Marilyn Monroe Quotes 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane

Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson; 1 June 1926 – 5 August 1962) was an American actress, singer, model, and one of the most famous Hollywood icons of the twentieth century.

Here are 33 real Marilyn Monroe quotes ordered by their popularity online. The most quoted quotes on the web appear first. Questionable and fake quotes are excluded. Sources and related information are shown after each quote. We hope you find these quotes useful. If there is anything we can do to improve this article, your feedback is welcome. If you find these quotes helpful, please share them.

1. “A career is wonderful, but you can't curl up with it on a cold night.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: On Being Blonde (2007): Quotes of Monroe from On Being Blonde : Wit and Wisdom from the World's Most Infamous Blondes (2004) by Paula Munier p. 53

2. “Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: As quoted in "A Beautiful Child" in Music for Chameleons (1980) by Truman Capote

3. “I don't know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: As quoted in Her Inspiration : Secrets to Help You Work Smart, Be Successful, and Have Fun (2008) by Mina Parker

4. “The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: Handwritten note responding to a question about posing nude, as quoted in International Herald Tribune (5 October 1984)

5. “I've been on a calendar, but never on time.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: Look magazine (5 March 1957)

6. “People had a habit of looking at me as if I were some kind of mirror instead of a person. They didn't see me, they saw their own lewd thoughts, then they white-masked themselves by calling me the lewd one.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: On Being Blonde (2007): Quotes of Monroe from On Being Blonde : Wit and Wisdom from the World's Most Infamous Blondes (2004) by Paula Munier p. 54

7. “It's not true I had nothing on. I had the radio on.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: On reports of her nude photographs for a calendar, as quoted in TIME magazine (1952)

8. “Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn't that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: As quoted in The Films of Barbra Streisand (2001) by Christopher Nickens and Karen Swenson

9. “Arthur Miller wouldn't have married me if I had been nothing but a dumb blonde.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: On Being Blonde (2007): Quotes of Monroe from On Being Blonde : Wit and Wisdom from the World's Most Infamous Blondes (2004) by Paula Munier p. 54

10. “I'm not interested in money, I just want to be wonderful.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: As quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 41

11. “Hollywood's a place where they'll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss, and fifty cents for your soul. I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: As quoted in Marilyn Monroe : In Her Own Words (1983), edited by Roger Taylor

12. “An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like a machine. A money machine.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: As quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 38

13. “Unfortunately, I am involved in a freedom ride protesting the loss of the minority rights belonging to the few remaining earthbound stars. All we demanded was our right to twinkle.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: Telegram, turning down a party invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy (13 June 1962)

14. “Say good-bye to Pat, say good-bye to Jack and say good-bye to yourself, because you're a nice guy.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: Last words to actor Peter Lawford, in August 1962, as quoted in US News & World Report (7 October 1985)

15. “First, I'm trying to prove to myself that I'm a person. Then maybe I'll convince myself that I'm an actress.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: As quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 42

16. “My work is the only ground I've ever had to stand on. I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation — but I'm working on the foundation.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: As quoted in Marilyn Monroe : In Her Own Words (1983), edited by Roger Taylor

17. “When you're famous you kind of run into human nature in a raw kind of way. It stirs up envy, fame does. People you run into feel that, well, who does she think she is, Marilyn Monroe? They feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you, of any kind of nature — and it won't hurt your feelings — like it's happening to your clothes not you.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source and Related Info: Comment on fame, quoted in Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress (1993) by Carl E. Rollyson, and in Symbolic Leaders: Public Dramas and Public Men (2006) by Orrin Edgar Klapp
 • As quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 40

18. “It's far better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone — so far.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: On Being Blonde (2007): Quotes of Monroe from On Being Blonde : Wit and Wisdom from the World's Most Infamous Blondes (2004) by Paula Munier p. 52

19. “It stirs up envy, fame does. People you run into feel that, well, who does she think she is, Marilyn Monroe? They feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you, of any kind of nature — and it won't hurt your feelings — like it's happening to your clothes not you.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: On Being Blonde (2007): Quotes of Monroe from On Being Blonde : Wit and Wisdom from the World's Most Infamous Blondes (2004) by Paula Munier p. 52

