This Week Marks the 55th Anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s Death

The world lost Marilyn Monroe nearly 55 years ago on Aug. 5, 1962.

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Undated photos of Marilyn Monroe.
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An undated photo of Marilyn Monroe circa 1970.
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Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait circa 1953.
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American actress Marilyn Monroe, circa 1950.
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Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait circa 1953.
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Marilyn Monroe leans over the balcony of the Ambassador Hotel in March 1955 in New York City.
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Studio portrait of American actor Marilyn Monroe circa 1927, at the age of 6 months, sitting on a woolly rug in a white smock.
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Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait in 1947.
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Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
This Griffith Park shoot came only four years after she changed her name from Norma Jeane Dougherty.
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NBC Washington
Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of New York subway grating while in character for the filming of "The Seven Year Itch" in Manhattan on Sept. 15, 1954.
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Marilyn Monroe circa 1954.
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Marilyn Monroe with her husband, playwright Arthur Miller, during the location shoot of "The Misfits" in the Nevada Desert, 1960.
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LIFE could not identify the script Marilyn is reading, but the shoot took place two months before she shot her small role in "All About Eve."
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Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait circa 1952.
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Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell in a scene from "The Seven Year Itch," directed by Billy Wilder, 1955.
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Marilyn Monroe, a newly signed 20th Century-Fox contract girl in 1947, Los Angeles, California.
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Marilyn Monroe.
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LIFE discovered the photos in their effort to digitize all of their files.
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Bettmann Archive
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AP
In this June 2, unknown year, file photo, actress Marilyn Monroe smiles in a car after arriving tousled from an all-night plane flight from Hollywood to Idlewild Airport, in New York. The actress said she planned to rest in New York before going to England to make a new movie with Sir Laurence Olivier. In late 2012, the FBI has released a new version of files it kept on Monroe that reveal the names of some of her acquaintances who had drawn concern from government officials and members of her entourage over their suspected ties to communism.
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Marilyn stands tiptoe and leans over a wooden bridge railing in the photoshoot with LIFE's Ed Clark.
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American actress, singer, model and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe.
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American actress Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962) stands in a staircase alongside a wall with a floral-motif pattern, late 1950s. She wears a black cocktail dress and dangling earrings.
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Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image
Dressed in a shorts and light-colored shirt, Marilyn stands with her hands on her hips and her legs astride a pair of rocks on either side of a very small waterfall.
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The photos were taken two years before Marilyn hit it big.
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