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Personality of Nelson Mandela


“I was not born with a hunger to be free. I was born free. Free in every way that I could know. Free to run in the fields near my mother’s hut, free to swim in the clear stream that ran through my village, free to roast mealies [corn] under the stars … It was only when I learnt that my boyhood freedom was an illusion … that I began to hunger for it.”


Nelson Mandela is seen as one of history’s most inspirational figures. He dedicated his life to speaking out for justice and changing inequalities of all kinds. He fought against the apartheid regime of South Africa and endured 27 years in prison. Mandela was South Africa’s first black president and is held up as one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen.
He was a charismatic leader, a hero to his people, a man who gave up his freedom to fight for the freedom of others. Even after his death he remains a symbol of democracy, equality and peace. He was loved and admired throughout the world, and he never lost faith in his dreams and aspirations for his country despite all his hardships. He changed the course of history and even today inspires and empowers millions of people around the world. So, what was it that made this man stand out? What was it that made him give up on his personal life and stay true to his cause?


“A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed. “

A brief look into Mandela’s personality traits.

At first glance, Nelson Mandela had all the personality traits of an effective leader. He was a visionary who fought for his beliefs. His fight against the racist system gave strength, inspired and motivated his people. Mary Benson, friend, confidante and biographer of Nelson Mandela, described him as “a born mass leader who could not help magnetizing people.” Mandela had excellent communication skills. Although his public speeches were very formal, he always enchanted his audience. He used to speak slowly, carefully selecting his every word. His commitment, charisma and humour were prominent in every speech. He had the ability to empower his audiences, fill them up with confidence and encouraged them to follow in his steps and fight dangerous battles. He articulated his vision for “a better future” and gained millions of followers.

To his followers, Nelson Mandela was a role model who motivated them into exceptional accomplishments. They shared common beliefs, emotions and practices. He was like a father to them. He had the power to unite people towards a common goal: resistance against racial segregation.

According to psychology, followers place more emphasis on the image of the leader than on any other characteristic. Mandela’s official biographer, Anthony Sampson, described Mandela as “master of imagery and performance”. Mandela always took extra care of his appearance in public and in press photographs. His correct manners and his modulated public speech helped him cultivate the image of the “African gentleman”. Because of that, Tom Lodge characterized Mandela as “one of the first media politicians […] embodying a glamour and a style that projected visually a brave new African world of modernity and freedom”. It seems that Mandela did not only cultivate an image, but he created a myth as well, both of which helped him achieve his goals. It leaves us wondering, was this a gift or skill? Well, it seems it was both.

Despite all that, his intelligence and his unique way of thinking were what turned Mandela into a successful leader. He faced reality with courage, no matter how hard it was and had the unique ability to adapt quickly and easily to everything new. In addition, he was an honest, dutiful, respectful and righteous man. He was known for his ability to find common ground with people of different mindsets.

Nelson Mandela strongly expressed his intellectual and revolutionary ideas. He pursued his beliefs to the very end of his life, and he shared his vision with the world. He was undoubtedly a man of genius, devotion, and determination. Considering knowledge as the greatest good, he never stopped learning. Even during his time in jail, he kept his mind busy searching for new ideas.

Mandela was an ambitious person with big dreams for his country. That ambition was his driving force and what made him take the lead and achieve success. This is what great leaders do. They do not only envisage a better future but also believe in its possible reality and take part in its creation. Till the end of his life, Mandela worked hard, with determination towards his lifetime goal to win freedom and equal human and democratic rights for his people. But he wasn’t just a great leader. He was a great human being whose mental toughness helped him endure great difficulties. He never gave up and always found a way to overcome even the most tremendous obstacles. Mandela was a living example of hope and bravery and inspires people to believe in what they are really capable of, if only they would truly believe it!

“By ancestry, I was born to rule”

The early life of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, in full Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, was born, into a royal family of the Xhosa-speaking Thembu tribe in the village of Mvezo, in Eastern Cape, South Africa, on 18 July 1918. He had a poor but otherwise happy childhood.

His father Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa was headman of the Mvezo people and part of the Madiba clan – a subdivision of the Thembu tribe. He was in charge of his people and took every decision on his own, but always under the supervision of the British government authority. His every decision was carefully considered and made with the best interests of his people according to what was fair and reasonable. Even the name of his son “Rolihlahla” was thoughtfully considered. It is literally translated as “pulling the branch of a tree” or more colloquially “the troublemaker”. Was this a coincidence or could Mandela’s name have influenced his destiny? One thing is for sure, that no one could have predicted this boy’s future and that his name would match his actions later on.


“My mother was my first friend in the proper sense of the word.”


Nelson Mandela’s family

Nelson Mandela fatherMandela’s father served as a counsellor to tribal chiefs for several years. His strict attitude and discipline earned him the respect of the others. Mandela himself highly respected and admired his father as well. As a boy, he would take white ash and rub it into his hair in imitation of him. Not only that, but he also observed his every move, the way he talked in front of an audience, his facial expressions and his body movements. Despite the fact that he was illiterate, he was considered to be a great orator. Mandela looked up to his father and wished to be like him in the future. Who could have guessed that he would eventually surpass him!

Apart from the fatherly figure, the family environment can also shape a child’s personality. Mandela grew up in a big family. His father had four wives (Great Wife, Right Hand Wife and Mandela’s mother – Noqaphi Nosekeni, Left Hand Wife, Wife of the Iqadi) and a total of thirteen children – four boys and nine girls. Mandela was the youngest of his father’s sons and his mother’s first child. He grew up with love, respect and lots of care, elements crucial in a child’s upbringing and in the formation of one’s personality.


“Children are the most vulnerable citizens in any society and the greatest of our treasures.”


The difficulties of his childhood

A few years later, in 1926, when Mandela was still a little boy, his father was involved in a dispute that deprived him of his chieftainship. At the time Mandela was told that his father lost his job for standing up to the magistrate’s unreasonable demands. Nelson Mandela child diffiultiesApart from losing his job and his title, Mandela’s father also lost a big part of his fortune, since he was deprived of most of his herd and land, as well as his income.

As a result, they had to move to Qunu, a nearby village, and live there a humble life. There was great poverty in Qunu but despite the straitened circumstances Mandela had some very happy childhood memories there. One of the most serious problems was the lack of food. Mandela recalled only eating corn, sorghum, beans, and pumpkins whilst tea, coffee, and sugar were considered luxury. Education was also considered a privilege.


“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”


Mandela’s school years

Even though both his parents were illiterate, his father was dreaming of a better future for his son, and thus at the age of seven he decided to send Mandela to school. Because of their Christian beliefs, Mandela’s mother thought it would be better for him to attend a Christian school nearby.

Going to school was something very special and unique for a child back then. On the first day of school, Mandela’s father gave him his first pair of pants and some advice on good behaviour and let him go to school alone. There, one of the first things his teacher did, was to give each of the students an English name, in accordance with the custom of giving all schoolchildren “Christian” names. She told him that his new name from then onwards would be Nelson. Primary lesson at school was the English language, whilst British ideas and British culture played a major role in the school’s educational system.

From a young age Mandela’s personality stand out. All of his teachers were very proud of him. He was a diligent student, he always followed his teacher’s instructions, he had an excellent behaviour, and he was always one of the best students in the class. He tried his best to earn a better life for himself and his family.

“Apart from life, a strong constitution, and an abiding connection to the Thembu royal house, the only thing my father bestowed upon me at birth was a name, Rolihlahla.”


 The death of his father

Two years after his first day at school, when Mandela was nine years old, his life turned upside down once again. One night, he went home to find his father lying in the hut, feeling weak and having severe pain in his chest. Mandela presumed he had a lung disease, although it was never diagnosed. His father remained in the hut for several days only getting worse. He was neither moving nor talking. Mandela had a bad feeling and thus he never left his father’s side. One day, he hugged his mother and promised her that he would take his father’s place and that he would protect her no matter what. A few days later, after fulfilling his last wish to smoke his pipe, Mandela’s father passed away.

After the death of his father, Mandela’s life drastically changed. Undoubtedly, the sudden death of a parent is certainly among the most difficult situations an adult – as well as a child – may ever face. Children however are sometimes dealing better with death than adults. They understand that death is permanent and final and that it cannot be reversed, but they lack the necessary life experience to realize that death is inevitable for all living things, themselves included. So, when that time comes, the process of grieving after a loss varies from child to child.

Mandela felt deep sorrow from losing his father. He did not only lose a parent, but also a person who he trusted and admired more than anyone on this world, his mentor and his role model in life. Even so, he tried to conceal his sorrow in order to protect his mother and siblings. He showed incredible inner strength and courage for such a young boy. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that the death of his father didn’t leave a scar on his soul.

On the contrary. This tragic event of his life changed him and made him realize that he had to follow his father’s advice and finish off the work he started, choosing to take a road against submission and injustice.

“Friendship and support from friends is something which is a source of tremendous inspiration always and to everyone.”


 Mandela’s new life

Soon after his father’s death Mandela’s life changed drastically. His mother was unable to provide for him on her own and took the decision to send Mandela away from the Qunu village. Her decision shocked Mandela deeply, but he knew that it was for his own good. She wanted to give him a chance to live a better future. It wasn’t an easy decision. Soon after the loss of her husband she had to let go of her son as well. Mandela on the other side had never lived outside the village and away from his tribe. He felt that he was abandoning everything he loved, his home, his friends and family. But he had no other choice.

Nelson Mandela's motherHis mother took him to the “Great Place” palace at Mqhekezweni, the royal residence of Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the regent of the Thembu people, who offered to become Mandela’s guardian. Seeing the wealth and the beauty of his new home, he realised that a new life was starting for him. As the days were passing by, he was missing his mother and his life in Qunu, but he was having a great time in the Great Place.

There, at his new school he studied English, Xhosa, history, and geography and he was a very good and hardworking student. He was also getting along with the regent’s children, Justice and Nomafu, very well. All three of them were treated the same and felt like siblings. Moreover, Mandela looked up to Justice, and the two boys quickly became best friends. Justice had become quite a hero in Mandela’s eyes.

“Democracy and human rights are inseparable.”


The tribal meetings and consultations

What contributed greatly to Mandela’s later notions of leadership were the tribal meetings that were regularly called at the Great Place. They were discussing national matters such as the droughts, new laws and policies. He was observing the language used by the speakers, all their moves, expressions and arguments. Soon he distinguished among many different techniques that people used to persuade their audience with. He also realized that despite the hierarchy everyone was welcomed to attend the meetings, speak and express opinion on the matters freely.

The regent would speak last, and he would sum up the discussion so far. He wouldn’t force his decisions on people who disagreed. On the contrary, in case of disagreement, they held another meeting some other time. Later in his life, Mandela followed the same principles he first saw demonstrated by the regent at the Great Place and this is maybe what distinguished him as a leader.

“Without education, your children can never really meet the challenges they will face. So, it’s very important to give children education and explain that they should play a role for their country.”

Mandela’s secondary education in Clarkebury

Growing up, Mandela’s destiny was to become councillor to the Thembu royal house and not a worker at the gold mines like most at the time. To do so, he had to acquire the necessary education. Thus, in 1933, he set off to Clarkebury Boarding Institute in Engcobo, a Western-style institution and the largest school for black Africans in Thembuland, where he began his secondary education.

Nelson Mandela at UniversityIn Clarkebury everyone was treated the same: “I had to make my way on the basis of my ability, not my heritage” he said. Apart from studying, Mandela often participated in sports and games and socialized with other students. He also became best friends with a girl for the first time in his life – a girl named Mathona, who he despised at first.

Through lots of hard work and determination he completed his Junior Certificate in only two years instead of the usual three. And that because he never forgot his original goal, to gather various experiences, learn new things and become more mature and wiser like a king’s councillor should be.


“I have always believed that sport is a right, not a privilege.”

Healdtown College

Two years later, in 1937, when Mandela was nineteen years old, he was sent to Healdtown, a Wesleyan College in Fort Beaufort, the usual college for Thembu royalty. Justice was already a student there. Ιn Healdtown there were studying more than a thousand students of both sexes from all over the country. There, Mandela made new friends from other tribes for the first time and found new hobbies: long-distance running and boxing. He was also appointed a prefect and had many responsibilities and chores throughout the day.


“Thinking is one of the most important weapons in dealing with problems.”


Fort Hare University

In 1939, when Mandela was twenty-one years old, he got accepted in the University College of Fort Hare. Fort Hare was an elite Institution with only one hundred fifty students and Mandela felt really lucky and proud to be there, whilst Justice had remained at Healdtown for he wasn’t a very diligent student.

Nelson Mandela University lifeIn his first year, he studied English, anthropology, politics, native administration, and Roman Dutch law. He also attended interpreting courses which he loved the most and dreamt of becoming an interpreter in the magistrate’s office or a clerk in the Native Affairs Department. In his free time, he kept active and did lots of sports. He liked playing soccer and cross-country running the most. He also joined the drama club and took ballroom dancing lessons. Moreover, he became a member of the Students Christian Association and taught the Bible on Sundays in neighbouring villages.

Fort Hare University was a dream come true for Mandela. Being able to get a bachelor’s degree at the time was a major opportunity. He thought that he would be able to help his mother and sisters live a better life in Qunu. He wanted to provide them with the life they had lost when his father died.

“There are few misfortunes in this world that you cannot turn into a personal triumph if you have the iron will and the necessary skill.”


Mandela’s first conflict with authority

In 1940 Mandela got suspended from the university. During his second year he got involved in the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) boycott against the bad quality of food. Unless the authorities accepted their demands, they wouldn’t give up on their goal.

Mandela was called in to see the principal, who asked him to reconsider his actions or else he would be expelled from Fort Hare. Mandela faced a huge dilemma that day. “I found it difficult to swallow the idea that I would sacrifice what I regarded as my obligation to the students for my own selfish interests” he said. As much as he wanted to see his dream come true, at the end of the year Mandela left Fort Hare without taking a degree. Just like his father, he was determined to stand by his principles at any cost and refused to bend to authority. It is obvious that this was a strong ­– perhaps inherited – and recurring trait of his personality as we will see later on.


“You are responsible for your own future, and with hard work you can accomplish anything and make your dreams come true.”


A fresh start in Johannesburg

Mandela had no other choice than to return to Mqhekezweni and live once again in the Great Place with the regent’s family and Justice, who had long returned back home. However, the regent’s decision to arrange marriages for both of them shortly after his return, shocked them both. If he chose to disobey the regent, Mandela knew he could no longer remain under his roof and guidance. Justice was of the same mind, and so they decided that running away together was their only option. Inevitably, the two young men set off to Johannesburg.Nelson Mandela youth

The fact that Mandela defied the regent’s wishes had a pinch of irony in it. “It was the regent himself who was indirectly to blame for this, for it was the education he had afforded me that had caused me to reject such traditional customs. […] I was a romantic, and I was not prepared to have anyone, even the regent, select a bride for me” Mandela said. A year later in 1941 and a few months before his death, the regent visited Mandela in Johannesburg and forgave him for his actions.

Johannesburg in those days was rapidly growing and life there wasn’t easy, mostly because of the racism and the poverty. The demand for labour was high as more and more Africans from the countryside were seeking work there. In the meantime, Mandela’s dream had changed, and he envisioned himself as an attorney. At first, he worked as a security guard for Crown Mines but later he got a job as a clerk in a law office. At the same time, he decided to complete his bachelor through the University of South Africa (UNISA), that offered credits and degrees by correspondence. He got his degree at the end of 1942. Later on, he also enrolled at the University of the Witwatersrand, or else “Wits”, for a Bachelor of Laws degree. He was the only African student in the law faculty. He met new people and made new friends who had fresh ideas and revolutionary political beliefs, loved politic and wanted to make a difference even if they had to sacrifice themselves for the cause of the oppressed.

“Mass action is a peaceful form of channeling the anger of the people.”


Mandela’s first steps into politics

Nelson Mandela in politicsDuring his time at Wits, Nelson Mandela became increasingly aware of the racial inequality and injustice faced by non-white people. In 1943, he decided to join the African National Congress ANC and actively take part in the struggle against apartheid. At first, Mandela was simply attending its meetings but later he joined ANC in a bus boycott and protested against the bus ticket’s rising price with great success, what got him more involved. In 1944, along with other party members they formed the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL). Its primary purpose was to give direction to the ANC in its quest for political freedom. Thanks to his commitment to the cause Mandela rose rapidly through the ranks of the ANC.


“To be in love is an experience that every man must go through”


Mandela’s first marriage

In 1946, Mandela met and quickly fell in love with Evelyn Mase. They got married within a few months of their first date. Soon after their marriage, they got a son Madiba “Thembi” Thembekile and a year later a daughter Makaziwe, who died aged just nine months. This was a huge loss for Mandela and the worst time of his life.

It is often said that there is no greater loss than the loss of a child. It feels completely unnatural for a child to die before his or her parents and there is nothing one can say or do to lessen the pain of the parents at the time. A piece of themselves is lost forever and only time can heal the pain.

After the death of his daughter, Mandela tried to keep his mind constantly busy. He worked long hours. He departed early every morning, only to return home late at night, and he had no time for his family and no personal life at all. His career and his political action seemed to be more important.


“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion.”


The start of a long fight

The general election of May 1948 in South Africa brought the National Party to power. The government immediately began enforcing strict and more systematic policies of racial segregation and developed a political and social system known as “apartheid”. Mandela and ANC wanted to encourage serious action against apartheid and a non-violent resistance through boycotts, strikes and demonstrations.

A few years later, in 1952 Mandela and his friend Oliver Tambo opened a law office in Johannesburg called “Mandela and Tambo”. It was one of South Africa’s first black-owned and operated law firms aiming to defend Africans’ rights in court. “For Africans, we were the firm of first choice and last resort. To reach our offices each morning, we had to move through a crowd of people in the hallways, on the stairs, and in our small waiting room,” Mandela said. After all, offering help to those in need was the reason Mandela became a lawyer.

In the meantime, Mandela organized and took part in major campaigns against the apartheid, gave significant speeches and got a couple of times arrested. He soon drew the government’s attention. They considered Mandela to be a threat and had to take actions against him. They forbid him to travel outside of Johannesburg as well as attend any meetings or talk to more than one person at a time. He couldn’t even attend his son’s birthday party for that reason! A nine-month prison sentence was suspended because of a fair-minded and reasonable judge who accepted that the ANC was committed to peaceful and non-violent action.

In 1956, Mandela and 155 more people were arrested and accused of high treason and of an alleged conspiracy to overthrow the government. They were kept in prison for two weeks but soon freed on bail. The trial itself lasted for five years till 1961. Due to insufficient evidence they were found not guilty.

“The beauty of a woman lies as much in her face as in her body.”


Mandela’s divorce and second marriage

In 1950, Mandela and Evelyn had their second son, Makgatho. However, Mandela’s hard working schedule and his devotion to politics increasingly took him away from home. In 1954 the birth of Mandela’s second daughter, named Makaziwe, in honour of their first baby girl, failed to save their marriage. In 1956 when Mandela got out of prison, Evelyn had already moved out. They took divorce the next year.

In 1957 Mandela met a woman sixteen years younger than him, Winnie Madikizela, a medical social worker at the Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg. They got married in 1958, but four months later the ANC got banned and Mandela got once again imprisoned. In the same year and while pregnant, Winnie took part in several protests and got arrested. Soon after her release she gave birth to their daughter Zenani, on February 4, 1959. A year later they had their second daughter, Zindziswa (Zindzi).


“Men must follow the dictates of their conscience irrespective of the consequences which might overtake them for it.”


State of Emergency

On April 6, 1959, PAC (Pan Africans Congress) a new organization was founded. All they wished for was a “Government of the Africans, by the Africans and for the Africans”, and thus they organized many campaigns and protests. However, on 21 March 1960, in Sharpeville, what started as a peaceful march took a sudden turn; 69 of the protestants were killed and many more were injured when the police suddenly opened fire against them. This resulted in many strikes all around the country and subsequently the government declared a State of Emergency. Both the ANC and the PAC were banned and declared illegal organizations. Mandela along with many other party members were arrested under the State of Emergency and taken to prison, where they were all mistreated.

The Emergency was lifted five months later, and Mandela was let go. The event however destroyed his carrier as a lawyer and ANC. Yet, he couldn’t stay idle. He took part in secret meetings of the ANC and went underground organizing strikes. Mandela realised that the non-violent tactics and the peaceful protests of ANC so far had failed them. His actions during those years earned him the nickname “The Black Pimpernel” and another warrant for his arrest, but he chose to fight than surrender; “I have chosen this course which is more difficult, and which entails more risk and hardship than sitting in gaol. I have had to separate myself from my dear wife and children, from my mother and sisters to live as an outlaw in my own land. I have had to close my business, to abandon my profession, and live in poverty, as many of my people are doing […] For my own part I have made my choice. I will not leave South Africa, nor will I surrender. Only through hardship, sacrifice and militant action can freedom be won. The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days,” he wrote in a letter he released to the press at the time, whilst he also held secret meetings with reporters and gave his first TV interview.