20. “The truth is I've never fooled anyone. I've let people fool themselves. They didn't bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn't argue with them. They were obviously loving somebody I wasn't. When they found this out, they would blame me for disillusioning them and fooling them.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: On Being Blonde (2007): Quotes of Monroe from On Being Blonde : Wit and Wisdom from the World's Most Infamous Blondes (2004) by Paula Munier p. 52

21. “For life: It is rather a determination not to be overwhelmed. For work: The truth can only be recalled, never invented.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: As quoted in Marilyn's personal diaries. Fragments, by Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment (2010)

22. “Say goodbye to Pat, say goodbye to the president, and say goodbye to yourself, because you're a nice guy. … I'll see, I'll see.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: Last words to Peter Lawford (5 August 1962), as quoted at Spiegel Online

23. “The studio people want me to do ‘Good-bye Charlie’ for the movies, but I'm not going to do it. I don't like the idea of playing a man in a woman's body — you know? It just doesn't seem feminine.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#23

Source: On turning down a role, eventually played by Debbie Reynolds, as quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 41

24. “Husbands are chiefly good as lovers when they are betraying their wives.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: As quoted in Marilyn Monroe : In Her Own Words (1983), edited by Roger Taylor

25. “I sleep in the nude but I pull the sheets up.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Source: Jock Carroll, "Rare Marilyn: a portfolio work by 20 photographers", American Photo (May - June 1997)

26. “I know I will never be happy but I know I can be gay!”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#26

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Source: As quoted in a letter to her psychiatrist, Dr. Greenson, in 1961. Fragments, by Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment (2010)

27. “I'm a failure as a woman. My men expect so much of me, because of the image they've made of me — and that I've made of myself — as a sex symbol. They expect bells to ring and whistles to whistle, but my anatomy is the same as any other woman's and I can't live up to it.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#27

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#27

Source: Statement c. 1962, as quoted in Marilyn (1992) by Peter Harry Brown and Patte B. Barham, Ch. 30

28. “I think that when you are famous every weakness is exaggerated. … Goethe said, ‘Talent is developed in privacy,’ you know? And it's really true. … Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you're a human being, you feel, you suffer. You're gay, you're sick, you're nervous or whatever.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#28

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#28

Source: "Marilyn Monroe Pours Her Heart Out" interview by Richard Meryman, in LIFE (3 August 1962)

29. “Please don't make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe. I don't mind making jokes, but I don't want to look like one... I want to be an artist, an actress with integrity... If fame goes by, so long, I've had you, fame. If it goes by, I've always known it was fickle. So at least it's something I experienced, but that's not where I live.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#29

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#29

Source: Her last taped interview, with Richard Meryman, published in LIFE magazine a few days before her death. (3 August 1962); quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972)

30. “I restore myself when I'm alone. A career is born in public — talent in privacy.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#30

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Source: As quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 40

31. “That's the trouble, a sex symbol becomes a thing. But if I'm going to be a symbol of something, I'd rather it be sex than some of the things we've got symbols of... I just hate to be a thing.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#31

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#31

Source: Comment on her sex symbol status, quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 40

32. “Everyone's childhood plays itself out. No wonder no one knows the other or can completely understand. By this I don't know if I'm just giving up with this conclusion or resigning myself - or maybe for the first time connecting with reality. How do we know the pain or another's earlier years, let alone all that he drags with him since along the way at best a lot of leeway is needed for the other - yet how much is unhealthy for one to bear. I think to love bravely is the best and accept - as much as one can bear.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#32

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Source: As quoted in Marilyn's personal diaries in 1958. Fragments, by Stanley Buchthal and Bernard Comment (2010)

33. “Why? — It paid the rent.”

—Marilyn Monroe

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” QuotesCosmos.com, edited by QuotesCosmos, 15 November 2017, https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#33

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Monroe, Marilyn. “Marilyn Monroe Quotes: 33 Sourced Quotes from Norma Jeane.” Last modified November 15, 2017. https://www.quotescosmos.com/people/marilyn-monroe-quotes.html#33

Source: On why she had posed nude for a calendar photograph, quoted in Ms. magazine (August 1972) p. 39

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