120 Marilyn Monroe Quotes (About Life, Love, Men & Women, Success…)

Norma Jeane Mortenson, or Marilyn Monroe to the rest of the world, was an American model, singer, and one of the most popular and beautiful actresses of all time.

Born in 1926, she mostly spent her youth living in foster homes, but she overcame her humble beginnings and soared to fame during the 1950s. Monroe’s career began as a successful pin-up model in her teenage years, which eventually led to film contracts. Although she was on the spotlight for only a decade, her films grossed for over $200 million by the time of her sudden death.

She died in 1962 from an apparent drug overdose, and although the world lost her at the age of 36, her legacy remains. More than half a century later, she remains to be a notable culture and movie icon.

In addition to her acting and singing talents, Marilyn Monroe possessed wisdom and left us with some of the most heartfelt quotes of all time. Here are the top 120 Marilyn Monroe quotes and sayings to empower your day!

Marilyn Monroe Quotes About Life

1. “I want to grow old without facelifts. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I have made.”

2. “A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing.”

3. “Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you’d never complete your life, would you? You’d never wholly know you.”

4. “I’ve been on a calendar, but I’ve never been on time.”

5. “Sometimes I feel my whole life has been one big rejection.”

6. “Respect is one of life’s greatest treasures. I mean, what does it all add up to if you don’t have that?” 

Respect is one of life's greatest treasures. I mean, what does it all add up to if you don't have that? - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #life #respect #life #treasures

7. “I love a natural look in pictures.”

8. “If you spend your life competing with businessmen, what do you have? A bank account and ulcers!”

9. “For a long time, I was scared I’d find out I was like my mother.”

10. “I restore myself when I’m alone.”

11. “I read poetry to save time.”

12. “If there is only one thing in my life that I am proud of, it’s that I’ve never been a kept woman.”

13. “Friends accept you the way you are.” 

Friends accept you the way you are - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #life #friends

14. “I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.”

15. “Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.”

16. “I am invariably late for appointments – sometimes as much as two hours. I’ve tried to change my ways but the things that make me late are too strong and too pleasing.”

17. “I don’t want everybody to see exactly where I live, what my sofa or my fireplace looks like.”

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

19. “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

20. “Some of my foster families used to send me to the movies to get me out of the house and there I’d sit all day and way into the night. Up in front, there with the screen so big, a little kid all alone, and I loved it. I loved anything that moved up there and I didn’t miss anything that happened and there was no popcorn either.”

21. “I am alone I am always alone no matter what.”

22. “The ‘public’ scares me, but people I trust.”

23. “We should all start to live before we get too old.”

24. “I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

Marilyn Monroe Quotes About Love

1. “Someday, I want to have children and give them all the love I never had.” 

Someday, I want to have children and give them all the love I never had - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #love #children #give #love

2. “Before marriage, a girl has to make love to a man to hold him. After marriage, she has to hold him to make love to him.”

3. “I guess I have always been deeply terrified to really be someone’s wife since I know from life one cannot love another, ever, really.”

4. “The real lover is the man who can thrill you just by touching your head or smiling into your eyes – or just by staring into space.”

5. “Having a child, that’s always been my biggest fear. I want a child and I fear a child.”

6. “It’s often just enough to be with someone. I don’t need to touch them. Not even talk. A feeling passes between you both. You’re not alone.”

7. “Experts on romance say for a happy marriage there has to be more than passionate love. For a lasting union, they insist, there must be a genuine liking for each other. Which, in my book, is a good definition for friendship.”

Marilyn Monroe Quotes About Men & Women

1. “Men who think that a woman’s past love affairs lessen her love for them are usually stupid and weak.”

2. “The fact is that I find more most men are more open, more generous, and much more stimulating than the majority of females I know.”

3. “A woman can bring a new love to each man she loves, providing there are not too many.”

4. “One of the best things that ever happened to me is that I’m a woman. That is the way all females should feel.” 

One of the best things that ever happened to me is that I'm a woman. That is the way all females should feel - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #women #best #thing #feel

5. “The truth is, I’ve never fooled anyone. I’ve let men sometimes fool themselves.”