Mandela knew what he wanted from the very start. He would not hesitate, not even for a single moment, to give his own life for the freedom of his country. His determination and resilience were remarkable and inspiring. It was hard for him to imagine how one could go against, shoot and kill innocent, unarmed people that all they wanted was a chance for a better life.

“If the criticism is valid, it must be made.”


A lonely fighter

Nelson Mandela a lonely fighterThe days when Mandela was an innocent child playing in the fields of his village were long gone. In 1961, Mandela wasn’t just a country boy anymore. He was an underground fugitive and one of the most wanted men in South Africa. What made him stand out and separated him from the other leaders was that he wasn’t in the spotlight. Mandela hid from the world and was acting from the shadows mostly during night hours. He refused to play by the government’s rules and played with fire instead. But he couldn’t care less.

Despite his open and friendly personality Mandela loved solitude. Being alone enabled him to move undisturbed, carefully calculate his next moves and think his plans throughout without unnecessary interferences. On the other hand, he was unable to keep a healthy relationship with his family once again. He was away from his wife and children and rarely saw them in fear he would get caught. Yet Winnie was a person with great understanding and patience.


“Let us keep our arms locked together so that we form a solid phalanx against racism.”


The beginning of the armed struggle

Up until this point ANC was against using or advocating violence during their protests, but in the wake of the Sharpeville massacre ANC decided that it could no longer remain an organization of passive resistance and that they should change their tactics. Thus, they formed an armed wing named uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK for short) to fight against apartheid.

Mandela was a man with an enquiring mind and a desire to learn and make a difference. He read many books about war strategy and fights of the past as well as African history and was ready to start a real revolution. At the time he sought shelter at Liliesleaf farm in Rivonia, in northern Johannesburg under the alias of David Motsamayi posing as a caretaker. The farm was also used as hideout for many other anti-apartheid activists.

On 16 December 1961, on the annual national holiday “Day of the Vow” MK launched its armed struggle. They committed several acts of sabotage that continued throughout the year. They carried out numerous bombings mainly against government structures such as military installations, power plants, and transport links in various cities such as in Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, and Durban and during night hours, when civilians were not present to ensure minimum casualties.

“Mass action is a peaceful form of channeling the anger of the people.”


Mandela’s African journey and arrest

In 1962, Mandela decided to leave South Africa in secret and seek political and economic support, military training, as well as boost MK’s reputation in other countries. He pursued his cause throughout Africa and travelled among others to Ethiopia, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Mali, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Senegal. Later on, he travelled to London as well. Upon his return to South Africa on 5 August 1962, Mandela was however arrested and accused of inciting workers’ strikes and leaving the country illegally. On November 7, he was sentenced to five years in prison.


“I realized that they could take it all except my mind and heart. And I just made a decision not to give them away.”


Rivonia trial and imprisonment

A year later in 1963, while Mandela was serving his five-year sentence in Johannesburg’s Fort prison, the police arrested several MK leaders in a raid on Liliesleaf Farm that served as their hideout and discovered many incriminating documents as well some of which mentioned Mandela. All of them including Mandela were prosecuted in the Rivonia Trial –named after the suburb where the farm was located – and charged of sabotage and conspiracy. The alleged offences were punishable by death but those who were convicted, were sentenced to life imprisonment instead.

Mandela was already gaining popularity and had become a symbol of justice. The trial itself gained international attention and is considered to be one of the most important events in the history of South Africa. Mandela gave a historic three-hour speech from the dock, in which he explained and justified their actions. “Your Worship, I hate racial discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all my life, I fight it now, and I will do so until the end of my days. I detest most intensely the set up that surrounds me here. It makes me feel that I am a black man in a white man’s court. This should not be” he said.

Mandela later made it clear that he was ready to sacrifice his life for the sake of his country; “I have fought against white domination. I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all people live together in harmony and equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve but if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” Mandela was taken from the courthouse directly to Pretoria Local Prison.

“After one has been in prison, it is the small things that one appreciates: being able to take a walk whenever one wants, going into a shop and buying a newspaper, speaking or choosing to remain silent. The simple act of being able to control one’s person.”


The life of a prisoner

A life behind bars isn’t easy and no one knows what it’s like unless they go through it themselves. Prisoners are confined in a certain environment where they have to adapt quickly if they want to survive. They have no freedom and no identity and as a result prison affects every aspect of one’s life. It not only has an impact on one’s mental well-being but over time also shift’s one’s personality, leading the prisoner toward becoming a different person, especially after long-term imprisonment.

Nelson Mandela prisoner Number 46664Prisoners are made to wear the same cloths as everybody else, eat the same food every day and follow the exact same schedule. Friendships in prison are a matter of controversy as well. Being very close with someone isn’t advisable. All contacts are strictly monitored and can turn out dangerous as well.

Life after prison isn’t by any means easer. Getting out of jail isn’t the end of it for most people. Starting a new life after prison from absolute scratch seems hard, and the reintegration of prisoners into society is a struggle. The deprivation of liberty and the lack of privacy scar them for life.

Mandela wasn’t like the rest of the prisoners. Even in jail he tried to make a difference. He was scared for sure but knew very well how to hide his emotions and over time he got tougher. He chose to be put in isolation than wear short trousers and eat stiff and cold food, where he could eat and wear whatever he wanted. Mandela spent a couple of weeks there completely alone, but soon he realized that nothing is more important than human companionship, and he gave in.


“The suffering of the people of any single country affects all of us no matter where we find ourselves.”


The Robben Island prison

After a while Mandela and the other convicted leaders were transferred from Pretoria to the Prison on Robben Island. Mandela was 46 years old at the time and would remain in the Robben Island prison for 18 years until his next transfer.Nelson Mandela cell at Robin Island prison

There were no black guards and no white prisoners in Robben Island prison. The guards used threats and intimidation to enforce the regulations but soon Mandela realized that they had to be friendly with them in order to earn their favour. Hostility wasn’t serving anyone.

What saddened Mandela the most was that the rules regarding correspondence were very strict. Mandela, as a D Group prisoner, was allowed only one visitor, and to write and receive only one letter every six months with word restriction. All letters were censored by the guards. But that wasn’t the worse; “In prison, the only thing worse than bad news about one’s family is no news at all. It is always harder to cope with the disasters and tragedies one imagines than with the reality, however grim or disagreeable. A letter with ill tidings was always preferable to no letter at all,” Mandela said.

Racism and repression were the same inside and out of prison. The discrimination in diet was also clear, Coloureds and Indians received better food than Africans. Furthermore, Africans were given to wear short trousers once again. But Mandela didn’t give up the fight so easily. He tried his best every day to keep his dignity intact. He kept a positive attitude, never letting himself fall in despair. Mandela believed in humanity and looked forward to a better future.

On a more positive note, prisoners were allowed to study and thus at nights Mandela worked on his Bachelor of Laws degree which he was obtaining from the University of London through correspondence. Prisoners were allowed books but no newspapers by any means making the latter “more valuable to political prisoners than gold or diamonds”. The possession of a newspaper was punishable.

As the years were passing by, prison conditions improved, and the prisoners were treated better. African prisoners were given to wear trousers, they were allowed to play games at the weekends and attend religious services. From 1967 onwards, when Mandela became an A Class prisoner, he was allowed more visits and letters.


“The advantage of prison life is that you can sit and think and see yourself and your work from a distance”


The daily prison schedule in Robben Island

Prisoners followed a daily schedule and every single day was exactly the same; time was passing by slowly. Just a few days in prison seemed like a decade. The Rivonia Trial prisoners were spending their days hammering rocks into gravel until they were sent to work in a lime quarry in 1965. The schedule was as follows:

05:30 – Wake-up

06:45 – Cleaning and tiding up the cells

07:00 – Breakfast

07:45 – Inspection

08:00 – Work

12:00 – Lunchbreak

12:45 – Resume work

16:00 – Inspection

16:10 – Shower

16:30 – Supper

17:15 – Free time

20:00 – Sleep


“The wounds that cannot be seen are more painful than those that can be treated by a doctor.”


Coping with family separation and loss

Mandela missed his family the most. Winnie wasn’t able to visit him regularly, for she was being imprisoned a couple of times for political activity herself. Mandela was constantly worried about her and the thought of her being in prison too was agonizing. The few letters they send to each other weren’t enough to fill the emptiness in his heart and words couldn’t express what he felt.

Nelson Mandela at PrisonIn 1968, Mandela’s mother accompanied by his son Makgatho, his daughter Makaziwe, and his sister Mabel visited him in Robben Island. He hadn’t seen his children in years due to strict prison regulations that didn’t allow children between the ages of two and sixteen to visit a prisoner. He was deeply shocked to see how time had changed them, especially his mother who looked old and worn. His fear that this would be the last time he saw her came true as she died of a heart attack a few weeks later. His request to attend her funeral was turned down. Mandela felt great sorrow along with some guilt; “A mother’s death causes a man to look back on and evaluate his own life. Her difficulties, her poverty, made me question once again whether I had taken the right path,” he said.

A year later in 1969, Mandela experienced another insufferable loss. His first and oldest son, Thembi, had been killed in a motorcar accident at 25. He left a wife and two small children behind. The news struck Mandela hard. He was forbidden from attending his funeral as well and sat powerless grieving for days in his cell.

In 1975, Zindzi turned fifteen. Having her documents modified by her mother, she was able to visit her father a year sooner than allowed. She only knew him through photographs, but it turned out to be a very touching moment for both of them.


“To deny any person their human rights is to challenge their very humanity”


Thoughts of escape

In 1969, the Bureau of State Security, South Africa’s secret intelligence agency was plotting Mandela’s death. The plan was to shoot him dead during an escape attempt. They sent a young guard to persuade Mandela to escape. His plan seemed far-fetched and unreliable and Mandela was wise enough not to trust him. Why would a guard risk his life to free a prisoner after all?

But this wasn’t the only scheme against him. Mandela was many times tempted to escape, but he never went through with the plans at the end, either because he realized it was an ambush or he thought of the consequences. He would have to live with the fear of being traced and caught again, and he knew they would never stop looking for him.


“There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires”

The autobiography of Nelson Mandela

In 1974, on Mandela’s 57th birthday, his comrades suggested he should secretly write and publish a book with his memoirs and thoughts as a reminder to people of what they had fought so far and give them courage and strength to keep fighting. Mandela decided to go through with the idea and started writing the same night. He was sleeping during the day and writing at night making the guards suspicious.

It turned out to be a five-hundred-page manuscript of which they also made a copy for safety. One was kept in the cells and the other was buried in the courtyard’s garden. The buried manuscript was discovered when a wall was built at the site. Mandela was accused of abusing his study privileges in order to write the illegal manuscript and his study privileges were being suspended for four years.

However, his efforts did not go in vain as they managed to smuggle the copy in London in 1976. Mandela resumed the book after his release in 1990. The manuscript constitutes the core of his autobiography under the title “Long Walk to Freedom” published in 1994.

“When we read, we are able to travel to many places, meet many people and understand the world”


The last years in Robben Island

At last, in 1977, after many strikes and demands by the prisoners, the authorities put an end to manual labour, and let prisoners spend their days in their sections. Mandela spend his free time gardening and playing tennis in the courtyard. He also began to exercise again and read books. He was reading books mostly about South Africa or by South African writers, all the unbanned novels of Nadine Gordimer, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and War and Peace by Tolstoy. The authorities also allowed prisoners to watch selected films and documentaries once a week such as “The Mark of Zorro”, “The Ten Commandments”, “The King and I” and “Cleopatra”. Finally, in 1980, A-Group prisoners were allowed to buy one English-language and one Afrikaans newspaper a day.


“To overthrow oppression has been sanctioned by humanity and is the highest aspiration of every free man”


Mandela’s transfer to Pollsmoor prison

Without any previous notice, on 31 March 1982 Mandela and his comrades were transferred to Pollsmoor Prison, in Tokai, Cape Town.  Authorities wanted to isolate them and lessen their influence on younger activists. Change was always hard for Mandela. Having lived for 18 whole years on Robben Island, he got used to it. The unknown and the lack of stability frightened him.

The Pollsmoor prison was according to Mandela “a world of concrete” but not only were the facilities and food much better but also the new prison allowed contact visits between inmates and their family members. After all these years Mandela was finally able to hug and kiss his wife. “It had been twenty-one years since I had even touched my wife’s hand,” he said.

Outside of prison the political climate was tense, and violence was escalating across the country. On January 31, 1985 the state president Pieter Willem Botha offered Mandela his freedom under the condition that he “unconditionally rejected violence as a political instrument,” expecting that Mandela would betray his people and abandon his fight. On 10 February 1985 Mandela’s daughter Zinzi read a statement on his behalf at a rally in Soweto: “I cannot and will not give any undertaking at a time when I and you, the people, are not free. Your freedom and mine cannot be separated.” With those words Mandela rejected yet another offer of conditional release. In the past he was offered his freedom as long as he accepted to confine himself to Transkei.

For the second time in history the South African government declared a nationwide State of Emergency on 12 June 1986. Thousands of people were arrested. A month later USA approved the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, a law which imposed sanctions against South Africa and requested the end of apartheid.

In the same year Mandela was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate gland and underwent surgery. After his recovery he was taken to a new cell in a completely different wing away from his comrades. It was perhaps an attempt to isolate him and make him give in.

“In my country we go to prison first and then become President.”


Victor Verster Prison and release

In 1987, suffering from a bad cough and a general weakness, Mandela was taken to the hospital in Cape Town, where they found water in his lungs. He was operated and diagnosed with tuberculosis, probably due to the dampness of his cell. Thus, after many complaints, in December 1988, Mandela was moved to his “last home before becoming a free man”, to Victor Verster Prison near Paarl in order to recover. Mandela was 70 years old at the time, and he spent there the last 14 months of his 25 years of captivity. He was not given a cell but a large warder’s house in the grounds of the prison instead, with a big garden, a swimming pool as well as a personal chef. Mandela said that he had the illusion of freedom. He could do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, as if he were a free man. Among other activities, Mandela spent his time to complete his LLB degree.

It’s strange how things sometimes turn out. On 18 January 1989, president Botha suffered a mild stroke. He resigned and was replaced by Frederik Willem de Klerk. De Klerk had a few meetings with Mandela to discuss the situation. He agreed with Mandela to unban the ANC and all other banned political organizations­ (including the armed wing of the ANC), lift the country’s State of Emergency, release all political prisoners, and allow the exiles to return. His friends were the first to be released but Mandela knew his own freedom wasn’t far away.

Finally, the most awaited day had come! On 11 February 1990, after 27 years of imprisonment, Nelson Mandela was unconditionally released and walked out of the Victor Verster prison as a free man, holding Winnie’s hand in front of a large crowd, photographers and reporters. Mandela wasn’t prepared for such a scene, nonetheless he felt great excitement; “I felt — even at the age of seventy-one — that my life was beginning anew. My ten thousand days of imprisonment were over,” he said.

Right after his release Mandela was driven to Cape Town’s City Hall and gave a speech from the balcony. The crowd was huge and cheering. Mandela expressed his hopes for reconciliation but declared that the ANC’s armed struggle wasn’t over. They were close to their goal but there were still many things to negotiate with the government. Two days later Mandela gave a second speech to a crowd of 120,000 people at Johannesburg’s Soccer City.


“Life is like a big wheel: the one who’s at the top, tomorrow is at the bottom.”


Path to presidency and the end of apartheid

During the following years Mandela travelled to Africa, Europe and America in order to gather political support, meet world leaders – such as François Mitterrand, Brian Mulroney, Margaret Thatcher and George Bush – and draw attention to his cause. In the meantime, on 5 July 1991, at the ANC’s national conference in Durban Mandela was elected ANC President, replacing Oliver Tambo.Nelson Mandela African President

On 10 December 1993, Mandela was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with de Klerk at the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony in Oslo, Norway. “A man does not become a freedom fighter in the hope of winning awards, but when I was notified that I had won the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Mr. de Klerk, I was deeply moved. […] To make peace with an enemy one must work with that enemy, and that enemy becomes one’s partner” Mandela said.

After four long years of negotiations, April 27, 1994 was set as the date when South Africa’s first national, non-racial, democratic, one-person-one-vote election would take place. According to the polls, ANC held a clear advantage over its rivals, but Mandela never took victory for granted. He knew very well that his major opponent had more experience in these matters.  ANC’s campaign slogan was “A Better Life for All”, but Mandela never lied during his campaign: “Life will not change dramatically, except that you will have increased yourself-esteem and become a citizen in your own land. […] if you want better things, you must work hard. We cannot do it all for you; you must do it yourselves.” And so, April 27th or else “Freedom Day” became an annual celebration that commemorates the day in 1994 when the country’s apartheid system of racial segregation came to an end as a result of years of struggle and sacrifice. The black majority ­was able to go to the polls and elect their own leader. That day, at Inanda, Durban, Mandela voted for the first time in his life too and he voted for himself for president. The ANC won these first historic elections with a vast majority (62.6%) and was qualified for 252 of 400 seats in the national assembly.

“Poverty is man-made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings”


Mandela’s presidential years

Nelson Mandela PresidentA few days after South Africa’s first national democratic elections, on May 10, 1994, Mandela’s inauguration took place at the Union Buildings in Pretoria replacing F.W. de Klerk. The event was witnessed by over one hundred thousand people on site, and millions of others around the world. At the age of 75 Mandela became South Africa’s first black president. “We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender, and other discrimination. Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another,” Mandela declared in his inaugural address.

Mandela tried to stay true to his word. After all, this wasn’t just a promise to his voters but to himself as well. It was time to tread a new path and he had to lead the way. Through the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), ANC tried to deal with the country’s severe social and economic problems and focused on people’s most immediate needs. RDP’s general goal was to boost the collapsing economy and alleviate poverty. They dealt with issues of major importance such as proper housing and land reform, nutrition, access to clean water, electrification, transportation, telecommunication, healthcare and children vaccination, unemployment and public works. Also, one of the primary tasks of Mandela’s presidency was national reconciliation. He wanted to reassure South Africa’s white minority that they were protected and represented.Nelson Mandela a Leader-President

In February 1996 the new South African government took things a step further establishing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Its purpose was to investigate crimes and uncover the truth about human rights violations that were committed during the period of apartheid (from 1960 to 1994) by both the apartheid state and the ANC. The hearings lasted for about two years dealing with cases of tortures, bombings, abductions and assassinations. Information were gathered from victims, witnesses and offenders, and the Commission issued a final report. No individuals were prosecuted for crimes of the past. According to Mandela the commission did an excellent work and helped the country “move away from the past to concentrate on the present and the future.”

With age being a strong factor, in December 1997 at the party’s conference, Mandela stepped down as ANC President, and in March 1999, after just one term as President, he closed the book on his presidency with a farewell speech to the Parliament. By the 1999 election, ANC had achieved many of its goals; millions of people were connected to the electricity grid and to telephone lines, hundreds of houses were constructed, and even more households got access to clean drinking water, millions of children were brought into the education system, and a significant number of hospitals were constructed.

“I am not nervous of love for love is very inspiring”


Mandela’s 2nd divorce and 3rd marriage

In the midst of political turbulence and social change, Mandela had little time for his personal life and thus his marriage with Winnie suffered. Winnie had distanced herself from him and rumour has it she had an affair. Mandela utterly disappointed in her described that time as “the loneliest period of his life.” He announced their separation in 1992, and they divorced four years later.

After so many years without affection, Mandela didn’t want to spend the rest of his life in loneliness. And so, when Mandela met Graça Machel – a woman 27 years younger than him and widow of former president of Mozambique, Samora Machel – he envisioned a future with her. The couple decided to get married in 1998, on Nelson Mandela’s 80th birthday. “Late in life, I am blooming like a flower because of the love and support she has given me,” Mandela told reporters.


“I have retired, but if there’s anything that would kill me it is to wake up in the morning not knowing what to do.”

Mandela’s retirement

Despite his retirement, Mandela didn’t give up completely on his people. For several years after his retirement from active politics, he got engaged in several philanthropic activities. He continued his contribution to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) which he set up in 1995, aiming to help hungry, abused and homeless children. In 1999 he established the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), a non-profit organization focused on continuing Mandela’s legacy for equality, justice and peace. Last but not least, the Mandela Rhodes Foundation offers scholarships to African students who dream of using knowledge to change the world.

In July 2001, aged 83, Mandela was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent a seven-week radiotherapy course as treatment. The cancer wasn’t of a high grade and didn’t require chemotherapy or surgery. However, as Mandela grew older and his health declined with age, he wished to stay away from public life as well and enjoy a quiet life with his large family (he had 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren). Yet the requests for public appearances and interviews were too many.  “I do not intend to hide away totally from the public, but hence forth I want to be in the position of calling you to ask whether I would be welcome, rather than being called upon to do things and participate in events. The appeal therefore is: don’t call me, I’ll call you,” he said politely.

