12 Stars Who’ve Dared To Play Marilyn Monroe

We may think we know a lot about Marilyn Monroe. But more often than not, we're thinking of the persona invented by an ambitious young Norma Jean Mortenson and the Hollywood execs who helped propel her into stardom. She is the pop culture symbol screen-printed ad infinitum by Andy Warhol. She's the tragic subject of countless biographies, biopics, documentaries, and even that musical they were making in Smash 

According to IMDb, there are 185 shows and movies in which "Marilyn Monroe" appears as a character in one way or another. Her humble beginnings, her utterly iconic look, her tabloid-fodder relationships, and her tragic end make her an irresistible subject, whether in a cameo appearance or as the star of her own life story. This month, Lifetime premieres The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, starring Kelli Garner as Norma Jean/Marilyn Monroe and Susan Sarandon as the mentally ill mother who allegedly tormented the star all her life. Next year, we'll see Jessica Chastain in the second adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' fictionalized biography, Blonde.

Of all the women who've dared to don the platinum 'do, the sequined dresses, and conjure that coy, breathy voice, who comes closest to truly capturing Marilyn? Here are the 12 we think have done it best.

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