marilyn-monroe

Happy 85th birthday, Marilyn Monroe

June 1, 2011 at 1:41 PM ET

AP file /
Marilyn Monroe, left, and three Hollywood wannabes, from top right: Michelle Williams, Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton.

One of Marilyn Monroe's most iconic moments in a career that seemed filled with them was when she sang a breathy "Happy birthday, Mister President" in 1962. But who sang to her?

Today would have been the blonde bombshell's own 85th birthday.

It's a little shocking to see her in the famous video introduced as "the late Marilyn Monroe" today, knowing she would die just three months later. (At the time, the crowd laughed at the dig at her timeliness, never knowing her time on earth was so limited.)

 Of all the movie star icons, and there have been many, including the recently departed Liz Taylor, Monroe may top the list.

Was it her fragile beauty? Her short and tragic life? The scandal that surrounded her?

Hollywood has never been able to replace her, but plenty of starlets have paid her homage. Singer Mariah Carey just named one of her twins Monroe after the actress; Megan Fox bears a tattoo of Monroe's face on her arm; and everyone from Madonna to Anna Nicole Smith to Paris Hilton has tried to look like her, even if just for an hour.

Who knows what she would be like at 85? Would she have settled into a beloved grandmother role like Betty White? Seems unlikely. Would she be struggling with health issues like Zsa Zsa Gabor? Stepped into activism and many marriages, like Liz Taylor? We'll never get the chance to find out.

What's your most enduring memory of Marilyn Monroe? Vote in our poll, and share your comments below.

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