But life is full of unexpected turns and his happiness was shadowed by the pain of losing another son. On 6 January 2005, his eldest son Makgatho died of AIDS. AIDS epidemic posed a serious threat to Africa and the infection rate grew rapidly. At a time when taboos still surrounded AIDS, Mandela socked the world by announcing the cause of his son’s death. “Let us give publicity to HIV/AIDS and not hide it, because the only way to make it appear like a normal illness like tuberculosis, like cancer, is always to come out and say somebody has died because of HIV/AIDS, and people will stop regarding it as something extraordinary,” Mandela said at his son’s funeral. Following the tragic event Mandela became an active AIDS campaigner. He also started a charity for HIV awareness and prevention, called 46664, named after the prison number assigned to him in Robben Island prison.


“Even if you have a terminal disease, you don’t have to sit down and mope. Enjoy life and challenge the illness that you have.”


Nelson Mandela’s death

Nelson Mandela's deathDuring his last years of life Mandela battled with health issues that led to numerous hospitalizations. In February 2011, at the age of 92, Mandela was hospitalized with a respiratory infection and was released in a stable condition. A year later in 2012 he was re-admitted shortly for a lung infection. In the following years his lung infection took a turn for the worse and in June 2013, he was admitted to the hospital in serious condition once again. Although his condition remained unstable, he was discharged. Unfortunately, the illness advanced and on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95, Mandela passed away at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg.Nelson Mandela's wifes

President Jacob Zuma announced Mandela’s death on television, “Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father,” he said, and the South African government declared a 10-day national mourning as a mark of respect. From 11 to 13 December Mandela’s body laid in state at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and two days later on 15 December 2013 a state funeral was held in Qunu. More than 80 representatives of foreign states travelled to South Africa to pay their respects. Nelson Mandela’s death had shaken South Africa to the core and the whole nation mourned for him, for they felt they had lost their hero.


“It becomes important, the older you get, to return to places where you have wonderful recollections.”


What made Mandela a successful leader

Nelson Mandela LeaderMandela succeeded because of his strong will. Throughout his life he proved that only sky is the limit. Nothing is impossible as long as we never give up. He never gave up on justice, his beliefs, his hope for equal rights and his desire for freedom. He wasn’t vindictive and despite the horrors he had to face he didn’t believe in the eye for an eye justice. It’s good to always remember his words: “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

Only few will understand in depth his complex personality. He found the inner strength to fight his own battles. He came to this world to make a difference and hold his head up high. Mandela made history, he left his mark and touched people’s lives. He lived a unique life and took hard decisions. He was prepared to sacrifice his life for the freedom of his country, a sacrifice that very few would make.

Mandela was a remarkable man, and he never stopped trying for the best, because, like he said: “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” The road to freedom was a difficult one, and Mandela opened the door to a better future, but a joint effort is required to keep it on the right track, and according to Mandela’s favourite quote “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”


Quotes of Nelson Mandela

Get inspired from Nelson Mandela’s most important Quotes:

Nelson Mandela Quotes Collection  (Phrases)

See the best collection of Nelson Mandela’s Quotes by clicking on this link:

Nelson Mandela Quotes     (Pictures)

This was an analysis of Nelson Mandela’s personality and life. If you want to find out which personality you belong to or what kind of Motto suits you, click on the link below:

Motto Personality Test by Motto Cosmos

Tributes, honours and awards

Mandela received more than 250 awards, honours, honorary degrees from universities and other recognitions. Some of the most important ones are listed below:

1988 – Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

1991 – Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize

1993 – Nobel Peace Prize

1993 – Philadelphia Liberty Medal

1994 – Anne Frank Medal

1994 – Olympic Gold Order

1994 – The Hunger Project’s 8th annual Africa Prize for Leadership for the Sustainable End of Hunger

1996 – Freedom of the City of London

2001 – International Gandhi Peace Prize

2002 – Presidential Medal of Freedom

2006 – Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award

2009 – The United Nations General Assembly declared 18 July to be “Nelson Mandela International Day” or else “Mandela Day”


Nelson Mandela Books

Nelson Mandela has written numerous books, mostly autobiographical ones that provide great insight into his life and help us understand better the horror of apartheid and the struggle for freedom. Others include speeches, letters and quotes of him and address readers of all ages. Some of them are:

1970 – Nelson Mandela: I Am Prepared to Die

1973 – No Easy Walk to Freedom

1978 – The Struggle is My Life

1980 – In His Own Words

1990 – Nelson Mandela Speeches, 1990: Intensify the Struggle to Abolish Apartheid

1991 – How Far We Slaves Have Come! South Africa and Cuba in Today’s World

1993 – Nelson Mandela Speaks: Forging a Democratic, Non-racial South Africa

1994 – Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

1996 – Mandela: An Illustrated Autobiography

1998 – The Essential Nelson Mandela

2000 – Words of Wisdom: Selected Quotes

2001 – Nelson Mandela

2002 – Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales

2005 – Prisoner in the Garden: Photos, Letters, and Notes

2009 – Selected Speeches and Writings of Nelson Mandela: The End of Apartheid in South Africa

2010 – Conversations with Myself

2010 – Quotes of Nelson Mandela

2011 – Nelson Mandela by Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations

2012 – Le Temps est venu

2012 – Notes to the Future: The Authorized Book of Selected Quotations

2013 – Long Walk to Freedom: Illustrated children’s edition

2013 – Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom: The Book of the Film

2013 – Meine Waffe ist das Wort: Mit einem Vorwort von Desmond Tutu

2013 – Un ideale per cui sono pronto a morire – Il discorso più bello di Nelson Mandela

2017 – Dare Not Linger: The Presidential Years (released posthumously and completed by Mandla Langa.)

2018 – The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela


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Personality of Frida Kahlo				    	    	    	    	    	    	    	    	    	    	5/5							(10)

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Personality of Frida Kahlo

“The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration. Since my subjects have always been my sensations, my states of mind and the profound reactions that life has been producing in me, I have frequently objectified all this in figures of myself, which were the most sincere and real thing that I could do in order to express what I felt inside and outside of myself.”

More than half a century has passed from her death, and yet Frida Kahlo’s distinctive and iconic image still feels so fresh today. The flowered hair, her intense gaze under that striking unibrow and all that colourful dresses made her stand out to the world. Yet, she wasn’t just an image, Frida Kahlo was a renowned Mexican painter of the 20th century and a worldwide symbol of feminism and vigour.

She was always attracting attention. Either in the streets of New Work, in Paris, or in happenings in Mexico, people just stood and stared at her. The combination of the long colourful dresses, the traditional jewellery and the braided hair with the flowers and the ribbons, created a unique aesthetic style with no comparison. Her appearance, closely bound up with her artworks, shaped her identity, and all those different colours and shapes reflected her unique personality. Regional Mexican garments, such as the Tehuana dresses, became her signature outfit.


“I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”

Frida Kahlo’s paintings

Common theme in Frida’s paintings was herself, always painted in vibrant colours. With shocking intimacy, lots of phantasy and humour she depicts her own body broken, bleeding or in pain. She painted her own reality and made art out of her physical and emotional pain. Her works might be overly dramatic but nonetheless authentic and make people stare them with awe. Every little detail is important too, for it may hide her deepest and most secret feelings. Her eyes in her self-portraits draw people in and gaze into their very soul. Pablo Picasso, who admired her deeply, once said: “Neither Derain, nor I, nor you are capable of painting a head like those of Frida Kahlo.”

Her inspiration was her own life. Frida recreated snapshots of her life, where her physical and psychological pain is evident. Her life and her work were shaped not only by her turbulent relationship with Diego Riviera — their marriage, the infidelities, their divorce, their remarriage, — but also by her chronic physical pain, the multiple surgeries, the miscarriages, and the amputation. Her works narrate a personal journey through pain and hardship, masked under a thick layer of colourful oil paint.


“I don’t give a shit what the world thinks. I was born a bitch, I was born a painter, I was born fucked. But I was happy in my way. You did not understand what I am. I am love. I am pleasure, I am essence, I am an idiot, I am an alcoholic, I am tenacious. I am; simply I am … You are a shit.”


Frida Kahlo’s personality.

Looking deeper into Frida Kahlo’s life and work, one could say that Frida might have actually suffered from borderline personality disorder (BPD). Overall, people with BPD have a fragmented, chaotic sense of self, meaning they lack stability or self-cohesion. Their emotional relationships are unstable, they experience tremendous fear of abandonment, and they try to avoid being abandoned by any means often using manipulating techniques. This could perhaps explain why Frida felt hopeless and empty throughout her life.

During her whole life, Frida was trying to feel cohesive and complete. She was constantly seeking love, approval and attention from the people around her in order to feel alive. All that derived from her childhood years. Her illness at the age of six and her withered leg made her feel fragile, weak and inferior to other children. Yet, it was her fragility that brought her father closer to her. He always helped her and looked after her. Frida was the third child of her father’s second marriage and thus she feared that he would neglect her. Thus, she tried to make him love her more than his other children and bound him to her. This was a reoccurring theme in her life. Her mother on the other hand, wasn’t as caring as her father, what left an empty space in her heart.

Inevitably, she was trying to get from her husband the love she never got from her mother. Diego was an older man, with whom she felt secure, because he protected her just like her father did. Yet, Diego meant much more to Frida. He was not only her partner but her mentor as well. His influence helped her shape her art and her persona. She had idealized him. They were strongly attached to each other. One needed the other to feel complete as a person. Each time that this special bond broke, it had serious effect on their lives, especially Frida’s. She felt abandoned, lonely and heartbroken. Her life had no meaning. It comes as no surprise that she forgave his many infidelities and remarried him. They shared an emotional attachment that made Frida need Diego in order to live and keep her art alive. Diego felt no different.

Frida’s fragmented self and feelings of abandonment are obvious in all of her paintings. Despite all the people who cared about her, she always felt lonely and unwanted. Her constant need of love and approval was evident in all the letters she wrote to Diego, her friends and lovers. She took rejection hard and often struggled with depression for long periods of time. In spite of all the anxiety and periods of depression, Frida used to say that she loved life, and there were times when everything seemed pretty. In her final years, all the heavy medication she took, due to her serious health condition, made her paranoid from times to times. Frida was afraid of death and thus she took great care of her health. Her serious health problems made her have regular medical check-ups and go under multiple surgeries.

As said before, Frida was an attention-seeker. Her appearance alone –the colourful dresses, the jewellery and the flowers – never went unnoticed. She had managed to create an extraordinary persona that cached everyone’s eye. However, Frida didn’t hesitate to deploy her own pain and suffering to get what she wanted – admiration and attention. And that surely is reflected in her paintings too. By painting herself as a martyr, who has suffered extreme pain, she managed to provoke feelings not only of admiration but also of pity and sympathy. She presented her problems in an overdramatic way, making others see her as a tragic victim, either of Diego’s infidelity or her physical pain’s. She rightfully won the title of “The Grande Dama of Suffering” for she used her illness and suffering in her favor. “We like being ill to protect ourselves,” she wrote in her diary, because she felt that when sick, she was loved and taken care of the most.

Nothing could fill the empty space inside Frida’s soul. The only thing that partially soothed her pain was her relationship with Diego. But every fight made it worse. Over time her desperation grew bigger and led her to alcohol and excessive use of painkillers. During the last year of her life she made numerous suicide attempts. People with BPD often behave like that. Frida loved kids, but she couldn’t have children of her own and that was killing her. Painting was the solution to her every problem. Getting through hardship by making art became an integral part of her life. It gave her strength and a reason to live. Receiving admiration for her works was her only comfort in life.

“The most important part of the body is the brain. Of my face, I like the eyebrows and eyes. Aside from that, I like nothing. My head is too small.”


Frida Kahlo’s childhood

Frida Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907 in Coyoacán, a small city in the suburbs of Mexico. She was born with a mixed heritage. Her father, Guillermo Kahlo, was German of Hungarian-Jewish descent, whilst her mother, Matilde Calderón, was of Spanish and Indian heritage and a devout Catholic.parents of frida kahlo Her full name was Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón, but she dropped the ‘e’ from her German name because of the rise of Nazism in Germany at the time, and became known as Frida, using a more Hispanic name. It’s obvious that Frida wanted to create a myth around her name. Thus, she also claimed to be born on 1910, the same year with the outbreak of the Mexican revolution.

Yet, Frida wasn’t born lucky. All the hardship started at her early childhood. When she was only six years old, Frida was diagnosed with polio. The disease, caused great damage to her right leg, leaving it shorter and weaker than the left. She tried very hard to cope with her disfigurement. She usually hid it under long skirts or crossed one leg over the other while seated, as often seen in photographs. Children used to make fun of her in school, calling her “Pata de Palo”, meaning peg-leg, a nickname which she later adopted herself and jokingly used to sign her letters to her friends. Frida closed herself off from other people and created a world of phantasy in her mind. She invented an imaginary friend who later might have inspired her double portrait The Two Fridas (1939).

“My toys were those of a boy: skates, bicycles.”

However, Frida didn’t give up and tried to overcome her impairment. She got into several sports, such as football, boxing and swimming. She liked climbing on trees and ride her bike along the lakes of Chapultepec Park, activities unusual for little girls in Mexico at the time. She was different in every aspect and people admired her for that. On the other hand, the singularity of her behaviour scared the other children away.

“I am in agreement with everything my father taught me and nothing my mother taught me.”


Her relationship with her family

Even within her family Frida felt alone and isolated. Her loneliness is evident both in the family pictures and her paintings later on. As a tomboy, she was very different from her sisters — even from her sister Cristina, no matter how close in age they were. mother of frida kahloHer mother, Matilde, wasn’t an affectionate person. She was cold and distant towards her and seemed to love God more.

The lack of affection from her mother might be the root cause of Frida’s emotional hunger throughout her life. father of frida kahloShe needed the love and attention that was deprived as a child. A mother-child bond is one of the most important bonds in the first years of a child’s life and has a huge emotional impact on the child when its missing.

Unlike with her mother, Frida had a very close relationship with her father. Guillermo loved Frida very much and it was very obvious that she was his favourite child. Frida is the most intelligent of my daughters, she is the most like me,” he said. He was very attentive towards Frida and devoted himself to her recovery, since she was special for him. Guillermo also wanted to spark Frida’s imagination in a wide variety of ways. He was a photographer, and he liked taking Frida with him at his studio or at the photo shooting locations. He was a good painter too, and that’s how Frida first came in contact with painting. He was Frida’s role model, and he made her childhood happy. She admired him for never giving up on his work, despite his health problem (he long suffered from epileptic seizures), and it seems that she took his example later in her life as well.


“I was a child who went about in a world of colors… My friends, my companions, became women slowly; I became old in instants”.


The teenage years of Frida Kahlo

In 1922, Frida’s father believing in her intelligence and having great hopes for her, decided to enrol Frida to Escuela Nacional Prepatoria, a preparatory school in Mexico City. Her mother was most likely opposed to this idea, thinking it would be very dangerous for a girl to be alone in an unprotected environment. In addition, it was very rare for girls of the time to get a higher education. In fact, there were only 35 girls out of the two hundred students in that school.

Her distinctive clothing and her unusual hairstyle drew her classmate’s attention, however this time positively. Her friends thought she was fascinating. They said she carried “a little world” in her bag, books, notebooks, drawings even dried flowers and butterflies. Frida wasn’t a diligent student. Thanks to her intelligence however she got high scores without much of an effort. She could read a text once and remember it forever. She didn’t like attending boring lectures, instead she preferred to sit outside and read books with her friends.  Frida was unconventional for her time; her friends were too, and so they formed a group named Los Cachuchas. It consisted of seven boys and two girls. They liked creating chaos at school with the outrageous pranks they pulled. Once, they brought a donkey in the halls and the classrooms emptied and, on another occasion, they set off firecrackers during a boring lecture that they wanted to get cancelled. Frida Kahlo was gaining somewhat of a name amongst her peers.

I very much love things, life, people.”


Frida Kahlo’s teenage crush with Diego Rivera

In Prepatoria Frida saw Diego Rivera for the first time, a well-known painter of the time, who was there to paint a mural in one of the school’s amphitheatres. He was then 36 years old and Frida barely 15. Frida was immediately and completely smitten by Diego. She idolized him, and dreamt of them being together. Indeed, her dream came true many years later. Diego was working long hours at the amphitheatre, always accompanied by beautiful models, who posed for him, and who most probably were his lovers too. One of those beautiful women was Diego’s wife, Lupe Marín. She and Frida would become good friends in the future. Frida was always just sitting there and watching Diego paint with awe. She was jealous of his lovers, and she made fun of him now and then trying to embarrass him in front of them, by calling one with the name of the other. One day Frida told her friends: My ambition is to have a child by Diego Rivera. And I’m going to tell him so someday.” Frida wasn’t blessed to have children with Diego, but they did get married nonetheless.

“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”


Frida Kahlo’s terrible bus accident

Undoubtedly, the nearly fatal accident Frida had when she was 18 years old, shocked everyone who knew her. On September 17, 1925, Frida was riding a bus home from school together with her first boyfriend and fellow Cachucha, Alejandro Gomez Arias, when an old electric trolley car crashed into the bus. Frida Kahlo legThose who were present in the accident were talking about a girl covered in blood and glitter. This girl was Frida, and she would survive to become one of the greatest artists of all time.

In that life-threatening accident, Frida got heavily injured. She was taken to the hospital nearly in pieces. Her spinal column, collarbone, pelvis and ribs were all broken in more than one places. Her shoulder was dislocated. Her right leg was fractured in 11 places, whilst her right foot was crushed as well. An iron handrail was penetrating her body from one side to the other. The pain was excruciating.

Due to the multiple fractures and injuries Frida was bedridden in the hospital for three months. The shock was so big for her parents that none of them visited her at the hospital. Her mother kept to herself for several months, whilst her father fell seriously ill. Her sister Matilde and a few friends were the only ones who went to visit Frida. When she got out of the hospital, the atmosphere in her house was very heavy. She spent many months recovering at home, suffering from severe pain from head to toe. She felt lonely and was overly afraid of death.


“My painting carries with it the message of pain.”


The start of a painting career

From 1925 onwards, Frida’s life became a constant battle against ill-health and corrosion. For many months she was laid up in bed, wearing plaster corsets, that prevented her from moving. Therefore, Frida began to paint. At first painting was something to help pass time, but later on it became an integral part of her life. Through painting Frida managed to reinvent herself and she began a brave attempt to rise like some phoenix from the ashes. She had found a way to express her feelings and the pain she was going through. Her first works were mostly self-portraits that revealed her physical suffering and her feelings of loneliness and helplessness. She bared her soul to the world and used her phantasy to describe her inner struggles not in words but in colours. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

“I love you more than my own skin.”


Frida Kahlo’s relationship with Diego Rivera

By 1928 Frida was able to move and walk again. The same year, Frida was officially introduced to Diego Rivera, who she met again after all these years. Diego was then 41 years old and one of the most famous artists in Mexico. His murals decorated the walls of the country’s most important buildings. Frida Kahlo and Diego RiveraOne day, Frida went to find Diego at the site where he was working. She found him atop a scaffolding working on another one of his murals. She called him loudly and asked him to get down and give her his honest opinion on the works she’d brought with her. “Look, I have not come to flirt or anything even if you are a woman-chaser. I have come to show you my painting. If you are interested in it, tell me so, if not, likewise, so that I will go to work at something else to help my parents,” she said. Diego got down from the scaffolding and took a look at Frida’s paintings, “Look,” he said, “in the first place, I am very interested in your painting, above all in this portrait of you, which is the most original. The other three seem to me to be influenced by what you have seen. Go home, paint a painting, and next Sunday I will come and see it and tell you what I think. You have talent.”

Just a few days after his first visit at her house, Diego kissed Frida for the first time and the two became inseparable. They had a huge age difference between them. Diego was 20 years older than Frida but this didn’t seem to bother her. Frida’s family eventually accepted their relationship as well. Her father used to warn Diego; “She is a devil,” he often said. But Diego loved Frida’s unconventional thought and sharp mind. He was struck by her fresh spirt and sexuality. It looked like they never got bored of each other. From the way they spoke to each other, it was clear that they also shared the same sense of humour and sarcasm, “You have a dog face,” he was saying teasingly, “And you have the face of a frog!” she was answering him back. It’s a wonder that a young and beautiful girl like Frida fell in love with someone so much older, overweight and physically unattractive, like Diego. Diego’s appearance might not have been his strong point, but he had a strong social status, a great talent and charm that attracted the ladies. He was Frida’s world, her everything; her teenage crush, her mentor, her source of inspiration, her great love. He was a strong man and Frida was feeling safe in his arms. She could lean on him and evolve her talent.


“Diego was everything; my child, my lover, my universe.”


