On this Day in Movie History, August 5, 1962: Marilyn Monroe Dies From Overdose

It was on this day, August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe died from a drug overdose in Los Angeles, in a case that is still unsolved and involves a lot of speculation. She was 36 years old.

At 4:52 AM LAPD sergeant Jack Clemmons received a call from Dr. Ralph Greenson, Monroe’s psychiatrist, proclaiming that Monroe was found dead at her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California.

At the subsequent autopsy, eight milligram per cent of chloral hydrate and 4.5 milligram percent of Nembutal were found in her system. Dr. Thomas Noguchi of the Los Angeles County Coroners office recorded cause of death as “acute barbiturate poisoning”, resulting from a “probable suicide”.

Many theories, including murder, circulated about the circumstances of her death and the timeline after the body was found. Some conspiracy theories involved John and Robert Kennedy, while other theories suggested CIA or Mafia complicity. It was reported that President Kennedy was the last person Monroe called.

On August 8, 1962, Monroe was interred in a crypt at Corridor of Memories #24, at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. Lee Strasberg delivered the eulogy. Joe DiMaggio took control of the funeral arrangements which consisted of only 31 close family and friends. Police were also present to keep the press away.

Her casket was solid bronze and was lined with champagne colored silk. Allan “Whitey” Snyder did her make-up, which was supposedly a promise made in earlier years if she were to die before him. She was wearing her favorite green Emilio Pucci dress. In her hands was a small bouquet of pink teacup roses.

For the next 20 years, red roses were placed in a vase attached to the crypt, courtesy of DiMaggio

1906 – John Huston (Academy Award-winning director: Treasure of Sierra Madre [1948]; The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, Prizzi’s Honor; father of Academy Award-winning actress Angelica Huston; died Aug 28, 1987)

1911 – Robert Taylor (Spangler Brugh) (actor: Magnificent Obsession, Quo Vadis, Billy the Kid, Bataan, Knights of the Round Table, The Night Walker, Death Valley Days; died June 8, 1969)

1914 – David Brian (actor: Pocketful of Miracles, Intruder in the Dust, Flamingo Road, Mr. District Attorney, The Immortal; died July 15, 1993)

1935 – John Saxon (Carmen Orrico) (actor: Raid on Entebbe, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Beverly Hills Cop 3, The Cardinal, Death of a Gunfighter, The Unforgiven, The Bold Ones)

1945 – Loni Anderson (actress: WKRP in Cincinnati, The Jayne Mansfield Story, Easy Street, Necessity, Nurses)

1948 – William Hootkins (actor: Star Wars, The Lost Boys, Flash Gordon, Raiders of the Lost Ark, American Gothic, Batman, A River Runs Through It, The NeverEnding Story III, The Omega Code; died Oct 23, 2005)

1956 – Maureen McCormick (actress: A Very Brady Christmas, The Brady Bunch)

1966 – Jonathan Silverman (actor: At First Sight, Little Big League, Weekend at Bernie’s series, Little Sister, Caddyshack 2, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Gimme a Break)


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