert Stern.

11. Nicole Kidman

Lindsay wasn't the only actress who "did a Marilyn" - in 2008 Nicole Kidman posed as the star in a photoshoot for the 10th anniversary of Australian Harper's Bazaar which was accompanied by the cover line "Some like it hot", the name of the 1959 film Monroe starred in.

12. Anna Nicole Smith

An actress, model and pin-up who suffered a similarly tragic fate, Anna Nicole Smith recreated Monroe's infamous Gentlemen Prefer Blondes look for a PETA campaign.

Picture credits: Rex Features



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