Frida’s marriage with Diego

Frida and Diego got married on August 21, 1929, in a simple ceremony that only Frida’s father and few other friends attended. Frida’s parents said it was like the marriage between an elephant and a dove. During the first few months of their marriage Frida wasn’t painting much. She devoted herself to taking care of her husband. Frida Kahlo and Diego RiveraYet, in 1929 in her self-portrait “Time flies” her serious and rather sad face reveals that there might have been troubles in their marriage already. Frida suffered a miscarriage that left her devastated. She tried not to think about it much, therefore she kept her mind busy by taking care after her house and Diego, by painting, or by accompanying her husband at work. Despite the pain and disappointment of not being able to have a baby, Frida had another problem to deal with – Diego’s affairs with other women. Although her feelings were hurt, she was always trying to laugh Diego’s affairs off. As a couple they had a stormy relationship with many violent fights, yet they loved each other deeply. Frida was going through tremendous mood swings. There were times when she was upset, furious, and felt hatred towards Diego, and others when she felt utterly in love with him and swore to love and take care of him forever.

One thing is for sure, one could not live without the other. “Little Frida” was like a mother to Diego who loved him unconditionally and forgave his mistakes. He too loved her very much and believed in her and her talent. That’s also why he tried to make her independent by helping her develop and evolve her work as an artist. On the other hand, Frida felt emotionally complete only when she was by Diego’s side. Despite the pain he was causing her, he was the only one who could fill her empty soul. She found meaning in life, only when he was in it. Even her art was highly influenced by him. Her existence was meaningless without him. She was his most loyal ally and supporter, and she never asked more than he could give. This was the only way the two could be together. A friend of theirs one said: “She treated him like a god. He treated her like a sweet thing.”

Diego did not only help Frida shape her art, but also helped her create a persona. In fact, Frida only embraced the so- called Mexicanism during her lifetime, just to please Diego. That’s why she started wearing the traditional Tahuana dresses. But all the while, all these colourful dresses, the jewellery, the ribbons and the flowers became an integral part of her image and personality. They served as inspiration for her art and at the same time as a mask to hide her pain and despair.


“I find that Americans completely lack sensibility and good taste. They are boring, and they all have faces like unbaked rolls.”


Frida’s and Diego’s life in America

The political scene in Mexico was tense. Diego, as an artist inspired by the political landscape of the time, was considered to be a controversial figure. The Communists called him “government agent” whilst the government an “agent of the revolution”. Diego decided that it was time to leave the country. Frida of course supported his decision and followed him to San Francisco on November, 10, 1930. On their way there, Frida gave Diego a self-portrait with a strange city in the background as a gift. “Its background was an unfamiliar city skyline. When we arrived in San Francisco, I was almost frightened to realize that her imagined city was the very one we were now seeing for the first time,” Diego said.

Frida knew very well that for Diego art came first. He was working long hours, and he was away from home all day long. At first, the days in San Francisco were very boring to Frida. She used to follow Diego at work, and she rarely painted for herself. After Diego’s art exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Frida’s life became more interesting. She got new friends, such as Dr. Eloesser and Tina Modotti with whom she explored Manhattan and went out to luxurious restaurants and the movies. Although she regularly mocked the American lifestyle, she got used to the new way of living. She was no longer the shy and lonely woman she used to be when they first came to America. Wherever she’d go, she was always the centre of attention, thanks to her Mexican outfit and Diego was always bringing out the best of her extraordinary character when they were together in public. In 1932, in Detroit, Frida and Diego lived a life in luxury, and quickly became a part of the city’s high society, amongst other artists and billionaires of the time. One of them was Henry Ford who gave them a car in exchange for a portrait of his daughter.


“I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.”


Frida Kahlo’s obsession with motherhood

In the summer of 1932, Frida got pregnant again for the second time. She decided to keep the baby despite her ill-health but unfortunately the pregnancy was lost. She spent thirteen days in the hospital, full of pain and grieve. For many days she was crying nonstop out of despair and fear that she would never be able to have a baby. Frida’s feelings are reflected in her painting Henry Ford Hospital (The Flying Bed) (1932), where she depicted herself lying in the hospital bed, suffering and bleeding. At first, she started with just a few drawings and a portrait, and later on, she asked her doctor to bring her some medical books so that she could draw in detail the lost fetus. Frida’s artistic outburst that followed this tragic event of her life is best described by Diego’s own words: “Immediately thereafter, she began work on a series of masterpieces with had no precedent in the history of art—paintings which exalted the feminine qualities of endurance to truth, reality, cruelty, and suffering. Never before had a woman put such agonized poetry on canvas as Frida did at this time in Detroit.”

As seen in her paintings My Birth (1932), My Nurse and I (1937), Me and My Doll (1937), the agony of not being able to have a baby followed her through her life. According to Diego they had three more failed attempts to have children. There could be many reasons why Frida so desperately desired to have kids. Perhaps all that she wanted was to give Diego a child or just strengthen their relationship. Another guess, is that she sought some form of fulfilment in motherhood. Her obsession with motherhood was evident not only in her paintings but also in Caza Azul, her home in Mexico. There, Frida kept fertility books, a human fetus preserved in a jar of formaldehyde — a gift from Dr. Eloesser — and a huge collection of dolls. Frida clearly had lots of love to give. She was very affectionate with her sister’s children, and also had many pets; cats, dogs, pigeons, parrots, an eagle, a few monkeys and a deer.


“Pain, pleasure, and death are no more than a process for existence.”


The death of Frida Kahlo’s mother

Just a few months after her miscarriage in 1932, her mother died in Mexico. This was a very difficult period in Frida’s life. In just a short period of time, Frida not only lost an unborn child but also her mother. The two of them never had an affectionate relationship in the past but despite their fights they came pretty close later on when both grew older. Frida used to call her “mi Jefe” (my chief). At the news of her loss, Frida fell apart. She would miss her mother dearly for the rest of her life.


“Painting completed my life.”


The meaning of painting in Frida Kahlo’s life

Kahlo channelled her grief into art. Despite the fact that she started painting more and only got better by time, painting wasn’t her favourite activity at the time. Instead, she preferred getting dressed in her traditional dresses and go out to visit friends, to shop or go to the movies. She wasn’t devoted enough. She considered painting as part of her persona, and nothing was more important to her than just being who she was –the remarkable Frida Kahlo. Diego believed in her talent, but his efforts to make her take art seriously went in vain. However, her negative attitude towards her work would change over time.


“I am that clumsy human, always loving, loving, loving. And loving. And never leaving.”


A greatly troubled marriage

Frida’s and Diego’s marriage suffered under great strain and continued to deteriorate. Diego was working around the clock. Frida, most of the time was staying home alone, feeling sad and lonely. She was crying a lot, what seemed to make Diego angry.

In 1933, Diego got a job to paint a mural at the newly built Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. He liked his life in America. He was enjoying the fame he got from this country and didn’t want to go back to his old life. But Frida was homesick and desperate to return to Mexico. This of course brought forth many arguments between them. Frida depicts her lonely life in America and her need to go back home in her painting My Dress Hangs There (1933). The fights were very intense sometimes and Frida’s eyes were always red from crying. After a while Diego got fired from the project because he incorporated politically controversial messages into his work that insulted the Rockefeller family, and they took action to shut it down. His mural was immediately coved up. That incident seemed to have greatly upset Diego and caused further troubles in their marriage. Soon after, they decided to return to Mexico but Diego never felt right about this decision and blamed Frida for persisting. His behaviour gave Frida a hard time and made her feel guilty and miserable.


“I suffered from two grave accidents in my life. One in which a streetcar knocked me down. The other accident is Diego.”


The life of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in Mexico

When Frida and Diego returned to Mexico in 1933, they moved into their new house at the corner of Palmas and Altavista in San Angel, a house especially designed to suit their unique and unconventional lifestyle. In fact, it consisted of two separate buildings joined by an elevated bridge.Frida - Diego Frida’s was painted pink, Diego’s blue. Both were surrounded by a natural cactus fence inspired by the Mexican tradition that caught everyone’s eye. The colourful walls, the paintings, the huge garden with the rare plants which Frida was gardening herself, as well as the bizarre pets, such as monkeys and parrots made the house look as if it came from another planet. Their house acted as a creative nest for some of the most famous and talented artists of the time. Painters, writers, photographers, musicians, actors, even politicians, and other renown and wealthy people visited the famous couple’s home, and they all had a story to tell.

Despite how colourful their house might have been, their life had its dark side. Frida’s dream for a fresh start in their marriage crashed the moment they arrived in Mexico. Diego was dealing with great psychological pressure due to his failed mural at the Rockefeller Center and his reluctant return to Mexico. He couldn’t find meaning in his art anymore and painted less. He had lost many pounds and suffered from psychosomatic disorders. Perhaps he was going through a middle age crisis. All these affected Frida as well, who was yet again felling lonely and helpless. Her health was going from bad to worse. During 1934 she was admitted three times to the hospital, once to get an abortion and the rest due the worsening pain in her leg.


“I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.”


Diego’s affair with Frida’s sister

The situation only got worse when Frida discovered Diego’s affair with her younger sister Cristina. The attraction between those two began much sooner in 1929, when Christina posed naked in the role of Eve for one of Diego’s murals. Christina had perhaps always been jealous and competitive of Frida, nevertheless she was undoubtably another victim of Diego’s charm. Frida was dealing with a double betrayal, not only from her husband, but from her sister as well. It hurt her feelings irreparably. She was overwhelmed with anger, disappointment, resentment. Her world fell apart. Now she was truly alone. She vented her anger by cutting her hair short, and she stopped wearing the Tehuana dresses that Diego liked.

Frida could take it no more. She left Diego and moved in a modern apartment in the center of Mexico City. She tried to fool everyone into thinking that she was happy. But those who truly knew her, could see the pain in her eyes. Her painting A Few Small Nips (1935) portrays her hurt soul, the despair and melancholy she was feeling. She lies naked, bleeding and suffering, whilst Diego stands beside the bed staring at her with a knife in his hand.

“I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.”

Despite being separated, they met regularly. They couldn’t stay away from each other for long. Diego knew that he could never be faithful to a woman, but he truly regretted hurting her. If he had to choose between Frida and Christina, he would choose Frida without any hesitation.

By the end of 1935, Frida using her humour as a weapon, got over it pretty quickly and forgave Diego for what he did. Sure, a mistake can be forgiven, but not forgotten as seen in her paintings Memory (1937) and Remembrance of an Open Wound (1938). Frida however appears different this time. The wound is still there, but she stands free and powerful, ready to go her own way. It is a fact that this event made Frida stronger. Instead of being a just beautiful presence by Diego’s side, she decided to get independent. Of course, she never stopped shining bright next to him, but soon she realized that what got the other’s attention was her own light and energy.


“Of the opposite sex, I have the moustache and, in general, the face.”


Frida’s alcohol problem and bisexual affairs

Apparently, the next few years were happy ones, as Frida moved back in with Diego. To spent her time, she used to take long walks, visit her sisters, even go on some brief excursions in the countryside. However, during those years Frida started drinking heavily. Sometimes she carried a little flask of cognac in her purse or hid it in her coat. Now and then, she’d put liquor in a perfume’s bottle and while pretending to wear her perfume, she’d take a quick sip or two under her blouse without anyone noticing. It was widely known that Frida could drink any man under the table.” Her alcohol problem is evident through Dr. Eloesser’s letters. He advised her to cut down alcohol and she answered that she had stopped drinking “cocktailitos and only drunk a bear daily. But her addiction in alcohol and drugs would only become worse.

Moreover, it wasn’t just Diego who was unfaithful. Frida herself had quite a few affairs, with not just men but with women as well. The free-spirited and unconventional lifestyle at the time, helped her embrace her homosexual side. The love affairs between women were then a common thing and considered as innocent pleasures. Neither Frida, nor Diego who encouraged her and seemed to enjoy his wife’s homosexual affairs, were ashamed of her homosexuality and it didn’t by any means make her less appealing in his eyes. In What I saw in the Water (1938) and Two Nudes in a Forest (1939), Frida presents her ambivalent sexuality to the world. Some say that Diego encouraged Frida’s homosexual affairs because he couldn’t or wouldn’t please her sexually himself whilst others because he wanted to be free to have his own. What’s for sure is that he didn’t have the same reaction to Frida’s heterosexual affairs. Then, he became jealous and possessive. Frida kept those affairs in secret and warned her lovers that Diego was even capable of murder. Her strong sexuality is expressed through her paintings Flower of Life (1943) and Sun and Life (1947), where the sexual energy is almost palpable.


“I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.”


Frida Kahlo’s affair with Leon Trotsky

On November 21, 1936, after nine whole years in exile, the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his wife Natalia arrived in the harbour of Torreón in Mexico. At the behest of Diego, the Mexican government granted Trotsky political asylum under the condition that he wouldn’t interfere in the country’s internal affairs. Frida was among those who welcomed them, while Diego awaited them home. Frida and Diego would share their home with Trotsky and his wife for the next two years. Diego took care of the house’s safety, while Frida was their advisor and accompanied the couple almost everywhere, since none of them spoke a word of Spanish.

Trotsky was very friendly towards Diego and Frida, despite his cold and distant character. The four of them spent a lot of time together; they often had lunch together, made picknicks and went on small trips near the Mexico City. It was only a matter of time before Trotsky fell for Frida. At first, he wrote her love letters, which he slipped into books that didn’t hesitate to give her even in front of their partners. In just a few weeks the flirt turned into a love affair and the couple met in secret in Christina’s home.

But eventually Frida grew tired of him and ended the affair in just a few months. Trotsky through another letter explained Frida how important she was to him and begged her not to break up with him, but Frida had made up her mind. “I’m very tired of the old man,” she wrote in a letter to her friend Ella Wolfe. Frida was flattered by his attention and impressed by his status in the political world, but she wasn’t in love with him. A few months later, on November 7, 1937 — a significant date because it was not only Trotsky’s birthday but also the anniversary of the October Revolution — Frida painted a self-portrait as a birthday gift for Trotsky. She turned him down but gave herself back to him in the form of a portrait to tease him. In the dedication she wrote: “For Leon Trotsky with all love I dedicate this painting on the 7th of November 1937. Frida Kahlo in San Angel, Mexico.”


“I am my own muse, the subject I know best.”


Frida Kahlo’s career

Since her relationship with Trotsky ended, and he and his wife moved out, Frida’s relationship with Diego came back to normal. They lived together but put a great emphasis on personal autonomy and freedom. In the meantime, Frida started taking her art more seriously. She improved her technique by working every day with great concentration. The years 1937-1938 were her most productive years so far.

List of Frida Kahlo’s paintings created in 1937

List of Frida Kahlo’s paintings created in 1938

Frida spent many hours working alone in her studio even though she could easily get distracted. Frida deserved all the admiration and encouragement she received, however she never believed in herself and in the value of her work. She was very modest and hesitated to let others see her work. She neither tried to exhibit her work, nor sell them or get good reviews. She wanted to be remembered for who she was as a person, rather than as an artist. In the summer of 1938, she made her own money by selling four of her paintings for 200 dollars each to the American actor Edward G. Robinson. This came as a surprise to Frida and immediately realized what this meant for her, “This way I am going to be able to be free, I’ll be able to travel and do what I want without asking Diego for money,” she said.


“I don’t know how to write love letters.”


Frida Kahlo’s life in New York

In December of that same year Frida travelled to New York City alone for her first solo art exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery. The exhibition was crowned with complete success, despite the bad economy. Twenty-five of her paintings were exhibited and half of them were sold. The exhibition received great reviews. There, she met the famous French surrealist poet and critic André Breton, who got so fascinated by Frida’s paintings that characterized her art as “a ribbon around a bomb”. Frida wanted to use her maiden name and not Diego’s, so that people won’t presume that she wanted to get advantage of her husband’s name, but, in the end, she had to use Diego’s name in a parenthesis beside hers as well. Diego was incredibly supportive in all this, and he cleared the way for her success by sending many letters of recommendation to prominent figures of the artistic world of the time.

Frida loved being in the center of attention and completely independent for the first time. Frida Kahlo freeShe was free, away from Diego, determined to live her life in Manhattan to the fullest. She had many friends there and always had a great time wherever she’d go. Everyone got captivated by her bright personality whereas her unique appearance and outfits drew great attention as always. She liked life in New York and was fascinated by the varied street life of Chinatown, Little Italy, Broadway and Harlem. Only her poor health was holding her back. Due to the pain in her right leg she couldn’t walk long distances, while the pain in her spine worsened.

While in New York, Frida continued her secret love affair with the photographer Nickolas Muray. Frida’s love letters reveal that it must have been a passionate relationship. However, no one and nothing could compare to the powerful connection she had with Diego. He was always in her thoughts. In the meantime, André Breton was organizing a second exhibition for her in Paris. She had second thoughts about going, but Diego who knew her best and wanted the best for her, convinced her to go.


“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”


Frida Kahlo’s life in Paris

So, after New York, Frida’s next stop was Paris. The exhibition of her works opened on 10 March 1939 in the Pierre Colle Gallery. Once again, the critics embraced the originality of her art with fantastic reviews. One of her paintings, the colourful self-portrait The Frame, was purchased by The Louvre. Her art inspired the Surrealists’ fascination and was warmly received by many artists, such as Kandinsky and Picasso, who gave her a unique pair of golden hand-shaped earrings as a gift.

Despite her success, Frida despised Paris. She couldn’t find absolutely no glory in the so-called city of light. She found the bohemian lifestyle of the artistic and intellectual Parisian elite pretentious and superficial. The atmosphere in Breton’s home was suffocating. In addition, she had to be hospitalised once due to a kidney infection. The pain was once again unbearable. Nevertheless, she got a glimpse of Paris’ surrealistic world, explored all the artist’s haunts with her newly made friends and played games such as jeux de la vérité (Truth or Consequences). The haute couture welcomed her with open arms and many French designers got inspired from her Mexican style. In addition, the French Vogue magazine featured a photograph of Frida Kahlo on its cover. Frida’s carefully constructed iconic image never failed to amaze and astonish.


“Really, I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself.”


Frida Kahlo and Surrealism

Frida was ignoring the fact that she was a Surrealist up until the moment that André Breton labelled her as such. However, she never intended to be part of the movement. Her work might look surrealistic at first sight, but there’s a big difference among her and the other artists of the movement. Her art is not just an outburst of pure imagination, she did not just paint dreams, but rather her own reality, her own life, her own pain. Frida and surrealismAll of her works derive from her own experiences and the way she perceived them. However, her art is often classified as surrealistic, due to the intimacy in her paintings, the vibrant colours and the randomness (especially in What the Water Gave me). From 1944 up until her death, Frida kept a personal diary, what is perhaps her most surreal work. There, she drew shapes and motives without any particular meaning, as if they were made under the influence of drugs. Undeniably this label gained her critical acclaim in her work, especially at a time when women artists were underestimated. Frida took advantage of her new label and took part in the International Exhibition of Surrealism, which was held in Mexico. She exhibited two of her paintings The Two Fridas (1939) and The Wounded Table (1940).


“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”


Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s divorce

When Frida returned to Mexico, in the summer of 1939, Diego requested a divorce from her. Frida moved back to La Casa Azul in Coyoacán, leaving Diego in San Angel. By the end of the year their divorce was official. The reasons still remain unknown. Frida was away for a long time and her absence might have strongly affected Diego. Some say that Diego learned about her affairs with Muray or Trotsky, others say that the problem was sexual, or that Frida could no longer put up with Diego’s infidelity. According to the couple they just went through a difficult phase in their relationship, but nothing would change what they felt or thought for each other. Indeed, just like it happened before, and despite the divorce, the couple continued to be seen together in public.

Yet, the same year Frida fell in depression and her health deteriorated once again. The severe pain in her spine and a fungus infection on her right hand, often prevented her from working. The doctors were persisting on another surgery. Her mental health went from bad to worse as well. She didn’t want to meet up with Diego or her friends, and she barely even left the house. She was feeling so desperate that she was drinking a whole bottle of brandy by herself each day. Moreover, she cut her hair short once again.

“I put on the canvas whatever comes into my mind.”

However, depression helped Frida create some of her best paintings at that time. Unlike in the past, she now made more efforts to sell her works. She wanted to be completely independent of Diego and not take his money. Once again, her works depict the abandonment, loneliness and despair she was feeling during her divorce with Diego, and her fear of death. These are the following:

In the meantime, she learned the news of Trotsky’s assassination. She got terribly distraught about it. Her health got even worse. Not only that, but she was also picked up by the Mexican police, as she knew the murderer, and was interrogated for two days. Being already emotional unstable, Frida had a mental breakdown. She cried for days. Diego, who was in San Francisco at the time, got really worried and asked Dr. Eloesser to convince her to go there too. It was a good diversion and her mood lifted right away. She said that seeing Diego made her feel better in no time.


