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What happened to Marilyn Monroe’s father?

From left: Robert F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, and John F. Kennedy | CREDIT: CEFCIL STOUGHTON/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY


What happened to Marilyn Monroe’s father?


The release of Netflix’s Blonde has sparked renewed interest in the life of Marilyn Monroe and her estranged relationship with her father, Charles Stanley Gifford.

The 2-hour and 47-minute film explores Marilyn’s life story, including the mystery of her father’s identity and what happened to him.

Until recently, the identity of Marilyn’s father was unknown. However, DNA testing unveiled in a French documentary titled “Marilyn Her Final Secret” confirmed that Charles Stanley Gifford was Marilyn’s biological father.

Gifford was a coworker of Gladys Pearl Baker, Marilyn’s mother, with whom she had a brief affair.

The DNA research was conducted with a strand of Marilyn Monroe’s hair and saliva and cheek swabs from Gifford’s granddaughter and great-granddaughter, Francine and Lisa Gifford.

The testing confirmed that Gifford, who had long been suspected of being Marilyn’s father, was indeed a biological match and her real father.


Charles Stanley Gifford was born in 1898 and died in 1965 at the age of 66.

He worked at Consolidated Films as a motion picture salesman where he met Gladys, and in his later life, he reportedly owned some cottage apartments.

He was also the owner and operator of Red Rock Dairy, which sold ice cream and baked goods.

It’s rumored that Marilyn would occasionally visit Red Rock Dairy and force her father to fill her order.

In a 1996 documentary, Marilyn’s former husband claimed that she had attempted to contact Charles before she became an actress, but he was not interested in getting to know her.

Blonde portrays Marilyn’s relationship with her father as an absent but key figure in her life.

In the film, Norma Jeane (Marilyn’s birth name) is raised in poverty by her mother and given a photograph of a man she’s told is her father.

When a fire breaks out in the Hollywood Hills on her seventh birthday, Gladys drives them towards the scene claiming that Norma Jeane’s father lives there.

When the police tell them to head home, Gladys tries to drown Norma Jeane.

She escapes to her neighbors and is soon after put into a foster home as her mother is declared unfit to look after her.

While it’s true that Marilyn didn’t know the true identity of her father growing up, her unstable upbringing with her mother is possibly exaggerated in the film.

In real life, Gladys placed her daughter with foster parents when she was born and visited her on weekends.

When Marilyn was seven, Gladys bought a small house in Hollywood and moved her daughter in along with some lodgers and their daughter.

A year later, Gladys had a mental breakdown and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. From then on, she was rarely in contact with Marilyn, and Marilyn became a ward of the state.

Blonde explores Marilyn’s relationship with her father and how it impacted her life.

The film delves into her childhood and the absence of her father, which left a lasting impression on her.

Blonde has been praised for its portrayal of Marilyn’s life story and its exploration of the tragic events that shaped her life.

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