6. “If your man is a sports enthusiast, you may have to resign yourself to his spouting off in a monotone on a prize fight, football game or pennant race.”

7. “I have always had a talent for irritating women since I was fourteen.”

8. “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.”

9. “Girls shouldn’t worry about being the equal of men in the business world.”

10. “I’ve found men are less likely to let petty things annoy them.”

11. “A man makes you feel important – makes you glad you are a woman.”

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

13. “When it comes to gossip, I have to readily admit men are as guilty as women.”

14. “Black men don’t like to be called boys, but women accept being called girls.”

15. “Consider the fellow. He never spends his time telling you about his previous night’s date. You get the idea he has eyes only for you and wouldn’t think of looking at another woman.”

16. “There is just no comparison between having a dinner date with a man and staying home playing canasta with the girls.”

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

I don't know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #women #high #heels

18. “A woman can’t be alone. She needs a man. A man and a woman support and strengthen each other. She just can’t do it by herself.”

19. “The working men, I’ll go by and they’ll whistle. At first, they whistle because they think, ‘Oh, it’s a girl. She’s got blond hair and she’s not out of shape,’ and then they say, Gosh, it’s Marilyn Monroe!”

20. “A smart girl leaves before she is left.”

21. “A man has a tendency to accept you the way you are, while most women immediately start to pick flaws and want to change you.”

22. “I’m very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.”

23. “A woman knows by intuition, or instinct, what is best for herself.” 

A woman knows by intuition, or instinct, what is best for herself - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #women #intuition #instinct #best #herself

24. “I think one of the basic reasons men make good friends is that they can make up their minds quickly.”

25. “I have noticed… that men usually leave married women alone and are inclined to treat all wives with respect. This is no great credit to married women.”

26. “Marriage destroyed my relationship with two wonderful men.”

27. “Men are so willing to respect anything that bores them.”

28. “Confidentially, the type of male I find most enjoyable for a friend is one who has enough fire and assurance to speak up for his convictions.”

29. “I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.”

30. “A strong man doesn’t have to be dominant toward a woman. He doesn’t match his strength against a woman weak with love for him. He matches it against the world.” 

A strong man doesn't have to be dominant toward a woman. He doesn't match his strength against a woman weak with love for him. He matches it against the world - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #women #strength #weak #match #world

31. “Sometimes, I’ve been to a party where no one spoke to me for a whole evening. The men, frightened by their wives or sweeties, would give me a wide berth. And the ladies would gang up in a corner to discuss my dangerous character.”

Marilyn Monroe Quotes About Success

1. “I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.”

2. “Fame will go by and, 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 experience, but that’s not where I live.”

3. “It is wonderful to have someone praise you, to be desired.”

4. “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.”

5. “I want to be an artist, not… a celluloid aphrodisiac.”

6. “I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.”

7. “Fame is like caviar, you know – it’s good to have caviar but not when you have it at every meal.” 

Fame is like caviar, you know - it's good to have caviar but not when you have it at every meal - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #success #fame

8. “It’s not true that I had nothing on. I had the radio on.”

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

10. “Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”

11. “I used to think as I looked out on the Hollywood night, ‘There must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me dreaming of being a movie star.’ But I’m not going to worry about them. I’m dreaming the hardest.”

12. “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”

13. “I have feelings too. I am still human. All I want is to be loved, for myself and for my talent.”

14. “To put it bluntly, I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation. But I’m working on the foundation.”

15. “If I’m a star, then the people made me a star.” 

If I'm a star, then the people made me a star - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #success #star #people

16. “It’s all make believe, isn’t it?”

17. “Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.”

18. “Dreaming about being an actress, is more exciting then being one.”

19. “Girdles and wire stays should have never been invented. No man wants to hug a padded birdcage.”

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

21. “If I close my eyes and think of Hollywood, all I see is one big varicose vein.”

22. “I’ve always felt toward the slightest scene, even if all I had to do in a scene was just to come in and say, ‘Hi,’ that the people ought to get their money’s worth and that this is an obligation of mine, to give them the best you can get from me.”

23. “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.” 