“Diego is not anybody’s husband and never will be, but he is a great comrade


Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s second marriage

Shortly after their reconciliation, Diego proposed to Frida wanting to remarry her. He claimed that she needed him. Truth be told, he needed her as much as she needed him. Frida eventually agreed to remarry Diego but only under two conditions. The first one was to be financial independent. She wanted to make her own money by selling her paintings. The second one was that they would have no sexual relations whatsoever at least not until he proved his loyalty to her.

And so, on December 8, 1940, Frida and Diego got married for the second time. It was a joyful moment for them both. After going through a difficult time of upheaval and depression, Frida realized that she needed Diego to feel complete and secure. Even if they had no sexual relations as promised, he was her anchor in this lonely world. By his side she felt strong and confident. Moreover, Frida had set her own terms this time and was feeling better than ever. They had a loving and affectionate relationship once again.


“I tease and laugh at death, so it won’t get the better of me.”


The death of Frida Kahlo’s father

Frida’s happiness though didn’t last for long. On April 14, 1941, her beloved father, Guillermo Kahlo died in Casa Azul. Frida was utterly and absolutely devastated. She was closer to him than anybody, as he was the first one who believed in her and supported her first steps in the world of art. Her sadness was so deep that her health deteriorated once again and would decline even more over the coming years. Some years after his death, Frida painted her father’s portrait and wrote a dedication that showed how much she loved him and admired him: “I painted my father, Wilhelm Kahlo of Hungarian-German origin, artist-photographer by profession, in character generous, intelligent and fine, valiant because he suffered for sixty years with epilepsy, but he never stopped working and he fought against Hitler, with adoration. His daughter Frida Kahlo.”


“Really, I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself.”


Frida Kahlo’s career in Mexico

During the 40s, Frida’s career took off. Her work was gaining recognition in Mexico and was included in the country’s greatest exhibitions. Not only that, but she also got many awards, distinctions and grants and took part in cultural events and big projects. She began to paint large-scale portraits such as The Broken Column (1944) and Tree of Hope, Keep Firm (1946). Still, despite her increasing popularity, it was difficult to make a living on her own.

In September 1940, Frida began teaching art at the Ministry of Public Education School of Painting and Sculpture in Mexico City, better known as La Esmeralda. Her students adored her. She was a living legend for them. She didn’t have to teach them specific painting techniques. All she had to do was inspire and motivate them. But a few months later her health prevented her from teaching at La Esmeralda. However, she continued giving lessons at four of her favourite students, Los Fridos, who regularly visited her in Casa Azul. After all, what place could inspire them more than Frida’s own house? Another great moment for Frida was the opening of the pulqueria “La Rosita”. With Frida’s help and under Diego’s supervision her students had the chance to paint a decorative mural on one of the walls. That night, the event was attended by many people and caught the attention of the Mexican high society.


“I am happy to be alive, as long as I can paint.”


Frida Kahlo’s final years

Frida’s final years were full of struggle and pain. Her health went from bad to worse and the pain in her spine forced her to go under many surgeries. She had to wear medical corsets, and she was unable to sit or lay down in them. She couldn’t handle pain well, nor did she like being bedridden for months. Yet, she had no other choice. She considered those corsets to be some kind of punishment. Her only joy was painting, for she could yet again express her pain through art. The Wounded Deer (1946) is a painting of that time that reflects her declining health. In 1950, she was hospitalized once again. For the many months that followed in the hospital painting was the only thing Frida had in mind. She painted for almost five hours each day. “When I leave the hospital two months from now”, she said, “there are three things I want to do: paint, paint, paint.” Despite everything, Frida kept her hope alive and a positive attitude to the whole situation. Her friends were always around to cheer her up, and Diego never left her side.

Frida Kahlo hurtThough when she went back home to Casa Azul, she lost her every hope of getting better. Her days were monotonous; because of the pain she mostly staid inside. She could only walk small distances whilst even her wheelchair was uncomfortable. Painkillers were her only salvation. She was feeling desperate and depressed and often had suicidal thoughts. Diego, as usual, was away from home for many hours but Frida didn’t care much anymore. Even though she tried to hide her sorrow in front of others, it was getting more difficult day-by-day. Because of her illness she came closer to her sister Christina, who stayed by her side till the end of her life. They had both long forgotten what divided them in the past. The maids and her nurse loved her dearly and took special care of her as if she was a little child. During that period of time, Frida was painting like no tomorrow. Maybe that’s why her last paintings seem so chaotic. Perhaps she could sense the ending was near.

“To paint is the most terrific thing that there is, but to do it well is very difficult.”

In the meantime, recognition and appreciation for her work continued to grow. In the spring of 1953, Frida had a solo exhibition in Mexico in the Galería Arte Contemporaneo. It was her first solo exhibition in her birthplace and a very special moment of her life. Knowing about her poor health no one expected her to show up. Yet Frida surprised them all on the opening day when she arrived by ambulance, had her bed moved to the centre of gallery and was carried in on a stretcher to the bed. It was an unforgettable night dedicated to Frida. She was the centre of attention and was receiving everyone’s congratulations. It seemed as a final goodbye from all those who admired her.


“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?”


The last year of Frida Kahlo’s life

The last year of Frida’s life was a living nightmare. In August 1953, her right leg had to be amputated below the knee due to gangrene. It felt like a small death to Frida. Frida Kahlo life last yearBy losing her leg, she also lost the will to live. She lost her sense of ‘’self’’ and her self-respect. She almost hated herself. She also hated seeing the pity in other people’s eyes, so she didn’t allow visitors. Soon she got a prosthetic leg and her mood lifted for a while. Once again, she tried to deal with it with humour and bought a pair of red leather boots to hide it, but it didn’t really help her feel much better.

Her disability affected her behavior as well. Up until her final moments she loved brushing her hair and wear lipstick, but she couldn’t do much other than that without the help of others. As a result, she always had a bad temper, she was bossy and quarrelsome. When she wasn’t sleeping or under painkillers her behaviour was unpredictable, often hysteric and violent. She got addicted to painkillers and all kinds of opioid medications. She couldn’t do without them. Often, she had to take painkilling injections. When she got desperate, she took excessively high doses or mixed the drugs. Moreover, she was an alcohol addict. She was drinking two litters of cognac per day.

“I paint flowers so they will not die.”

Frida tried many times to kill herself. At first Diego was always by her side but later on he drifted apart as he could no longer see her suffering like that. “If I was brave, I would kill her. I cannot stand to see her suffer so,” he said. His behaviour made Frida feel even more desperate and alone. In some poems she wrote that he was the only reason she was still alive. For almost a year she didn’t paint anything at all. However, in the spring of 1954, she found the strength to get out of her bed and go to her studio. She knew that she didn’t have much time to live and perhaps she wanted to leave some more works behind. Still Life, Frida and Stalin and Marxism will give health to the sick were her last works. All three have a political meaning.

On July 2, 1954, Frida contracted bronchial pneumonia. Against her doctors’ advice she got out of her bed and took part in a Communist demonstration. This was her last public appearance. It was undoubtedly very brave of her. Diego was by her side, pushing her wheelchair in the streets of Mexico and many famous artists were following them.


“I hope the exit is joyful–and I hope never to come back. Frida”


Frida Kahlo’s death

On July 13, 1954, at 6 a.m., while it was still dark outside, Frida’s nurse thought that Frida called her and went to her room to see if she needed anything. She thought that Frida was sleeping and as always, she went to pull up her covers, but then she realized that Frida wasn’t breathing any more. Her hands were cold. Frida had passed away.Frida Kahlo's death

The news shocked Diego. He couldn’t accept that his “little Frida” – as he called her – wasn’t part of this world anymore. Like he said, his love for Frida was the most beautiful thing that happened in his entire life. The cause of death was officially reported as pulmonary embolism. Yet, it is very likely, but never confirmed, that Frida couldn’t live like that anymore and committed suicide. Some days prior to her death she drew a black angel in her diary up in the sky – it was undoubtedly the angel of death.

When her death was officially confirmed, they dressed her in her favourite Tehuana dress, tehuana of frida kahlobraided her hair and adorned her with her favourite jewels. Her friends came throughout the day to say their last goodbye. Her funeral was held in the Palace of Fine Arts, and hundreds of people paid their last respects to their beloved artist. In accordance with her wishes Frida was later cremated.

Frida died at the age of 47 having much more to give to the world. However, she left behind a remarkable legacy of works and a legendary persona. Her house, La Casa Azul, in Coyoacán opened as a museum in 1958, for those who want to get to know her a little better. Among her belongings the visitors have the chance to admire Frida’s last painting, a still life of cut watermelons as a tribute to life, painted eight days before her death. She added the inscription “Viva la Vida” (Long Live Life) by which the painting would become best known. Despite all the difficulties she went through, Frida was a fighter. She loved and lived life to the fullest till the end.







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Personality of Robin Williams

“On stage you‘re free. You can say and do things that if you said and did any place else, you ‘d be arrested.”

He was a man whose smile never faded away from his lips. He had a bright face, sparkling eyes and a heart full of love generosity and kindness. He was a talented but tormented soul and wore his happiness like a mask every day carrying his audiences away with his humorous stories and his satire.

Only a few people really knew him – sadly he was often misjudged. He was a talented comedian and an exceptionally gifted actor with a profound influence on many generations. He grew on people and won the world’s warmest adoration. He was a man of genius who found his way into people’s hearts with his humor like no one ever did before and fulfilled his potential. This man changed the stand-up comedy with his free-flying improvisational style.

He was a one-of-a-kind professional, a truly talented and respectful man that influenced his audiences and gave them smiles that reached deep into their chests and warmed their hearts. Robin Mclaurin Williams’ unique life story inspired people all around the world. His sudden death sent shockwaves through the world and gave rise to many questions.

“I’m a born entertainer. When I open the fridge door and the light goes on, I burst into song.”

The Lonely Childhood of Robin Williams

Robin William as a childRobin Williams was born on July 21, 1951 in Lake Forest, Chicago. He came from a wealthy family and had two elder half brothers, Robert Todd Williams and McLaurin Smith-Williams. Unfortunately, due to their parents’ divorce, Robin grew up and was raised as an only child and had no sibling relationship with his brothers whatsoever.

The siblings were divided between households and Robin ended growing up with his grandparents. He had a wealthy upbringing along with an exceptional education. He spoke six languages: English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, German and French. His multilingual education was an asset to his acting career as it made him adept at vocal imitation.

Character and Phobias

Back in the days no one could ever predict that this quiet child would become such a exceptional comedian. Robin felt lonely and neglected by his own parents. Having no parents, friends or siblings around, he took comfort in his huge toy collection of nearly 2.000 toys.

He was a shy introvert, overweight, chubby boy with depression in his eyes often staring into space, but also restless from time to time seeking adult attention.

The time spent with his father was limited since he was constantly away for business, as it was with his mother who was caught up in her own life being a model and a nonprofit founder of nonprofit organizations. As a result, Robin grew up with plastic toys instead of loving interaction.

Parenthood creates a special bond that spans the years. Even though every parent wishes for that to happen, at times bad parenting gets in the way of achieving it. Many parents are often so caught up and stuck in their own personal and working lives that fail to care for their children. But there is no excuse for neglect. It is a form of emotional abuse that traumatises the child and has life-long effects.

Children have an especially difficult time with divorce as well. They have to cope with a changing family environment and loose daily contact with one or even both parents. Every divorce causes a turbulent transformational time in a child’s life, leaving a childhood trauma.

“Comedy is acting out optimism.”

His parents’ divorce and the abandonment had an immediate effect on Robin. He became utterly quiet and reserved; he often seemed lost in his own thoughts and never talked much. He was often stressed out, had tremendous fear of the dark, especially of dark corners as well as shadows, loneliness and strangers.

Smiling and laughter were totally absent from his life. He closed himself off and sat home all alone gazing at the empty walls or at his toys. He didn’t eat much and he avoided going to school.

But when he did go to school, he felt good, seeing that he had his friends’ and teachers’ attention. He was an average student, neither the funniest nor the most introvert one. Robin attended Deer Path Junior High School until the age of 12. Later on, he moved along with his grandparents in a huge apartment in Detroit. Little did it matter to him, that he had a whole floor to himself.

“We were talking briefly about cocaine…yeah. Anything that makes you paranoid and impotent, give me more of that!”

First Steps into Acting

Robin’s loneliness made him come up with stories and fictional characters in his mind as well as talk to imaginary friends. He used his vivid imagination as a cure to loneliness.

Robin was then enrolled in Detroit Country Day School, a private all-boys school, where he was on the school’s soccer team and wrestlingRobin Williams's as a young man team, and was elected class president. But Robin wasn’t always famous at school. He had a strange behavior from time to time due to the various problems he was struggling with, such as the lack of affection and attention from his mother and the isolation from his peers and relatives.

As a result, he became victim of intellectual bullying and an outcast at school. His classmates made fun not only of his height and weight, but also of his dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Robin however was smart enough to realize that he had to find an alternative way to fight off the negativity around him and get closer to his classmates. This was also what made him famous later in life: humor. He began to cultivate an understanding that making people laugh was a way of avoiding bullying.

For him, the only way to bridge the distance between himself and his audience was by telling jokes. He finally started getting along with his classmates and this was the first time Robin got to “be somebody” at school, though he felt “a nobody” deep inside. He participated in his school’s Drama Club and performed in plays. At that time, he realized that, in this way, he could gain the respect of his peers. Getting the attention he so much desired, was also what gave him strength and seeing other people laugh with his jokes filled the empty hole in his soul. He’d been doing the same thing at home as a way to get attention and impress his family with his comic talent.

“I like my wine like my women – ready to pass out!”

Humor and Communication

When he turned 16, he moved for one last time with his grandparents in WoodacreCalifornia, where he lived most of his life. He started at a new school, Redwood High School, Larkspur, and he began to use his wit to win over his classmates there as well. He also joined the Club of Performing Acts and school’s official Drama Club for this reason. Bullying was a thing of the past for him as he made new friends really quickly – his sense of humor was his superpower. Right before his graduation he was awarded with the “funniest” and the “less likely to succeed guy” awards.

His family acknowledged his humor value as well, with it being something that played a great deal in their communication. Although things seemed to take a positive turn in their relationship, Robin knew this was not the case. Humor bound them together but Robin knew it wasn’t enough to bridge the communication gap between himself and his parents.

The lack of love and attention from the most important people in his life made Robin use jokes and other funny stories to keep them closer. He had an obsessive and compulsive need to constantly make his parents laugh.

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ’Let’s party!’”

Humor as an Integral Part of his Life

As the years were passing by, Robin evolved his joke-telling talent and took it one step further. He developed a talent for mimicry and began to experiment with doing different voices. He poked fun at his own experiences and worries and difficulties of his everyday life. He felt joy in making others happy and feel better about life. But behind his smile, the joy and his jokes, was a hurting heart, and that was the grim reality of his bitter life. He could easily improvise and joke about his bad experiences, making them sound hilarious. Some of his favorite topics were:

  • bulling
  • motherly attention
  • solitude
  • fear

The smile of Robin WilliamsHe always used humor to cope with difficult and stressful situations in his life and one would think it worked as a remedy for him.

He graduated high school in 1969 and it was time to decide about his future. After long talks with his father und under a lot of pressure he applied and got accepted to Claremont Men’s College, California, in Political Science department.Soon, he realized that this new field he was getting into was completely strange and dull, and, thus, he dropped out after first semester.

Since he gave up on his father’s dream to become a politician, he chose his own path and broke into the world of comedy and acting.

“I went to rehab in wine country, just to keep my option open.”

The Drama School that Changed his Life

Robin decided to study theatre at the College of Marin, one of the most prominent acting schools worldwide, in Kentfield, California. His natural talent in acting and his improvisational skills helped him stand out and succeed as a student. As a matter of fact, his professor James Dunn once said: “I first knew he was more talented than the other kids… I remember calling my wife at 2 p.m. and telling her that this young man was going to be something special.”

In 1973 Robin received his first big break and left College of Marin for The Juilliard School in New York City, where he was awarded a full scholarship. Juilliard School is a prestigious performing-arts conservatory in Manhattan which is one of the world’s best institutions of performing arts and only 20 freshmen are admitted in Juilliard School per year. Moreover, he even was one of the two students who were admitted in the Advanced Program by John Houseman, a legendary acting veteran and a prominent film producer, at the Juilliard School. Christopher Reeve and Williams gained the two places at the beginning of their freshman year.

“You‘re only given a little spark of madness, you mustn’t lose it.”

A Peculiar Student

The main courses at the Juilliard School were dance, drama, and music, and although it addresses to upcoming actors and not comedians per se, it played a significant role in Robin’s life and career.

His wealth and privileged background as well as his exceptional education at Juilliard School, a school ranked as one of the top of its kind worldwide, turned him into a highly educated actor.

During his studies he had the chance to meet some of the acting world’s most renowned people in entertainment industry such as John Houseman, a Romania-born British American actor, the actor and singer Kevin Kline, the actress and singer Patti Lupone, and the actor, tenor and comedian Mandy Patinkin.

Robin was an excellent student but quiet and shy; he had a sensitive soul and he was full of energy. He lived alone, away from his family, the way he wanted in Broadway, one of the most vibrant places in the world. Things could be even better if it wasn’t for the demons of his past that followed his every step and haunted his thoughts. His peers loved both his character and his unique way of telling jokes. At the time, no one could even guess the burden inside him.

“The only reason Mickey Mouse has four fingers is because he can’t pick up a cheque.”

Robin left- or more preciously was cut off– Juilliard School during his junior year in 1976 without actually graduating. During his studies, he stayed true to his real passion of comedy. That may have been the reason why the Juilliard School underestimated his acting talent, and justified this decision by saying that Robin was just a comedian and that he could never be a “real” actor. There appears to be some agreement from all of the various accounts that Robin’s maniac performance style was at odds with the more traditional values emphasized by the institution. The school certainly emphasized the connection when Robin’s career went stratospheric.

Robin was indeed exceptional in comedy, but he just couldn’t or better yet wouldn’t follow the School’s formal study program. Robins‘ temperament was simply unsuited to the classical training program Juilliard School had to offer, he always went off script the way it suited him and made fun even out of the most serious roles. This was something that made him stand out from the other students and teachers liked it, however this wasn’t how things run in Juilliard School. Sometimes he was so drawn into improvisation that his fellow students couldn’t keep up with their own roles. The Schools formal study program didn’t come up to his expectations and made him feel restricted. The knowledge he got from the School have been of great value later to his movies.

He never saw acting and comedy as a job. For him these two were his way to communicate with the word and express himself. All he ever wanted was to leave his touch on every part he played and make each role deeply embedded in his personality.

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

A lifelong friendship

Robin Williams first stepsA great chapter in Robin Williams’ life was his friendship with Christopher Reeve whom he met in his first year in Juilliard School. They were the only two students accepted to the advanced program and study under John Houseman. Robin and Christopher were like brothers. They shared a room, their stuff, their most secret thoughts, even food when Robin had no money to eat. While at Julliard, they were so close, that they made a special pact — whoever ‘made it’ first would always support the other one. Reeve of course went on to be Superman, while Williams made a name for himself as one of the funniest comedians of his generation, or of any generation for that matter.

They both grew up into successful actors and shared a special bond that always kept them close to each other. Unfortunately, the time came when their promise had to be fulfilled. In 1995, Christopher had a nearly fatal horse-riding accident that caused severe spinal-cord injury and left him a quadriplegic. While there was no need for either to support each other financially, rumors have been bubbling away for years that Williams wrote a cheque for 1.5 million pounds ($2.7 million) to pay Reeve’s medical bills. Robin stayed by his side, not only by visiting him at the hospital and giving him courage by making him laugh, but also through his donations to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. It was Robin’s way of saying thank you to his friend’s kindness and help during their student years. They shared in fact a true friendship, and stayed close in good and bad times, without ever expecting anything in return.

When Christopher Reeve died on October 10, 2004 of cardiac arrest, Robin Williams was inconsolable. “The world has lost a tremendous activist and artist and an inspiration for people worldwide. I have lost a great friend,” he said. It is a friendship that has endured, even in death, and Robin Williams dedicated the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes in 2005 to his best friend, Christopher Reeve.

“My battles with addiction definitely shaped how I am now. They really made me deeply appreciate human contact and the value of friends and family, how precious that is.”

The charity work of Robin Williams

Besides being an exceptional actor and comedian, Robin Williams was a very kind person with a big heart as evidenced in all the charity work he did throughout his life. Apart from Christopher and Dana Reeve’s Foundation, he used to donate great amount of money to many more organizations, such as:

  • Comic Relief for Homeless and Hurricane Katrina victims
  • Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Operation Smile
  • The Pediatric AIDS Association
  • Challenged Athletes Foundation
  • Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Make a Wish Foundation
  • Project Open Hand
  • Glide
  • The Gorilla Foundation
  • Seacology
  • River of Words
  • God’s Love We Deliver
  • Women at Ground Zero
  • Bread and Roses
  • Meridian Gallery
  • Mercury House
  • Season of Sharing
  • SMMoA
  • Muir Fest
  • USO – University Service Organizations, like Iraq and Afghanistan
  • University of California
  • San Francisco General Hospital Pediatrics
  • Windfall Foundation
  • Jude Children’s Research Hospital

He was also a great supporter of literacy and women’s rights. Moreover, he was a supporter of Juilliard’s drama students through the Robin Williams Sholarship which supported the tuition cost of a student each year.

