Did Marilyn Monroe ever meet her real father?

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Netflix’s new biopic, Blonde, tells the fictional story of Marilyn Monroe, delving into her childhood as Norma Jeane Mortenson and following her tumultuous career as an actress, model and singer.

Many of Marilyn’s family and romantic relationships are explored throughout the film, but Blonde also raises a number of questions, particularly regarding the identity of her father.

But who was Marilyn Monroe’s father and did she ever meet him before she died?

Blonde | official trailer

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Blonde | official trailer

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Who is Marilyn Monroe’s real father?

Marilyn Monroe’s real father is a man named Charles Stanley Gifford.

Gifford was a colleague of Marilyn’s mother, Gladys Baker, while she worked as a film negative cutter at Consolidated Film Industries. The couple reportedly had an affair in 1925, a year before Marilyn was born.

However, Marilyn’s father was listed on her birth certificate as Edward Mortenson, Gladys’ husband at the time, although Marilyn realized during her lifetime that he was not her real father.

Gladys and Edward married in 1924 but separated after a few months. However, they were not officially divorced until 1928, which is why Mortenson is listed as Marilyn’s father.

Charles Gifford was rumored to be Marilyn’s real father for several decades, but this fact was not confirmed until April 2022, when DNA tests were conducted and confirmed that Gifford was indeed Marilyn’s father.

According to the documentary Marilyn, Her Final Secret, a DNA test used some of Marilyn’s hair, as well as cheek swab samples from Charles’ granddaughter Francine and great-granddaughter Lisa, which ultimately revealed the truth.

Speaking to Variety about the discovery, documentary director Francois Pomès explained: “The hair we used from Monroe was collected by the person who embalmed her body the day she died, and we were able to put together 22% of her genetic profile. of that thanks to a DNA fragment found in keratin.”

Blonde © Netflix

Did Marilyn Monroe ever meet her father?

Marilyn Monroe repeatedly tried to make contact with Charles Gifford, but he allegedly refused to meet with her and denied that he was her father.

In an interview in the documentary Marilyn, Her Final Secret, Charles’ granddaughter Francine revealed that Marilyn tried to reach out and meet her father but was rebuffed.

“In the 1950s, when she was already famous, Marilyn went to see my grandfather in Hemet, California, but he turned her down,” Francine explained.

According to Charles Casillo’s book, Marilyn Monroe: The Private Life of a Public Icon, she successfully tracked him down, but he brushed her off, saying, “I’m married and I have a family. I have nothing to tell you. Call my lawyer.”

Blonde © Netflix

What happened to Charles Gifford?

Charles Gifford died in 1965 at the age of 66.

According to VoxBliss, Gifford — who was originally from Newport, Rhode Island — died of a heart attack just three years after Marilyn herself.

Until his death, Gifford repeatedly denied that he was related to Marilyn, although it was finally proven in 2022 that he was her father after DNA tests were performed.

Blonde © Netflix

Blonde is now available to stream Netflix after publication on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.

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