The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist
When Marilyn Monroe stepped over a subway grating as The Girl in The Seven Year Itch and let a gust of wind catch the skirt of her pleated white dress, an icon was born. Before that, the actress was mainly known for a nude calendar and one-dimensional, albeit memorable, characters on the screen. Though she again played a "dumb blonde" in this film and was making headlines by revealing her enviable anatomy, the star was now every bit in control of her image, and ready for a personal revolution.
Emboldened by her winning fight to land the role of The Girl, the making of The Seven Year Itch and the eighteen months that followed was the period of greatest confidence, liberation, and career success that Monroe lived in her tumultuous life. It was a time in which, among other things, she:
- Ended her marriage to Joe DiMaggio and later began a relationship with Arthur Miller;
- Legally changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, divorcing herself from the troubled past of Norma Jeane;
- Started her own production company;
- Studied in private lessons with Lee and Paula Strasberg of the Actors Studio and became a part of the acting revolution of the day