“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”

From zero to hero

Robin Williams from zero to heroWhile he was studying, Robin made some extra money as a stand-up comedian in local comedy clubs, like Holy City Zoo and later in Boarding House and Old Spaghetti Factory, with quite a success, at first only once a week but later on, on a daily basis. He once said: “When I left school and couldn’t find acting work so I started going to clubs where you could do stand-up…I’ve always improvised and stand-up was a great relief. All of a sudden it was just me and the audience.”

Once on stage, he wasn’t Robin any more. He shared his experiences and all his thoughts and stories with his audience, delivering blow after blow of hilarity, without being misunderstood. Through a refreshing mixture of comedy and satire he managed to connect with his audiences and kept them engaged all the way through by going to their tables or bringing them on stage.

According to the comedian Steve Perl “he was a tornado, frenetic and ripping all over the stage…”

Women cheered like crazy and glorified him for every joke. Robin had a unique way to charm his audiences, dispel all negativity and take them on a journey with him into his special world. Yet, there was more to him than what he let others see. He could easily mask his feelings and let no one peak into his soul. There was a contradiction between his personal life and his life as a funnyman.

There is a saying that “Comedians are tortured, weighed down souls who tell jokes in an attempt to dispel their inner demons and fight off their depression”. This seems to be something 100% true in Robin Williams’ life as well.

“If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.”

The road to self-destruction

After his student years, Robin moved to Los Angeles where he took the road to self-destructionAlcohol, drugs, the hardships of life along with his demanding lifestyle dragged the young comedian into a vicious cycle of stress and depression.

He once said that coke was for him a place to hide. Drugs seemed to offer him a few moments of inner peace and relaxation and helped him find balance between his highly demanding work and his life. Robin had an intense, utterly manic style of stand-up comedy, he created frenetic monologues of personal stories and through his audience’s approval he tried to cure his weary and depressed soul.

Performing after a hung over made him feel paranoid on stage, but he said he never got on stage drunk or under the influence of drugs. According to him, he started using drugs and alcohol early in his career in order to cope with the stress of performing stand-up.

“Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they’ve got nothing to lose.”

Robin knew very well that playing with drugs and alcohol was like playing with fire. But the pressure he felt didn’t let him rest. His fans had high expectations. They always wanted to see him laugh and smile, what even the most talented actor couldn’t.

People were so enchanted by his talent that forgot that Robin was just a human being with feelings, problems and a tough background. No one actually listened to him when he went on and on about his problems on stage, as if he was asking for help. He even spoke about alcohol and drugs and he often opened his performances with the following line: Cocaine is God’s way of telling you, you have too much money.”

“The human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter…”

Robin’s first marriage

Robin met his first wife Valerie Velardi in 1976 in San Francisco where he was working as a bartender, while starting a career in comedy, trying to make a living. She was taking a graduate degree at Mills College hoping to be a successful dance teacher in the future. They got married two years later in 1978.

Then, they moved together in Los Angeles, where he made his first appearance in a well-known Comedy Club that changed his life. The well-known film producer George Schlatter who sat among the audience was left speechless by his performance and decided they had to work together. “He’s one of the well-educated comedians we’ve ever had”, he said.

Later on, he got the leading role in the television series “Mork & Mindy”, a comedy about an alien and his human friend, that proved a great success and run from 1978 to 1982. He would ad-lib most of his lines adding some edgy humor here and there, and he got himself a fanclub.  When his earnings raised, he moved with his wife in a bigger house, got himself a new car – a Silver BMW – and many pets. They also started doing charity work together for the Human Dolphin Foundation.

“Carpe per diem – seize the check.”

The movies that scared him for life

Robin, as well as the people who believed in him and his talent, knew that despite that he never got a degree in acting, he was well capable of taking part in movies and successfully perform many different roles. He proved that throughout his acting career.

In fact, he was more than a talented comedian. He was a remarkable actor with great emotional intelligence capable of jumping from stand-up comedy right into the most serious role.

He never broke character and he preferred to take on roles of troubled characters, maybe because he could identify with them easier. Robin made his big-screen debut in a lead role playing the famous spinach-eating sailor in Popeye in 1980 and later on he stars as the leading character in The World According to Garp in 1981.

In 1990 he got a role in Awakenings where he portrayed a doctor who tries to help his catatonic patients. It is a heartwarming story that gives strength and courage to those who struggle with difficulties and teaches us to appreciate and live life. Robin was at the time dealing with his own issues and problems.

Performing and acting were for him two totally different things. As a comic one speaks faster than normal whereas an actor, has to speak slow and clear and give more emotion. With acting Robin had certain constrains. He couldn’t express himself the way he wanted and had to follow the script. Yet, he wanted to succeed as an actor and meet the audience’s expectations. He had to restrain himself in order to act. ”What do I like more? Sure, I like performing full out,” he once said.

“Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs.”

Putting a lot of effort into acting, and many movies later, he finally managed to win himself a place between Hollywood’s greatest actors, and get the starring role in director Barry Levinson’s Good Morning, Vietnam in 1987. In this dramedy Robin proved that he was not only a great comedian, but also a great actor. He played the role of a radio DJ on Armed Forces Radio Service who keeps the troops entertained during the Vietnam War. It was the perfect role for him, one that encapsulated his ability to improvise and made his comedic-talent stand out. He was an Oscar nominee for the first time for Best Actor in a Leading Role and winner of the Golden Globe award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. Robin’s performance in Good Morning, Vietnam is seen as one of his finest, because in fact he played himself in the move – a comedian who tries to bring laugher and joy into people’s lives.

“Being in the same room with people and creating something together is a good thing.”

Robin Williams NominationsA few years later in the 90’s, and after rehab and a few scandals, Robin reached again the top. He took part in six successful movies.  Dead Poets Society in 1989 earned him his Second Oscar nomination. The movie tells the story of an English teacher who inspires his students through his teaching of poetry. Robin himself was inspired from memories of a couple of his own teachers for this role. He read the scripts with great concentration and played the most serious roles without making fun of them. The Fisher King followed in 1991, and his performance as Parry – a homeless guy who saves a man from suicide – earned Robin Williams the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and his third Academy Award nomination. In 1993 he played the role of Mrs. Doubtfire, a divorced father who disguises himself as a middle-aged nanny in order to spend time with his children. He got into the role of the ex-husband very well at the time, since divorce was something that he went through a while ago in his personal life as well. He was so convincing that he earned the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor once again

“Reality: What a concept!”

In 1997 Robin won his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Good Will Hunting for his role as a therapist. He was nominated for eight more Oscar Awards. Robin then proved that he can act in serious and emotional roles and captivate the audience with his performance. Will Hunting works as a janitor at MIT and spends his free time at bars with his friends. When he is the only one who solves a difficult graduate-level math problem left on the hallway’s chalkboard, his talents are discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau. When Will gets arrested after a fight, Professor Lambeau decides to help the young man, if he agrees to get counseling with a therapist and deal with his problems. Robin Williams in the role of the therapist Sean Maguire manages to win the young man’s trust and helps him find direction in his life. Robin wanted a figure like that in his life as well, someone to help him and ease his pain.

Robin once said that he could see a bit of himself in every role he played. He liked getting into different characters and prove his acting-talent not only to the audience but to himself as well. He chose roles of troubled characters and his troubled past helped him convincingly perform every one of them.

In 1998 he stares in the film Patch Adams as a doctor who wants to treat the spirit as well as the body of his patients using humor and love as the best medicine. He showed the world that even the most serious scientists can have a sense of humor.

In 2002, Robin takes a break from comedy and stars in the psychological thriller Insomnia as a troubled Alaskan writer and key suspect in the murder of a local teenage girl. Robin took on a villainous role, and through a sinister performance, showed us his darkest side.

In the same year he stars in another psychological thriller, One hour photo as a lonely, amateur photographer who finds solace in his job. Despite loving his job so much he seeks meaning in his life. He gets obsessed with his favorite customers, keeps their pictures on his wall and tries to get into their lives. The story leads the audience to the desolated world of a photographer who desperately seeks for human company and tries to socialize using his profession as a tool.

Through the black comedy-drama film World’s greatest Dad in 2009Robin teaches us that what we want is not always what makes us happy. It’s a deep meaningful movie that spoke to Robins heart. After his suicide, rumors said that he learned the suicide technique from this movie. The protagonist’s son was found seated on the floor of this bedroom with a belt secured around his neck, and so was he.

It’s worth mentioning that Robin had a remarkable requirement for every film he did. The company hiring him, had to donate part of the earnings to the homeless and also had to hire a certain number of them and put them to work.

“In America they really do mythologize people when they die.”

His relationship with his fans

The fans that followed Robin from his very first steps as a comic, were used seeing him act in comedies and wanted the old, good, funny Robin back. But Robin never left his funny side behind and always made people laugh in every appearance he made. He thought himself to be the clown who played Hamlet. Still, it was hard for his fans to get used to him play in serious roles.

“I re – invented myself from comedy to do drama. You keep changing. So, it’s just another color of you get to paint with.”

A good actor can get into character and convincingly play every role he is called to. That was exactly what Robin wanted. He wanted to surprise his audience with his every role, either in a comedy or in drama. He loved being the criminal in the movies, what was less expected from a comedian. “I love playing characters like this because you ‘re no longer bound by the laws of likeability and the audience get a surprise attack. People think ‘Oh, it’s that nice man, he wouldn’t do anything awful.’ And then they realize… He’s a prick!”

“Sometimes you have to make a movie to make money.”

Everybody’s Got A Dark Side

Along with money came parties and hangovers. Publicity got into their lives for good and hit them hard. Because of his many appearances in television, Robin had his say on various taboo topics such as politics, drugs, death penalty, sex etc., what many people, especially parents who wanted to protect their children disapproved of.

Lies and rumors made their lives even harder. Rumor had it, that Robin was unfaithful to his wife. “It’s not the work but the social life that drained me”, he said.

In order to find some peace Robin made excessive use of drugs and alcohol and one thing led to another.

Exhaustion, both physical and emotional, got him. It has getting hard for his wife as well, who had to accept that she was now married to a public figure, and had to follow his lifestyle, accept criticism and be the subject of rumors while standing supportively by her husband’s side.

What’s worse is that some rumors had truth in them. Robin was now rich and women saw him thus differently. Under the influence of alcohol and drugs he gave in and did things that he would never think of doing sober.

All these scandals had a serious impact on his marriage. Valerie kept her calm in order to save her marriage. She loved him and trusted him. She didn’t make a scene when Robin went out with other women. She had in fact met many of them in person, saying they were wonderful. She was jealous only when she thought her marriage was in danger.

If she broke up with him, he would lose the most important person in his life. His life without his wife would be a disaster. Valerie loved him like no one else before. She was supportive and understanding and deeply concerned when he got wasted. Yet, things got worse and they started fighting. Robin was sinking deeper into self-destruction and was doing things that provoked her. Valerie was trying to keep only the good things, because when Robin was sober, he was his old good self.

He never loved money nor was he interested in living a rich life but he could no more control his actions and emotions. His marriage was suffering and so did his wife who watched all this in despair.

Robin and Valery gave a second chance to their marriage, and a few months later came in the world Robin’s firstborn childZachary “Zak” Pym Williams. That was an important moment in Robin’s life, when he realized that he wasn’t alone, he was responsible for his son’s life and that he couldn’t put him in danger. His son needed him.

“Comedy can be a cathartic way to deal with personal trauma.”

Fame can be fatal

It’s a common misconception that famous people have it all: beauty, success, money, independency. This perception is however most of the times totally false. Behind the cameras they are sad, their smiles are fake, there is a lot of stress and drugs. This is how many famous people end up, leaving us with the question, of why they who have everything, ruin their lives? What’s missing?

These people have the darkest secrets. They have plenty of money but no meaning in life. They bring joy and laugher in other peoples’ lives but can’t do the same for themselves. They don’t seek help and fall to pieces. They keep their desires and fears locked inside their souls, pretending to be strong.

Robin Williams once said that being famous and talented is not an easy job. Being a star is a 24-hour job, with no breaks, rest or anonymity. You can’t leave your face at the office. Once famous – always famous, even after your death.

So, it seems that even people with strong and balanced personalities cannot cope with pressure and constant public attention. Drugs and alcohol are their only solution.

“Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs.”

How drugs can kill 

In 1982, Robin’s friend, John Belushi died of cocaine and heroin overdose at the age of 33. The event shocked and brought Robin to his senses, since he was dealing with drug addiction at the time as well and they both followed similar lifestyles and careers. In fact, on the night of Belushi’s death, the two had been doing drugs together.

Robin though that Belushi had the “constitution of a bull” and that nothing bad could happen to him. But he was wrong. Comparing their lifestyles, he realized that the same could happen to him soon. His life was in danger.

A life without drugs

Belushi’s death and the birth of his son made Robin think about where his life was taking him. He decided that in order to live his dream, and raise his son as a good father, setting a good example, he had to stay away from drugs and any other dangerous lifestyle.

Robin Williams Life without drugsAs a substitute for his bad habits, Robin took up a new hobby, good for his mental and physical health: cycling. He even accumulated a  large bicycle collection. His friend and owner of San Francisco bicycle, Tony Tom, said: “He came shortly after John Belushi passed away from a drug overdose. He said: I’ll tell ya – cycling saved my life.”

His life seemed to take a positive turn with a happy ending. It took only two decades before he turned back to his bad habits.

He got out of drugs, but gained a new addiction to military games. He was an internet junkie, who played games online and rumor has it that he was posing as a six-year-old girl “Samantha” in chatrooms.  His favorite games were:

  • First person shooter games
  • Half – life
  • War Craft 3
  • Call of Duty
  • Battlestation Pacific

Robin knew that he had to be careful with videogames. He was aware that people have even committed suicide when their online character was killed. As a weak person who suffered from depression, he could easily get sucked in the game world. He played alone in his room in front of his screen battling not only enemies but also with his thoughts. That was a bad combination for sure. Some even blamed videogames for his death.

In the study Pathological Video Game Use Among Youths. A Two-Year Longitudinal Study, about the relation between gaming and psychology Dr. Douglas Gentile of State University says: “I was expecting to find that the depression let to gaming. But we found the opposite in that study. The depression seemed to follow the gaming. As kids became addicted, then their depression seemed to get worse. And, as they stopped being addicted, the depression seemed to lift.” In Robin’s case those two went hand in hand, since he was already suffering from depression. “I think it’s truly co morbid. This means when two medical conditions are intertwined.” Gaming addiction and phycological problems coexist. People Believe that gaming will free them from their suffering but it makes it worse.

“The human spirit is more powerful than any drug – and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These arethe things that matter.”

New demons in his life

Once people recovering from addiction go back to normal life, they’re likely to start using again, unless they take action to avoid their triggers.

Once Robin remained drug-free he thought his problems were over but rumors and scandals turned his life upside down once again. His affair with Michelle Tish Carter became public when she sued the actor and comedian for many million dollars, alleging that he gave her herpes during their relationship. This rumor was never proven true but damaged his personal life and career. Valerie and Robin divorced two years later in 1988. Robin made the following comment on his divorce: “Sure I’m happy about the movie, but right now I’m moving through my personal life like a hemophiliac in a razor factory.”

Robin hadn’t been fair to the only person that loved him unconditionally and gave him everything. Why do we hurt those we love the most?

Robin had an unstable personality, he had serious psychological problems and wasn’t himself at the time. He was aware of the damage he made to himself and his family but he couldn’t fight the sorrow and pain carved deep into his soul. His fans not knowing what he went through could not forgive him either.

He’d hurt everyone he loved. Guilt and regrets were a heavy load that he carried even on stage. He did his job right, but it wasn’t the same any more. Later, that very same year, Robin decided to start therapy.

“When I was growing up they used to say, “Robin, drugs can kill you.” Now that I’m 58 my doctor’s telling me, “Robin, you need drugs to live.” I realize now that my doctor is also my dealer.”

Robin’s second marriage

Robin remained on friendly terms with his ex-wife whilst he embarked on a relationship with Zak’s nanny, Marsha Garces, who had been living with them since 1984. Robin was once again happy. They married in 1989 when Marsha was pregnant with their daughter, and Robin’s second childZelda. In 1991 came in the world Robin’s third and last child, Cody Alan Williams.

After all these difficulties he’d been through, rehab, divorce, lawsuit, and close friends’ deaths, Robin finally stood on his own feet and launched to the top of the tabloids once again.

In 1993 he took a break from the spotlight, taking his family on a relaxing holiday in an Italian villa, with Marca being in charge.

Marca was well aware of Robins fragile mental state and always tried to protect him from the pressure of fame. She stood always by his side, gave him advise on his roles and watched his every step.

She is the only person who is brutally honest with me. Most people would prefer to tell me what they think I want to hear. Not Marsha. She refuses to let me recycle old shtick just because it works. It’s vital to have someone who is determined to see that I grow as an actor,” he said.

“I never performed on drugs. That’d be stupid. It’s the same thing with athletes. They can’t perform when they have cocaine problems.”

The death of his loved ones

In 2001 Robin’s mother passed away and painful childhood memories came on the surface. He considered the death of his parents  to be the saddest event of his life. He was left once again alone, just like when he was little, with the complaint that he never felt loved as a child nor really get to know the meaning of the words “family”, “care” and “motherly love”.

He wished he were close with his brothers to share the pain and grief with. He got all the love of the world from his fans, he felt true joy on stage when he made his audience laugh and he finally got the parental attention he needed in a big way…but he didn’t have his mother anymore.

Few years later in 2004, his best friend Christopher Reeve died at 52 from a sudden heart attack. It came as a shock to him, just like Belushi’s death years back. For the years to follow, the grief run deep.

From then onwards he reduced his stand-up comedy appearances and played only in dramas, roles of murderers and criminals. He spoke slowly and wearily in interviews, he didn’t make jokes and hardly ever smiled.

“I couldn’t imagine living the way I used to live. Now people come up to me from the drug days and go, ‘Hi, remember me?’ And I’m going, ‘No, did I have sex with you? Did I take a dump in your tool box?’”

Star in his own life

Alcohol found its way into his life once again. He thought it was the solution to all of life’s problems, that it would take the lonely and frightening thoughts away.

What was his deepest fear?

Robin was a huge star. His deepest fear was maybe dealing with fans’ expectations. People tend to expect more from those who have been successful. He felt a large pressurefrom his fanclub. He thought they don’t forgive mistakes, nor do they accept true feelings and troubles coming from a comedian.

Drugs and alcohol had been a setback in his life before but seemed his only way out. He knew his fans would find out eventually and that he would let them down.

Robin knew that drugs and alcohol could kill him. Things could turn worse this time.

His relapse into his bad habits turned his second marriage upside down as well. In 2006, after family intervention, Robin checked himself into Oregon’s Hazelden Springbrook treatment center for two months.  He won the battle to stay sober but he couldn’t win his wife back. Even though Marsha has been a pillar of strength for him, she filed for divorce two years later.

“You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”

Robin’s third and last marriage

Robin’s second divorce left him broke and devastated. He made sure his children were properly provided for and paid his ex-wives generous alimony, but he soon started running out of cash.

During that period of time Robin stared in very few movies. When his bad mood lifted in 2008, he decided to get on stage again and pick up where he left of. He performed stand-up comedy shows to make money and made fun out of it like he did with all his other problems in the past. It is said that his struggle with his finances was so big that he had to sell off almost every bicycle in his collection.

His friend Billy Cristal stated: “Over the last couple of years and the pin that he’s gone through, his brain is the one thing that’s kept him buoyant… he needs the stand-up in a different way than he did before. It’s still a safe place for him to be… he can talk about things and make himself feel better…”

Over that time period Robin met Susan Schneider – a 15 years younger than him woman – and got married for the third time in 2011. His children had grown up and chosen their own paths. Zelda was acting in small productions, Zak was married and Cody was doing music production.

The couple lived in Robin’s mother house, they loved doing things together such as kayaking, riding bikes and walking their dogs. Robin was trying to fill his life with as many beautiful moments as possible.

“You don’t know about real loss because that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself.”

