Tens of thousands of Marilyn Monroe fans are expected to converge on Los Angeles today, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of her death.
Born on the same year as the Queen, it is now half a century since she died of a drug overdose in her home at the age of 36.
The blonde bombshell who rose to fame singing, acting and famously wooing a president, continues to inspire popular culture today.
A new book - released to coincide with the anniversary of her death - has claimed the actress was so accomplished at her trade that she was in fact no dumb blonde, but an intelligent feminist, who ended up a sacrificial victim.
Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926 in Los Angeles.
Her mother, Gladys Baker, had mental health problems which resulted in Norma Jeane spending most of her childhood in foster homes and orphanages.
By 1946 she had signed her first studio contract with 20th Century Fox and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, after a stint of modelling.
Monroe starred in 30 films, including The Prince and the Showgirl, Bus Stop, The Seven Year Itch, How to Marry a Millionaire and Some Like it Hot, for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy.
Her 1954 marriage to baseball star Joe DiMaggio lasted just nine months, and in 1956 Monroe married playwright Arthur Miller. This second marriage lasted five years.
In the months before her death Monroe had been romantically linked to President John F Kennedy.
She was found lying naked in her bed with an empty bottle of sleeping pills by her side, in August 1962.