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. #quotes #success #hate #enjoy #envy

24. “What good is it being Marilyn Monroe? Why can’t I just be an ordinary woman?”

25. “There isn’t anybody that looks like me without clothes on.”

26. “What good am I? I can’t have kids. I can’t cook. I’ve been divorced three times. Who would want me?”

27. “I think that when you are famous every weakness is exaggerated.”

28. “Fame doesn’t fulfill you. It warms you a bit, but that warmth is temporary.”

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

30. “When I was five, I think, that’s when I started wanting to be an actress. I loved to play. I didn’t like the world around me because it was kind of grim, but I loved to play house. It was like you could make your own boundaries.”

31. “I myself would like to become more disciplined within my work.” 

I myself would like to become more disciplined within my work - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #success #discipline #work

32. “There was my name up in lights. I said, ‘God, somebody’s made a mistake.’ But there it was, in lights. And I sat there and said, ‘Remember, you’re not a star.’ Yet there it was up in lights.”

Marilyn Monroe, More Quotes And Sayings

1. “I’m looking forward to becoming a marvelous – excuse the word marvelous – character actress. like Marie Dressler, like Will Rogers.”

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

3. “My dinners at home are startlingly simple. Every night, I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamb chops or some liver, which I broil in the electric oven in my room. I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all. I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots.”

4. “Millions of people live their entire lives without finding themselves. But it is something I must do.”

5. “Sometimes, wearing a scarf and a polo coat and no makeup and with a certain attitude of walking, I go shopping or just look at people living. But then, you know, there will be a few teenagers who are kind of sharp, and they’ll say, ‘Hey, just a minute. You know who I think that is?’ And they’ll start tailing me. And I don’t mind.”

6. “Someone said to me, ‘If fifty percent of the experts in Hollywood said you had no talent and should give up, what would you do?’ My answer was then and still is, ‘If a hundred percent told me that, all one hundred percent would be wrong.”

7. “I am not a victim of emotional conflicts. I am human.” 

I am not a victim of emotional conflicts. I am human - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #conflicts #human

8. “Next to my husband, and along with Marlon Brando, I think that Yves Montand is the most attractive man I’ve ever met.”

9. “I have evolved my own exercises, for the muscles I wish to keep firm, and I know they are right for me because I can feel them putting the proper muscles into play as I exercise.”

10. “I used to get the feeling, and sometimes I still get it, that sometimes I was fooling somebody; I don’t know who or what, maybe myself.”

11. “I learned to walk as a baby, and I haven’t had a lesson since.”

12. “We human beings are strange creatures and still reserve the right to think for ourselves.”

13. “What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course.” 

What do I wear in bed? Why, Chanel No. 5, of course - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #wear #bed #chanel

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

15. “The thing I want more than anything else? I want to have children. I used to feel for every child I had, I would adopt another.”

16. “The trouble with censors is that they worry if a girl has cleavage. They ought to worry if she hasn’t any.”

17. “All my stepchildren carried the burden of my fame. Sometimes they would read terrible things about me, and I’d worry about whether it would hurt them. I would tell them: Don’t hide these things from me. I’d rather you ask me these things straight out, and I’ll answer all your questions.”

18. “No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl. All little girls should be told they’re pretty, even if they aren’t.”

19. “I always have a full-length mirror next to the camera when I’m doing publicity stills. That way, I know how I look.”

20. “The nicest thing for me is sleep, then at least I can dream.”

21. “I enjoy acting when you really hit it right.”

22. “There are many times when a woman will ask another girlfriend how she likes her new hat. She will reply, ‘Fine, but slap her hand to her forehead the minute the girl leaves to yipe, What a horror!”

23. “I don’t digest things with my mind.”

24. “You know, most people really don’t know me.” 

You know, most people really don't know me - Marilyn Monroe. #quotes #people #know #me

25. “I remember when I was in high school I didn’t have a new dress for each special occasion. The girls would bring the fact to my attention, not always too delicately. The boys, however, never bothered with the subject. They were my friends, not because of the size of my wardrobe but because they liked me.”

26. “Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”

If you would like to know more about the life and endeavors of the most enduring icon in American culture, we would suggest you read The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli.

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