25 of Robin Williams’ Funniest Jokes

  1. If it’s the Psychic Network, why do they need a phone number?
  2. Who the fuck came with the idea of polygamy?! Who was having a marriage going, ‘My one marriage isn’t going too well, I’d like to double down.’?
  3. God gave men both a penis and a brain but, unfortunately, not enough blood supply to run both at the same time.
  4. The Chinese make everything! Even the ‘Free Tibet’ stickers.
  5. Do you think God gets stoned? I think so…Look at the platypus.
  6. Politics: ‘Poli’ a Latin word meaning ‘many’ and ‘tics’ meaning ‘bloodsucking creatures’.
  7. I wonder what chairs think about all day: ‘Oh, here comes another asshole.’
  8. Never pick a fight with an ugly person; they’ve got nothing to lose.
  9. And Honda has a car now that’ll park itself. I’m like, ‘Where were you when I was drinking?!’
  10. People say satire is dead. It’s not dead; it’s alive and living in the White House.
  11. I want to thank my father…the man who, when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said,: ‘Wonderful, just have a backup profession like welding.’ Thank you.
  12. We had gay burglars the other night; they broke in and rearranged the furniture.
  13. You could talk about same-sex marriage but people who have been married say ‘It’s the same sex all the time.’
  14. Being a functioning alcoholic is kind of like being a paraplegic lap dancer – you can do it, just not as well as the others, really.
  15. On the Immaculate Conception: The night that Mary said to Joe, ‘Joe, I’m pregnant,’ and Joe went, ‘Holy Mother of God!’ And she went, ‘You’re right! Aw, Jesus Christ, what a great name, Joe! That is so much better than Schmul! Way to go! I love you, Joe!’
  16. If women ran the world, we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every twenty-eight days.
  17. ‘I guess I should talk for a moment about the very serious subject of schizophrenia…’ ‘No, he doesn’t!’ ‘Shut up, let him talk!’
  18. If on your tax form it says, ‘$50,000 for snacks’, MAYDAY! You ‘ve got yourself a cocaine problem.
  19. Giving people tax rebates and then saying the economy is sound because they might spend it is like saying fat people are healthy because they might exercise.
  20. I walked into my son’s room the other day and he’s got four screens going at the same time. He’s watching a movie on one screen, playing a game on another, downloading something on this one, texting on that one… People say, ‘He’s got ADHD.’ Fuck that, he’s multitasking!
  21. “Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?”
  22. “Some are born great. Some achieve greatness. Some get it as a graduation gift.”
  23. “I don’t care. I clawed my way to the middle and I fucked my way down.”
  24. “In England, if you commit a crime, the police don’t have a gun and you don’t have a gun. If you commit a crime, the police will say: ‘Stop, or I’ll say stop again.’”
  25. “A lot of people thought Scarfacewas over the top. Anyone who had done a pound of Peruvian blow knows that is documentary.”
  26. “Why do you think there’s not so much comedy in Germany? Did you ever think you killed all the funny people?”
  27. Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they’ve got nothing to lose.
  28. We Americans, we’re a simple people . . . but piss us off, and we’ll bomb your cities.
  29. Thank you for the standing ovations! We had the orgasm up front. Let’s have a cigarette, let’s relax.
  30. Ah, yes, divorce … from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man’s genitals through his wallet.
  31. The moment the Pope dies, they take him through St. Peter’s Basilica, and fifty thousand cell phones are like [pantomimes the clicking sounds of camera phones] And I’m sure that was his last wish. “When I die, I want to be a screensaver.”
  32. When the media ask George W. Bush a question, he answers, ‘Can I use a lifeline?’
  33. Texting and driving at the same time is like jerking off and juggling at the same time. Too many balls in the air, if you catch my drift.
  34. When I was growing up they used to say, “Robin, drugs can kill you.” Now that I’m 58 my doctor’s telling me, “Robin, you need drugs to live.” I realize now that my doctor is also my dealer…
  35. People like to great New Yorkers: “Have a nice day, asshole!” “Fuck you, my friend! Enjoy your day!”
  36. Taking Viagra after open heart surgery is like a Civil War re-enactment with live ammo. Not good.
  37. I love the guys who say “I watch NASCAR for the racing.” Yeah, and I watch porn for the acting. You LIAR!
  38. I think that after you get married a third time you have to give up a body part. Larry King would just be a head on a fucking stick.
  39. It’s interesting when you see a girl with a bolt through her tongue. Why did you do that? To enahthe the thekthual thtimulathon. “Nothing drives my boyfriend crazy like the feel of cold steel on his hot rock.”
  40. I had sex with a prostitute when I was 21, I was so bad, she gave me a refund.
  41. Time is the best teacher, but unfortunately, it kills all of its students.
  42. I’ve actually gone to the zoo and had monkeys shout to me from their cages, “I’m in here when you’re walking around like that?”
  43. “The Second Amendment: It says you have the right to bear arms, or the right to arm bears, whatever the hell you want to do!”
  44. “If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.”
  45. “The definition of pornography is quite simple. Erotic is using a feather, pornography is using the entire chicken.”
  46. “I think God made babies cute so we don’t eat them.”
  47. “I thought lacrosse was what you find in la church.”
  48. “If you can remember the ’60s, you weren’t there.”
  49. “Ballets: men wearing pants so tight you can tell what religion they are.”
  50. “Cricket is basically baseball on Valium.”

“This girl you met, she isn’t perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other.”

The final years

In the few months before his death Robin wasn’t in his best emotional and physical state. He slept for over 18 hours a day, felt constantly tired, had no appetite and was very distant. He kept the curtains closed all day to avoid the light.

He looked painfully thin. His face looked wrinkled and tired, his body shrunk in size. He couldn’t care less for his appearance. Depression was taking over. Then, in 2009 Robin was diagnosed with serious heart disease problems and underwent a bypass surgery in Ohio.

Robin seemed like a different man. His dark secret had been revealed. His exhaustion was evident. He couldn’t even fake a smile like he used to.

“What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.”

Why the change?

Robin sparked concern with his gaunt and exhausted appearance. Several questions arose: What made him look like this? When did his troubles start? Why nobody helped him? Why didn’t he seek help?

It was already too late. Drugs and alcohol took its toll on his life. His financial difficulties made it worse. The deaths of his loved ones – his parents’ and Christopher’s – left a deep scar in his heart and his two failed marriages made him feel desolate. His spirits sank lower and lower.

The money and glory of the past meant nothing for him, they never brought him peace. It may be he never realized how much people loved him.

“You treat a disease, YOU WIN, you lose. You treat a person, I’ll guarantee you’ll win.”

The death of a star

“This is the morning I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings.” – Susan Schneider, Robin Williams’ 3rd wife said.

It was a tragic day. The news of his death on August 11, 2014 came as a huge shock. The Oscar-winning actor was found dead at his home in Tiburon, San Francisco. It was a tragic and sudden loss that stunned his fans and anyone who loved him.

He was only 63 years old. He may have gone forever, but no one will forget the twinkle in his eyes, his utterly genuine smile and his  manic onstage energy. He gave smiles and laughter so freely to millions of people around the world and touched every element of the human spirit in a remarkable range of performances.

His death was attributed to asphyxia caused by hanging. Yet, the truth of what made him give an end to his life remains unknown. Could it be prevented?  He was a man with an acute fear of abandonment, suffering as he once admitted from the “Love me Syndrome”, all of which derived from his lonely background and weary soul.

Robin suffered from a form of dementia called Lewy Body Disease (LBD). According to scientific research: “DLB is the second most common neurodegenerative dementia after Alzheimer’s and causes fluctuations in mental status, hallucinations and impairment of motor function.” Three months prior to his death he was misdiagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and was under heavy medication that might have affected his mental state.

It is sad that he never took the decision to seek counseling to help cope with Parkinson’s disease. More than half of the patients suffer from clinical depression that drastically changes their lives and affects them more than any other symptom.

The night before his suicide Robin stuffed his collection of watches into a sock out of fear they would get stolen, then he called his wife Susan to tell her he bought some magazines for her, went back home and locked himself in his room. That was the last time his wife saw him, since they were sleeping in separate bedrooms. He was found the next morning with a belt around his neck and cut wrists. He was pronounced dead shortly after.

The funeral was an Episcopalian service at Monte’s Chapel of the Hills a funeral home in California. His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered over the San Francisco Bay. After his death everyone was trying in vain to understand what drove him to suicide.

“A whole human life is just a heartbeat here in Heaven. Then we’ll all be together forever.”

Why he did it

What made him give an end to his life? Why was he so miserable? He had achieved everything one can dream of in his carrier. He was a successful Oscar-winning actor. His whole carrier was an adventure, a journey of improvisation.

He was living in his own reality. His life was a movie about depression. The world’s greatest funnyman who gave smiles, love and happiness to people had nothing of these as a child. He was a scared, shy and lonely child that never got love or attention from his family. No money could bring his lost childhood back.

The comedy world lost one of its best that day. Yet, one who’s leaving a great legacy behind can never truly die. He will always be remembered for his jokes and his stories. His soul resting in peace, at last, will now be spreading joy and laughter in heaven.

Find the best collection of Robin William’s quotes here

Quotes of Robin Williams

Below, you will be able to be inspired by Robin Williams’s greatest quotes:

We ‘ve had cloning in the South for years. It’s called cousins.
What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.
The improv, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but when it does, it’s like open – field running.
Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs.
For me, comedy starts as a spew, a kind of explosion,, and then you sculpt it from there, If at all. It comes out of a deeper, darker side. Maybe it comes from anger, because I’m outrages by cruel absurdities, the hypocrisy that exists everywhere, even within yourself. Where it’s hardest to see.
If heaven exists, to know that there’s laughter, that would be a great thing.
Comedy is acting out optimism.
Being in the same room with people and creating something together is a good thing.
If it’s the physic network why do they need a phone number?
Reality: What a concept!
In America they really do mythologise people when they die.
Carpe per diem – seize the check.
You can start any ‘monty python’ routine and peopl finish it for you. Everyone knows it like short hand.
Canada is like a loft apartment over a really great party.
The statue of liberty  is no longer saying, ‘Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.’ She’s got a baseball bat and yelling, ‘You want a piece of me?’
When Jonathan Winters died, it was like, ‘Oh, man!’ I knew he was frail, but I always thought he was going to last longer. I knew him as being really funny, but at the same time, he had a dark side.
We had gay burglars the other night. They broke in and rearranged the furniture.
My mother’s idea of natural childbirth was giving birth without makeup. She was hyper – positive – the world is a wonderful place, rainbows and unicorns. If you said anything contrary to her, you were basically exiled.
Acting is different from stand-up. It gives you this ability to enter into another character, to create another person.
When you look at Prince Charles, don’t you think that someone in the Royal family knew someone in  the Royal family?
I bought one of the first Nintendo systems and brought that home, and we were playing ‘ Legend of  Zelda’ at the time, and it was addicting, and I was playing it for hours and hours and hours.
I only ever play Vegas one night at a time. It’s a hideous, gaudy place; it may not be the end of the world per see, but you can certainly see it from there.
Performing comedy in San Francisco to begin with is pretty wild. You ‘ve got to – you ‘ve got the human game preserve to play off of. And it’s a lot of  great characters everywhere. You work of that, and then you play the rooms, and eventually you get to a point where you ‘re playing a club that is a comedy club, with other comics.
I started going comedy because that was the only stage that I could find. It was the pure idea of being on stage. That was the only thing that interested me, along with learning the craft and working, and just being in productions with people.
I write on big yellow legal pads – ideas in outline form when I’m going stand- up and stuff. It’s vivid that way. I can’t type it into an Ipad – I think that would put a filter into the process.
I like my wine like my women – ready to pass out.
The idea of having a steady job is appealing.
I basically started performing for my mother, going, ‘Love me!’ What drives you to perform is the need for that primal connection. When I was little,my mother was funny with me, and I started to be charming and funny for her, and I learned that by being entertaining, you make a connection with another person.
I have a difficult time doing an Irish accent; Even now, it kind of fades slowly into Scottish.
The essential truth is that sometimes you ‘re worried that they ‘ll find out it’s a fluke, that you don’t really have it. You ‘ve lost the muse or – the worst dread – you never had it at all. I went through all that madness early on.
Sometimes over things that I did, movies that didn’t turn out very well – you go. ‘Why did you do that?’ But in the end, I can’t regret them because I met amazing people. There was always something that was worth it.
The second amendment says we have the right to bear arms, not to bear artillery.
The bad things about being a famous comedian is that every now and then  someone approaches me to tell an old joke. Don’t tell me jokes – I have that. People also say the weirdest things, sometimes sarcastic things, and even evil things. They like to provoke to get a reaction.
Cricket is basically baseball on valium.
A woman would never make a nuclear bomb.They would never make a weapon that kills – no, no. They’d make a weapon that makes you feel bad for a while.
Do I perform sometimes in a manic style? Yes. Am I manic all the time? No. Do I get sad? Oh yeah. Does it hit me hard? Oh yeah.
I think it’s great  when stories are dark and strange and weirdly personal.
I don’t have a college degree, and my father didn’t have a college degree, so when my son, Zachary, graduated from college, I said, ‘My boy’s got learnin’!’
I have an idea for a movie called ‘The walken dead’ which is about a town where, instead of Zombies, everyone become Chris walken.
Gentiles are people who eat mayonnaise for no reason.
Tweets? That stuff kills conversation. And people taking pictures with their phone or recording you, sometimes surreptitiously, is creepy. They come up and just start talking to you, and you can see the red light on their phone.
Divorce is expensive.I used to joke they were going to call it ‘all the money,’ but they changed it to ‘alimony.’ It’s ripping your heart out through your wallet.
I believe Ronald Reagan can make this country what it once was…A large arctic region covered with ice.
Look at the walls of Pompeii. That’s what got the internet started.
In the process of looking for comedy, you have to be deeply honest. And in doing that, you ‘ll find out here’s the other side. You ‘ll be  looking under the rock occasionally for the laughter.
You ‘ll notice  that Nancy Reagan never drinks water when Ronnie speaks.
I do believe in love; It’s wonderful – especially love third  time around, it’s even more precious; It’s kind of amazing.
The Russians love Brooke Shields because her eyebrows remidn them of Leonid Brezhnew.
I don’t do well with snakes and I can’t dance.
When the media ask George W. Bush a question, he answers, ‘can I use a lifeline?’
In ‘the secret agent,’ it’s basically a character that was admired by Theodore Kaczynski, which is some fan mail you don’t really want to open. This is a man who is a Chemist and who specializes in making bombs and despises humanity.
Politics is so personal,vicious and immediate, how are you going to get  anything done? Even the  local politics where I live have gotten so ugly.
One of my favorite actors of all time,although he doesn’t necessarily play Villains, is Peter Lorre.
Okra is the closest thing to Nylon I’ve ever eaten. It’s like they bred cotton with a green bean. Okra, tastes like snot. The more you cook it, the more it turns into string.
The ‘Aladdin’ thing – that’s not work;  That’s just fun. Three days in the recording studio going mad,then the animators, do all the work. Not a bad way to cash a large check, my friend.
With film roles,it just has to be a character either I haven’t done before, or a role with somebody really interesting or with an interesting person or group of people.
I’ve never been asked to appear on I’m a celebrity… get me out of here!,’ so I guess I mustn’t be on the professional skids just yet.
Sometimes you have to make a movie to make money.
From the point of view of being in the public radar, comedians have less problems than other actors. Action movie stars like Stallone or Schwarzenegger usually attract the more aggressive fans.
Winning an Oscar  is an honor, but, between you and me, it does not make things easier.
I loved school, maybe too much,really. I was summa cum laude in High School. I was driven that way.
My style is bad white – boy dancing. I can do swing a little bit,but nothing beyond that. My solo dancing is sad. I use my arms, badly.
I was only leading man for a  minute; Now I’m a  character actor.
I loved running, but all of a sudden everything hurt so much. I started cycling when Zelda was born.
There’s a show in America where all these people compete with ferrets, and they don’t even do anything. They basically just hold them up, and if they don’t bite you, they might win.
I knew Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were really talented. As actors, they were both studly young men, and they had great writers’ chops.
Having George W. Bush giving a lecture on business ethics is like having a leper give you a facial, it just doesn’t work!
You have this idea that you’d better keep working otherwise people will forget. And that was dangerous.

Find out more about your personality by taking Motto Cosmos’ Personality Test here


Filmography of Robin Williams


Title Year Role Director(s)
Can I Do It… ‘Til I Need Glasses? 1977 Lawyer
Man with Tooth Ache
I. Robert Levy
Popeye 1980 Popeye Robert Altman
The World According to Garp 1982 T.S. Garp George Roy Hill
The Survivors 1983 Donald Quinelle Michael Ritchie
Moscow on the Hudson 1984 Vladimir Ivanov Paul Mazursky
The Best of Times 1986 Jack Dundee Roger Spottiswoode
Club Paradise Jack Moniker Harold Ramis
Seize the Day Tommy Wilhelm Fielder Cook
Good Morning, Vietnam 1987 Adrian Cronauer Barry Levinson
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen 1988 King of the Moon Terry Gilliam
Rabbit Earst: Pecos Bill Narrator (voice) Tim Raglin
Portrait of a White Marriage Air Conditioning Salesman Harry Shearer
Dead Poets Society 1989 John Keating Peter Weir
Cadillac Man 1990 Joey O’Brien Roger Donaldson
Awakenings Dr. Malcolm Sayer Penny Marshall
Shakes the Clown 1991 Mime Class Instructor Bobcat Goldthwait
Dead Again Doctor Cozy Carlisle Kenneth Branagh
The Fisher King Henry “Parry” Sagan Terry Gilliam
Hook Peter Banning / Peter Pan Steven Spielberg
FernGully: The Last Rainforest 1992 Batty Koda (voice) Bill Kroyer
The Timekeeper The Timekeeper (voice)  
Aladdin Genie / Peddler (voices) Ron Clements
John Musker
Toys Leslie Zevo Barry Levinson
Mrs. Doubtfire 1993 Daniel Hillard / Euphegenia Doubtfire Chris Columbus
Being Human 1994 Hector Bill Forsyth
In Search of Dr. Seuss The Father Vincent Paterson
Nine Months 1995 Dr. Kosevich Chris Columbus
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt Beeban Kidron
Jumanji Alan Parrish Joe Johnston
The Birdcage 1996 Armand Goldman Mike Nichols
Jack Jack Powell Francis Ford Coppola
Aladdin and the King of Thieves Genie (voice) Tad Stones
The Secret Agent Assassin Christopher Hampton
Hamlet Osric Kenneth Branagh
Fathers’ Day 1997 Dale Putley Ivan Reitman
Deconstructing Harry Mel Woody Allen
Flubber Professor Philip Brainard Les Mayfield
Good Will Hunting Sean Maguire Gus Van Sant
What Dreams May Come 1998 Chris Nielsen Vincent Ward
Patch Adams Patch Adams Tom Shadyac
Jakob the Liar 1999 Jakob Heym / Narrator Peter Kassovitz
Bicentennial Man Andrew Martin Chris Columbus
Get Bruce Himself Andrew J. Kuehn
A.I. Artificial Intelligence 2001 Dr. Know (voice) Steven Spielberg
The Rutles 2: Can’t Buy Me Lunch 2002 Hans Hänkie Eric Idle
One Hour Photo Seymour “Sy” Parrish Mark Romanek
Death to Smoochy “Rainbow” Randolph Smiley Danny DeVito
Insomnia Walter Finch Christopher Nolan
The Final Cut 2004 Alan W. Hakman Omar Naim
House of D Pappass David Duchovny
Noel Charlie Boyd / The Priest Chazz Palminteri
Robots 2005 Fender (voice) Chris Wedge
The Big White Paul Barnell Mark Mylod
The Aristocrats Himself Penn Jillette
Paul Provenza
The Night Listener 2006 Gabriel Noone Patrick Stettner
RV Bob Munro Barry Sonnenfeld
Everyone’s Hero Napoleon Cross (voice) Christopher Reeve
Daniel St. Pierre
Colin Brady
Man of the Year Tom Dobbs Barry Levinson
Happy Feet Ramon / Lovelace (voices) George Miller
Night at the Museum Theodore Roosevelt Shawn Levy
License to Wed 2007 Reverend Frank Ken Kwapis
August Rush Maxwell “Wizard” Wallace Kirsten Sheridan
World’s Greatest Dad 2009 Lance Clayton Bobcat Goldthwait
Shrink Jack Holden Jonas Pate
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian Theodore Roosevelt Shawn Levy
Old Dogs Dan Rayburn Walt Becker
Happy Feet Two 2011 Ramon / Lovelace (voices) George Miller
The Big Wedding 2013 Father Monighan Justin Zackham
The Butler Dwight D. Eisenhower Lee Daniels
The Face of Love Roger Arie Posin
Boulevard 2014 Nolan Mack Dito Montiel
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn Henry Altmann Phil Alden Robinson
A Merry Friggin’ Christmas Mitch Tristram Shapeero
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Theodore Roosevelt / Garuda Artifact Shawn Levy
Absolutely Anything 2015 Dennis the Dog (voice) Terry Jones


