Marilyn Monroe was a beloved beauty icon and actress who was known for her voluptuous body, vulnerability, and beauty. The tragic death of the iconic blonde bombshell has sparked many theories and conspiracy theories over the years, but what actually happened to her body after she died?
The Some Like It Hot star was found dead at home in her Los Angeles home on August 5, 1962. Her housekeeper Eunice Murray discovered her lifeless nude body in bed, with an empty bottle of sleeping pills on the side. The cause of death was ruled to be a barbiturate overdose.
Monroe was taken to a mortuary where her body was autopsied. A post-autopsy photo was released by Life Magazine which has been cited as one of the most famous and controversial photos of all time. Rumors have circulated that the images of her un-embalmed body were manipulated in some way, but there is no proof of this to date. However, it was not uncommon for morgue staff to bribe photographers to obtain photos of celebrities’ bodies during the autopsy process in the 1960’s. The photos were then distributed and often exhibited in a Hollywood museum before being relegated to the archives.
Funeral director Allan Abbott of the famed firm of Abbott and Hast who handled the arrangements for Monroe claimed that she looked “almost unrecognisable” when her body was brought to him after the autopsy. He went on to claim that she resembled a very average aging woman who did not take good care of herself. He also revealed that morticians had to perform surgery on her neck due to the huge swelling caused by blood rushing to her face when she died.