It’s been more than a few decades since Marilyn Monroe last graced us with her presence, but her beauty remains unmatched and her story is being told and re-told numerous times. Dozens of actresses have tried portraying one of the Hollywood’s biggest icons – some of them failed, yet others succeeded and became famous for their Marilyn Monroes both on big and small screens. Is it hard to play Marilyn Monroe? We believe it is! You have to showcase your acting talent and understanding of Marilyn’s persona, as well as that amazing skill to ooze sensuality Marilyn was so famous for. Here are 7 actresses who played Marilyn Monroe and were good at it.
Theresa Russel (Insignificance, 1985)
Numerous movies have been made about Marilyn Monroe and her incredible life, but rarely do we see her engage with characters outside her actual storyline. In Nicolas Roeg’s Insignificance gorgeous Theresa Russel plays Marilyn Monroe who gets to meet four other 50’s icons – Senator Joseph McCarthy, Albert Einstein, and Joe DiMaggio. These people may have met in actual life, but we guarantee that their encounter was nothing like in the movie! It’s fun, intellectual, and quite surprising plot-wise.
Mira Sorvino (Norma Jean & Marilyn, 1996)
Norma Jean & Marilyn had not one, but two Marilyns on screen! One was a girl that’s experienced a lot of hardships in her life and wanted to become an actress, while the other wanted fame, power, and as much money as possible. Mira Sorvino portrayed the ravishing Marilyn Monroe, while Ashley Judd took the role of Norma Jean illustrating two different personas that were both Marilyn – in her public and private life.
Charlotte Sullivan (The Kennedys, 2011)
Charlotte Sullivan played Marilyn in the critically acclaimed mini-series that delves into the lives and dramas surrounding one of the most prominent political families in the U.S. history. The show won four Primetime Emmys and starred Greg Kinnear (Jack Kennedy) and Katie Holmes (Jackie Kennedy). It deals not only with strong personalities and their issues, but also depicts one of the most turbulent times of the modern age with a bundle of iconic events like the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs.
Susan Griffiths (Various)
It’s hard to name an actress that has played more Marilyn Monroe roles in her lifetime than Susan Griffiths. If a movie or a TV show needs someone to portray the iconic Hollywood star – they hire Susan Griffiths! Her uncanny resemblance and amazing talent help her land role after role. She turned from a department store seller into a Marilyn Monroe doppelganger in a blink of an eye, and still looks the part in her 50s! She’s appeared in such TV shows and movie as Quantum Leap, Nip/Tuck, Marilyn & Me, Timecop, Dark Skies, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn, 2011)
Michelle Williams confessed that the portrayal of Marilyn Monroe was one of the biggest challenges in her acting career. But what can we say – she did great! In fact, her brilliant acting earned her an Oscar nomination, so there’s another reason to watch the movie. The plot of My Week With Marilyn revolves around the making of The Prince and the Showgirl told from the perspective of young Colin Clarke (played by Eddie Redmayne) – an assistant and Marilyn’s potential love interest. This take on Marilyn Monroe’s persona just might be the best on the list!
Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty (Smash, 2012-2013)
TV show Smash had not one, but two Monroe’s, each fighting for her place under the sun in the Broadway musical Bombshell. Katherine McPhee and Megan Hilty were both great at portraying Marilyn Monroe. Not only did they look the part, but they also had to do a decent amount of singing and dancing as well! Unfortunately, despite its initial success, the show wasn’t received well by critics and was cancelled after two seasons.
Kelli Garner (The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, 2015)
It seems that after so many years of exploring Marilyn Monroe’s persona there should be no secrets left – but there still are! The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, starring gorgeous Kelli Garner, shows her rise in Hollywood while depicting all the demons that tormented her starting from her childhood. The funny fact is, Kelli Garner knew almost nothing about Marilyn Monroe apart from that she was beautiful, funny, and extremely talented, but that, of course, all changed when she landed the role. Unlike most movies, this one focuses on Marilyn’s mental health and complicated relationships she had with her mother.