1. Marilyn Monroe
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, this “blonde bombshell” became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s. Despite only having a decade at the top, her movies grossed a staggering $200 million, which would be the equivalent of $2 billion today.
Monroe’s troubled marriages and her struggles with addiction and mental illness have been long documented. However, when she was found dead in her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, on August 5, 1962 (she had died the previous evening) of “acute barbiturate poisoning,” Her death was front-page news in the United States and Europe. She was just 36 years old.
There have been many conspiracy theories surrounding Monroe’s death flying around since they found her ranging from murder by mob boss Sam Giancana, the CIA, and most notably, by the president of the United States himself, JFK. Due to all the speculation, the office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney reviewed the case in 1982 but found no evidence to support them and agreed with the findings of the original investigation. She remains today one of the most iconic women of the 20th century.