26. In 1950, Johnny Hyde, her agent, paid for her to have two plastic surgeries: a tip rhinoplasty (reshaping the soft cartilage at the end of her nose); and a chin implant.
27. She was an early devotee of yoga, and was taught by Indra Devi, a Swedish-Russian Bollywood film star who also taught Greta Garbo and Gloria Swanson.
28. Marilyn’s intervention got Ella Fitzgerald her first major engagement at a Los Angeles nightclub. In 1955 the colour bar was still in force, but Marilyn convinced the management to let Fitzgerald play by promising to sit in the front row for a week.
29. Marilyn was only the second woman to head her own production company (Mary Pickford was the first).
30. Marilyn had a fixation on Clark Gable, her co-star in The Misfits; as a young girl, Marilyn dreamed that he was her father. When he died, she said that she cried for two days.
31. She preferred to go naked. Among female studio employees – wardrobe mistresses, hairdressers, make-up artists – she often went without clothes. She gave interviews in the nude and often went out wearing nothing under the black mink that Joe DiMaggio had given her.
32. Writers loved her. Jean-Paul Sartre wanted her to play the role of a hysterical patient in the film Freud, for which he wrote the first draft of a screenplay; she was Truman Capote’s first choice for the part of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
33. Marilyn’s death was ruled a “probable suicide”, but toxicology tests were only carried out on her liver. When the deputy coroner, Thomas Noguchi, tried to obtain her other organs for testing, he was told they’d been destroyed.
34. Veronica Hamel, an actress, bought Marilyn’s house in 1972. She claimed that when she was renovating the house she discovered an extensive system of wire-taps.
35. Marilyn’s hero was Abraham Lincoln: “I used to read everything I could find about him,” she wrote in her (ghosted) autobiography, My Story. “He was the only famous American who seemed most like me, at least in his childhood.”
36. The books she was reading at the time of her death were Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Captain Newman MD, a novel by Leo Rosten based on the life of Monroe’s psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson.
37. Two men claimed paternity of Marilyn on their deathbeds: C Stanley Gifford, who both Marilyn and her mother believed was her father, but who refused to meet Marilyn when she was alive; and Edward Mortensen, who was married to her mother at the time of her birth, and whose (misspelled) surname appears on her birth certificate.
38. She was athletic. As a young married woman on Catalina Island in the early Forties, she studied weightlifting with a former Olympic champion named Howard Corrington. She later went tandem surfing with a boyfriend, Tommy Zahn, balancing on his shoulders as they cut through the waves.
39. She was a talented producer. Marilyn Monroe Productions, which she formed in 1955 with Milton Greene, the photographer, only solely produced one film, The Prince and the Showgirl. Marilyn showed her nous in winning the script: she managed to wangle a meeting with the writer, Terence Rattigan, in New York, where he was stopping over en route to Hollywood to discuss the script with the director William Wyler, luring him from the airport to a downtown bar. When Wyler failed to make him a concrete offer, Rattigan went with Monroe.
40. Many of her friends believed she was murdered. Among the potential suspects: Robert Kennedy (with whom she had had an affair); John F Kennedy (ditto); mafioso Sam Giancana; the FBI; the CIA; her psychiatrist, Ralph Greenson.
41. During the filming of Let’s Make Love, Marilyn’s no-shows added 28 days to the shooting time and $1?million to the budget.
42. Her career in front of the camera began when she was discovered working on the assembly line at Radioplane, a munitions factory, by a photographer called David Conover.
43. Arthur Miller’s play After the Fall is generally thought to be a thinly veiled portrayal of his marriage to Marilyn. The writer James Baldwin walked out of the play because he thought that “Maggie”, the Monroe character, was written so cruelly.
44. She only owned one home by herself: the house she died in at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive, Brentwood.
45. When she met Nikita Khrushchev, they discussed The Brothers Karamazov. She dreamed of playing the part of Grushenka in a film of the book.
46. She had highbrow crushes. When she was living with Shelley Winters, the actress, in 1951, they drew up a list of the men they found most attractive: on Marilyn’s list were Arthur Miller (whom she had already met) and Albert Einstein.
47. She was an excellent cook, and famous for her bouillabaisse. When writers at The New York Times tried to make her recipe for stuffing, they were surprised to discover that it was highly complex – it took them two hours to finish.
48. Although she famously sang Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, Marilyn didn’t own much expensive jewellery. At the 1999 Christie’s sale, the only diamonds of note were those in a 35-baguette eternity ring given to her by Joe DiMaggio; he also bought her a 16-inch strand of Akoya pearls, which she gave to Paula Strasberg. The rest of her jewels were costume pieces.
49. Her funeral was a riot. Hundreds of her fans rushed into the cemetery after the service and stole the flowers from the floral tributes she’d been sent.
50. A report in The New York Times said that the number of suicides in New York a week after her death hit a record high of 12 in one day. One suicide victim left a note saying, “If the most wonderful, beautiful thing in the world has nothing to live for, then neither must I.”