Today's guest post is from Diane:
Marilyn was the sex symbol of her time. She was womanly (like Jane Russell, Liz Taylor, and others)--not like the skinny actresses of today.
She played the dumb blonde, but she was the smart "dumb blonde." She did both comedy ("Seven Year Itch," "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," etc.) and drama ("Niagra"), which is a hard feat in the acting world.
I've never met Marilyn, but I would have liked to. She seemed like an intelligent business woman, and surrounded herself with intelligent men.
She's an icon, I think, because she was so relateable. She was also vulnerable, and I think the public recognized that. She was America's Sweetheart, while at the same time having total control and owning her own sexuality, which is something rarely (if ever) done today in tandem. I can't think of anyone today who could maintain their star power, be America's darling, and also have done a Playboy spread.
Marilyn was special, and I am sure her light will forever shine.