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Marilyn Monroe Plastic Surgery Secrets Revealed

Updated March 18, 2019 162.8k views6 items

November of 2013 welcomed a whole new chapter for Marilyn Monroe memorabilia – her personal medical records were put up for auction; however, the sale of her X-rays and doctors' notes weren't all that grabbed the attention of the late star's dedicated fans – they were equally fascinated with what the documents revealed. Marilyn Monroe's plastic surgeries could finally be confirmed.

Monroe conspiracy theorists have long debated whether or not the woman so worshipped for her looks was, in fact, a so-called natural beauty or had some secret work done. The truth, according to the records in question, is the latter.

So, why did the blond bombshell decide to go under the knife? Was she appeasing the demands of the masses and chasing the sex-icon image expected of starlets in the 1950s, or did she get rhinoplasty in 1962 because of a nasty fall? Perhaps whoever was lucky enough to get their hands on her medical file for a meager $30,000 was able to finally solve the mystery.

  • The Records Revealed That She Received Chin Implants And A Nose Job

    According to the doctor's notes recorded on her medical records, Monroe had complained of “a chin deformity” in 1958, likely the result of a previous cartilage implant that had begun to dissolve. In addition, accompanying X-rays – which include "Monroe's frontal facial bones, a composite right and left X-ray of the sides of her nasal bones, and dental X-rays of the roof of her mouth" – provide visual proof that Monroe underwent a minor rhinoplasty on the tip of her nose in June 1962, a procedure often attributed to a late-night fall.

    • Her Records Were Listed Under The Pseudonym Joan Newman

      Her Records Were Listed Under The Pseudonym Joan Newman
      Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

      Marilyn Monroe, who was born Norma Jeane Mortenson, went by yet another pseudonym when she registered for her medical records: Joan Newman. Likely in a futile attempt to maintain some semblance of privacy, Monroe registered the majority of her surgeries under an assumed name, only revealed once the documents were put up for auction in November, 2013, by physician Norman Leaf, originally an "unnamed seller."

      Allegedly, Leaf had received the collection of prized documents directly from Monroe's plastic surgeon, Michael Gurdin, as a gift in 1994. 

      • Monroe Suffered From Neutropenia And Had A Failed Ectopic Pregnancy

        Monroe Suffered From Neutropenia And Had A Failed Ectopic Pregnancy
        Photo: Teichnor Bros. / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

        The collection of records spans from 1950 to 1962 and includes additional notes about the starlet's health at the time.

        Specifically, while she was living in England in 1956, she fell ill as a result of a particularly rare condition called neutropenia, which causes a substantially low level of white blood cells in the body and makes sufferers vulnerable to infection and bone marrow damage.

        These notes also reveal that Monroe terminated an ectopic pregnancy in 1957.

        • Her Records Were Expected To Auction For Upwards Of $30,000

          Her Records Were Expected To Auction For Upwards Of $30,000
          Photo: Cpl. Welshman / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

          Within hours of announcing the impending auction of Monroe's medical records, representatives from the auction house were "contacted by interested buyers in Ireland, England, and Australia," suggesting that the high demand for these documents would likely land the seller a hefty profit. 

          Despite the innately exploitative undertones of selling off a deceased starlet's medical records, revealing what little was left of her privacy, the seller wasn't looking to grow his own bank account. Rather, the expected $30k profit was reportedly donated to Rebuilding America's Warriors, a nonprofit that provides free plastic surgery operations to wounded war veterans; he did so in honor of Monroe's life-long dedication to supporting the troops.