Year Title Role Notes
1977 Sorority ’62   TV Pilot
The Richard Pryor Show Various characters 2 episodes
Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In    
Eight Is Enough   Episode: “The Return of Auntie V”
1978 America 2-Night Jason Shine 2 episodes
Happy Days Mork Episode: “My Favorite Orkan”
1978–82 Mork & Mindy 92 episodes
1979 Happy Days Episode: “Mork Returns”
Out of the Blue Episode: “Random’s Arrival”
1981–2010 Saturday Night Live Himself 5 episodes; 4 as host, 1 as guest
1982 E.T. and Friends: Magical Movie Visitors Host / various characters TV special
Faerie Tale Theatre Frog / Prince Robin Episode: “Tale of the Frog Prince”
SCTV Network Various Episode: “Jane Eyrehead”
1982-83 Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour Mork (voice) 26 Episodes
1984 Pryor’s Place Gaby Episode: “Sax Education”
1987 Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin Various characters TV special (comedy); Williams won Emmy award [34]
Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam Baby-san (voice) Documentary
1990 The Earth Day Special Everyman  
1990–2012 Sesame Street Himself 6 episodes
1991 Big Bird’s Birthday Celebration Sesame Street special
A Wish for Wings That Work The Kiwi (voice) Credited as Sudy Nim
1992–94 The Larry Sanders Show Himself 2 episodes
1994 Homicide: Life on the Street Robert Ellison Episode: “Bop Gun”
1997 Friends Tomas Uncredited
Episode: “The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion
1998 One Saturday Morning Genie 2 episodes
1999 L.A. Doctors Hugo Kinsley Episode: “Just Duet”
2000 Whose Line Is It Anyway? Himself Season 3, episode 9 (Guest star)
2003 Freedom: A History of Us Josiah Quincy
Ulysses S. Grant
Missouri farmer
Wilbur Wright
Orville Wright
4 episodes
Life with Bonnie Kevin Powalski Episode: “Psychic”
2006 Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Himself Episode: “The DeAeth Family”
Mind of Mencia Episode: “That’s F**king Historical”
Blue’s Clues “Behind the Clues: 10 Years of Blue” Blue’s Clues special[35]
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Merritt Rook Episode: “Authority
2009 SpongeBob SquarePants Himself Episode: “SpongeBob’s Truth or Square
2012 Wilfred Dr. Eddy / Himself Episode: “Progress”
Louie Himself Episode: “Barney/Never”
2013–14 The Crazy Ones Simon Roberts 22 episodes

Video games

Year Title Voice role
1997 Disney’s Math Quest: Aladdin Genie


Video recordings



Award Wins Nominations
Academy Awards 1 4
Grammy Awards 4 6
Emmy Awards 3 7
BAFTA Awards 0 2
Golden Globe Awards 6 12
MTV Movie Awards 2 6
SAG Awards 2 4


Awards and nominations

Academy Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
1987 Good Morning, Vietnam Best Actor Nominated [1]
1989 Dead Poets Society Best Actor Nominated [2]
1991 The Fisher King Best Actor Nominated [3]
1997 Good Will Hunting Best Supporting Actor Won [4][5]

BAFTA Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
1988 Good Morning, Vietnam Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominated [6]
1990 Dead Poets Society Best Actor in a Leading Role Nominated [7]

Golden Globe Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
1979 Mork & Mindy Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Won [8]
1980 Mork & Mindy Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy Nominated [8]
1985 Moscow on the Hudson Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated [8]
1988 Good Morning, Vietnam Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won [8]
1990 Dead Poets Society Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Nominated [8]
1991 Awakenings Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Nominated [8]
1992 The Fisher King Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won [8]
1993 Aladdin Special Award for Vocal Work Won [8]
1994 Mrs. Doubtfire Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Won [8]
1998 Good Will Hunting Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Nominated [8]
1999 Patch Adams Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated [8]
2005 N/A Cecil B. DeMille Award Won [8]

Grammy Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
1980 Reality…What a Concept Best Comedy Album Won  
1980 Himself Best New Artist Nominated  
1984 Throbbing Python of Love Best Comedy Album Nominated  
1988 A Night at the Met Best Comedy Album Won  
1989 Good Morning, Vietnam Best Comedy Album Won  
2003 Robin Williams Live – 2002 Best Comedy Album Won  
2011 Weapons of Self Destruction Best Comedy Album Nominated  

Kids’ Choice Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
1992 Hook Favorite Movie Actor Won  
1994 Mrs. Doubtfire Favorite Movie Actor Won  
1996 Jumanji Favorite Movie Actor Nominated  
1997 Jack Favorite Movie Actor Nominated  
1998 Flubber Favorite Movie Actor Nominated  
2000 Bicentennial Man Favorite Movie Actor Nominated  
2006 Robots Favorite Voice from an Animated Feature Nominated  

MTV Movie Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
1992 The Fisher King Best Male Performance Nominated  
1993 Aladdin Best Comedic Performance Won  
1994 Mrs. Doubtfire Best Comedic Performance Won  
1994 Mrs. Doubtfire Best Male Performance Nominated  
1997 The Birdcage Best Comedic Performance Nominated  
1997 The Birdcage Best On-Screen Duo (shared with Nathan Lane) Nominated  

Online Film & Television Association Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
1998 Good Will Hunting Best Supporting Actor Nominated  
2003 One Hour Photo Best Actor Nominated  
2007 Happy Feet Best Voice-Over Performance Nominated  

Primetime Emmy Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
1979 Mork & Mindy Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated [9]
1987 Carol, Carl, Whoopi and Robin Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program Won [10]
1988 ABC Presents A Royal Gala Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program Won [11]
1994 Homicide: Life on the Streets Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Nominated [12]
1996 Comic Relief VII Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program (shared with Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg) Nominated  
2003 Robin Williams: Live on Broadway Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program and Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program Nominated  
2008 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Nominated [13]
2010 Robin Williams: Weapons Of Self Destruction Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special Nominated [14]

Golden Raspberry Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2000 Jakob the Liar Worst Actor Nominated  
2000 Bicentennial Man Worst Actor Nominated  
2003 Death to Smoochy Worst Supporting Actor Nominated  

Satellite Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
1998 Good Will Hunting Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Nominated [15]
1999 Patch Adams Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy Nominated  
2003 One Hour Photo Satellite Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Nominated  

Saturn Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
1992 The Fisher King Saturn Award for Best Actor Nominated  
1993 Toys Saturn Award for Best Actor Nominated  
1993 Aladdin Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor Won  
1996 Jumanji Saturn Award for Best Actor Nominated  
2003 Insomnia Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor Nominated  
2003 One Hour Photo Saturn Award for Best Actor Won  

Screen Actors Guild Awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
1997 The Birdcage Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Won [16]
1998 Good Will Hunting Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Won [17]
1998 Good Will Hunting Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated [17]
2014 The Butler Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Nominated [18]

Miscellaneous awards

Year Nominated work Category Result Ref.
1990 The Adventures of Baron Munchausen American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Nominated [1]
1990 Dead Poets Society Jupiter Award for Best International Actor Won  
1990 Dead Poets Society David di Donatello Award for Best Foreign Actor Nominated  
1991 Awakenings National Board of Review Award for Best Actor (shared with Robert De Niro) Won  
1991 Awakenings Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor Nominated  
1998 Good Will Hunting Awards Circuit Community Award for Best Supporting Actor Won  
2003 One Hour Photo Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor Nominated  
2003 One Hour Photo Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor Nominated  
2003 One Hour Photo Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor Nominated  
2006 Robots Visual Effects Society Award Outstanding Performance by an Animated Character in an Animated Motion Picture Nominated  
2014 The Butler Acapulco Black Film Festival Nominated  
2014 The Crazy Ones Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated  

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Personality of Elvis Presley				    	    	    	    	    	    	    	    	    	    	5/5							(7)

Personality of Elvis Presley 5/5 (7)

Personality of Elvis Presley

“The people were looking for something different and I came along just in time. I was lucky.”

White jumpsuit, collar up and chains around his neck. Raised eyebrow, distinctive voice and sideburns. At other times, with plaid jacket, open-necked patterned shirt, black pants and black shoes. We are talking about the arguably most important artist of “Rock and Roll”. The king of infinite charm, elegance, style and generosity. Always having a modest look, he would let the crowd cheer for him, flirt with him and he would feel with them the ultimate expression of freedom. A freedom that he had never experienced.

This man would give his love generously, in order to fill and substitute the misfortunes that deprived him of the most important people in his life. Always with his innocent puerility accompanying him and sweetening up his everyday life, with his craziness following him and with the smile on his face encouraging him, he enticed the female audience and made the men be jealous of him and desire to look like him.

An innocent child with angel’s eyes and distinct voice, who, even nowadays, enters people’s homes through his successful songs, has remained in everyone’s memory as the ultimate male sex symbol and as the person who not only changed music, language and clothing, but also rebelled against a whole country. These characteristics could be linked to no one but the name of the unique Elvis Aaron Presley.

Elvis Presley’s childhood

Elvis was born and raised in a remarkable family, on January 8, 1935, in East Tupelo, Mississippi. It was a particularly close-knit family, with the little back then Elvis being the protagonist; he was the center of their interest and attention.

Unfortunately, the family’s economic difficulties made the situation very hard, both for the parents and for the little star. Elvis was forced to grow up faster than the kids of his age, and to be deprived of playing and having friends, that is, from all the elements that are needed and essential for a kid of his age to be socialized properly.

He used to attend the Humes school in the mornings, a school without prospect and without hope. All the children that attended classes in that particular school were considered by the society of the day to be inferior, since the majority of students came from poor and impoverished families. As a pupil, he was rather shy and quiet, and as a result he was unnoticed in the classroom. His performance at school was from mediocre to bad and generally he did not show much interest in the lessons.

As a teenager and only son, he kept attracting all the devotion of his parents, and as a consequence he didn’t care about the indifference that his peers were showing to him. He used to do things off his own bat and he didn’t use to go with the crowd.

“University” was a word that he didn’t even dare to utter, since there was no chance for him to reach this point, due to his negative performance, but also the economic difficulties of his family. University would certainly remain a pipe dream. Once he said: “I’d like to have gone, but I never thought about it. We just didn’t have the money.”

“A little less fight and a little more spark, close your mouth and open your heart.”

Elvis’ hobbies

His life was as special as he was. InIn the afternoons, he used to do different occasional jobs since he was a little boy, in order to assist financially his parents that were in need.

He was different from the other children, although he lived a life that millions of children in America used to live as well. When he had some spare time, he would watch movies at the outdoor cinema, standing outside the railings of the forecourt, because he didn’t have enough money to buy a ticket, and he would listen to music with the radio that his parents had given him as a present on his birthday. Sometimes, he was allowed to play soccer with the cool guys of the neighborhood, with his stylish soccer skills drawing the attention of the children.

His stylistic preferences as a teen

A shy and dreamy boy with few friends, with no discernible talent and no ambition whatsoever, but with lacy shirts and collars up, that definitely stood out. He loved girls, he admired cars and he was lost for hours listening to music.

As he was growing up, Elvis was changing style and appearance, he hated his hair, he liked sideburns, and he preferred moustache, because he wanted to look like his father, truck drivers and wildElvis Presley as a teen looking guys.Like all children of his age, Elvis wanted to belong to a peer group, to feel a member of this group, but at the same time he wanted to stand out, to be different. He preferred wearing fancy clothes, so everybody would stare at him. However, this was not only positive, for a big number of people pointed at him and mocked him, calling him a freak.

Even though through his style he tried to reflect his personality, he felt strangely, differently. He felt like nobody in a big city, like nothing in the endless chaos. “I guess I always knew if you want to stand out in a crowd you gotta be different.” But why did he have this feeling? Certainly, it was not only the financial problems that concerned him since he was a small kid.

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time,but it ain’t goin’ away.”

Elvis Presley, the infinite love and the special relationship with his mother

Elvis and his family – a relationship that was strange, but at the same time so strong. Elvis’ father, Vernon Presley, an honest worker, worked very hard as a milkman on a farm, a truck driver, a carpenter and sometimes as a painter. He was forced to be away from his wife and his only son for a long time. The financial needs and his inability to feed his family on his own destroyed him psychologically. He felt little and had no self-confidence.

His mother, on the other hand, Gladys Love Smith Presley, a quiet and low-key woman, was a sewing machine operator in a factory. Once, she was actually about to abandon their house with her son, because their money was not enough to pay the rent.

Since he was a small kid, Elvis felt inferior to the other children of his age. He had no money and he could not follow the everyday activities of the children. Nevertheless, no member of this family gave up, even though they were accompanied by two prevailing powers: poverty, but also hope.

“Rhythm is something you either have or don’t have, but when you have it, you have it all over.”

Both his parents gave anything for Elvis and he would reciprocate in whatever way he could. Life was giving them a hard time, which resulted in their deciding to move to Memphis, Tupelo for a better tomorrow.

Elvis had been raised with principles and good manners. His parents used to consider it very important, because they tried to give the best possible impression as a family.

The second Elvis

The motto of their family was “We were always happy, when we were together.” And truly, only united they managed to survive. But, behind the excessive love and devotion to their precious son, a huge and sad secret was hiding, which they had kept well-hidden for years. A tragic event that happened during childbirth radically changed the life of his mother as well as his, and influenced his subsequent development. Elvis Presley had a twin brother, Jessie. Jessie was born 35 minutes before Elvis, also on January 8, 1935 in Graceland.

“Whatever I will become will be what God has chosen for me.”

Unfortunately, the first child of the twins was born dead, as some hours before labor his heart had stopped beating. The loss of his twin brother had a great impact on Elvis and his parents. The entire family buried him a few days later outside the city of Princeville, next to a tree.

The loss of a child in a family is one of the most scary and traumatic events that can happen in life. The demise undoubtedly causes a huge shock, excruciating pain and unbearable grief to parents and develops psychological stress, which affects the psychological and physical well-being of a human. Soon thereafter, intense and unusual effects are observed to the parents themselves. Besides, it is horrible for a mother who has had her baby in her womb for nine months and she has loved it even before she meets it, to suddenly lose it.

The same thing happened to Elvis’ parents, but in this case they were expecting one more child: his twin brother. Some minutes later, Elvis was born like a gift from God, in order to alleviate his mother’s pain and to give joy and hope to the whole family.

Both his parents gave everything for him, but especially Elvis’ mother gave all the maternal devotion and affection that she had to this child. Just from the fear of losing him, her love turned into obsession. She had become overprotective, she was watching every step of him and she preferred to sleep even in the same bed with him, for fear of anything bad happening to him. This situation continued until his teen years. She was always beside him, but to the extent that he did not have the chance to take any decision on his own and this continued happening even when he was older.

“The image is one thing and the human being is another. It’s very hard to live up to an image, put it that way.”

 The consequenes of excessive love on the child’s mental state

Being excessive can cause harm, and this applies to everything in this world. Elvis, through the excessive love and maternal devotion that he received, became a pretty shy and sensitive child. He didn’t speak much, and he had an introverted and low-key personality.

Elvis Presley and his motherHe too, though, felt the need for maternal affection, but maybe more intensely than normally. He saw in her a piece of his lost brother. The passionate relationship that these two had, had affected both Elvis’ life and his mother’s. Elvis considered her as the perfect woman. And indeed, it is said that because of his mother, Elvis wanted to marry somebody who looked like his mother, both internally and externally.

This is not unusual, due to the fact that people are programmed to look for partners who come from the same “kind”. So, since the first close contact of a man with the opposite sex is his mother, she becomes the model for his next relationships. The man is looking for a mother substitute in her, scary as it may sound.

However, in Elvis’ case, the above mentioned almost seemed to be like the so-called Oedipus complex. No, he did not have erotic tendencies with his mother, but his love for this woman looked like the feelings of love and worship. This fact definitely played an important role in his adult life, since, until his death, he wasn’t able to find this satisfaction and love that he had felt with his own mother.

It is said that at some point after his mother’s death, he bought a Cadilac for an elderly lady who reminded him of his mother, because once he had promised her that he would buy one for her, but he could never fulfill his promise to her personally.

“I would beg and steal just to feel your heart beating close to mine.”

Remorse for the death of his twin brother 

Elvis’ life was not only influenced by his mother, but also the loss of his twin brother played a significant role.

In the early years of his life, Elvis grew up carrying the feeling of vast emptiness inside him. Even before he learnt that he is a twin child, he didn’t feel complete, but he felt that something was missing from his life, like an intuition. This intuition was not at all unlikely. It has, actually, been proven scientifically.

Studies have shown that there is undoubtedly a close relationship and connection between twins, which is much stronger than for siblings born separately. In view of the fact that they share the same space during the fetal period, usually a physical and emotional bond develops between them, even before they are born. This bond is transferred to their life as well, when the twins are born and this feeling accompanies them throughout their life.

Certainly, the most powerful and unexplainable bond between people is felt by twin siblings. A twin kid is like a mirror of the other twin kid. They have their differences, which are both external and internal, but they never feel alone. They have the feeling that someone knows everything about them: their secrets, their ambitions, but also that someone senses their fears, dangers, as well as their needs.

“If you cry when you’re in love, it sure ain’t no disgrace.”

Let us not forget, however, that where there is love, there is fear too. The fear of loss that twins feel to a greater extent.

Therefore, this feeling of loss and emptiness that Elvis had during the first years of his life was not something difficult to find or puzzling, as for nine months he had been sharing his sac in his mother’s uterus with one more fetus that never existed in his life.

Once his parents, after a certain age, informed him about the loss of the firstborn twin, something changed inside him. Fragile as he was, he believed since he was a small kid that he was the cause of the death of his only brother, as – he believed – he must have moved in a wrong way inside his mother’s womb, thus convicting his brother to death. This, of course, was something that was not true, but his mind couldn’t give another explanation. Watching, also, his mother suffer from this demise, he felt even guiltier, and he gave her all his love. Besides, he owed it to her, to his father as well as to his dead brother.

The guilt and emptiness that he felt left their mark. Over the years, psychological and physical problems were created. He as well as his mother suffered from sleep disorders, sleepwalking and chronic anxiety.

“Money honey, if you want to get along with me.”

On the other hand, he was accustomed to these feelings and thoughts. So, Elvis had built a wall around him and let no one break it. He kept to himself, he didn’t speak much, he didn’t break anyone’s heart and he always tried to have a smile on his lips, in order not to show his real self and his sad feelings.

So, thinking of his brother, Elvis started imagining him. He used to imagine his appearance that definitely, according to Elvis, would resemble him, his character, that would for certain be stronger than his so that he could any time help and support Elvis. Just imagine there would be one more Elvis! It was exactly this love and support that he needed. And in his thoughts, his brother was there, throughout his life, at every step he took.

“There’s no job too immense, when you got confidence.”

Elvis loved the idea of his twin brother. This fact made him feel even more special and different from the others. It was his big secret against humanity.

People close to him, like his best friend, Jerry, and his wife, Priscilla, said that Elvis never mentioned his lost brother, but, on the contrary, he felt guilty that he was the lucky one to survive and that he later became a famous and successful artist.

But he always felt that his brother was next to him and sometimes he was speaking to him secretly. Besides, his mother once said: “When one twin died, the one that lived got all the strength of both.”, giving him courage and hope to move on. Sometimes, Elvis believed that maybe it was better that his brother died before he was even born, because he didn’t need to live in this ugly world, but he lived eternally inside his beautiful heart.

“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.”

Elvis Presley and his love for God

All the issues that concerned Elvis since he was a small child made him find shelter and belief to God and church. He and his mother went to church every week, where he prayed for his family and his brother. “God was not a distant figure up in the sky, but someone walking beside me each and every day.”

And in fact, in his free time he used to go to the steps of the church and listen to the Gospel Choir singing. He loved the music and the singers pronouncing the songs in such harmony. He used to say: “That music became such a part of my life, that it was as natural as dancing. It was a way to escape from problems and my ways of release.”

The church, and particularly his belief in God, gave him strength and hope to go on. There he felt closer to what he believed and even closer to his brother and to heaven.

“I forgot to remember to forget.”

Music as a way of expression

People had noticed from early on that Elvis had an exceptional voice. At the age of ten he gave his first public performance. That year,Elvis and his music actually, he got his first guitar, a gift from his parents for his birthday. Elvis loved playing the guitar. He would take it with him everywhere and he would play it with every chance he was given. He never attended singing or guitar lessons. Even at the end of his career, Elvis had never learnt to read notes. But he was self-taught, he observed the singers that he admired and learnt to distinguish the notes aurally.

Later, and after they had moved to Memphis, the little star was exposed to a wide range of music. His dream was to sing in front of an audience and express with his music everything he was keeping inside himself. All he wanted was to touch people and break their hearts with his music. When he had some time, he went to Charlie’s record shop, just to listen to music. Moreover, he was given the opportunity to record at the Memphis Sun Records studio. His first song was the My happiness, which he clearly dedicated to his mother.

“Never wait for tomorrow, what if tomorrow never comes?”

Generally, Elvis’ songs refer to people and things that he couldn’t have in his life, like his brother, his mother, his dream for a perfect life and the lost innocence.

Jerry Leiber later mentions: “He had an incredible, attractive instrument that worked in many registers. He could falsetto like Little Richard. He could sing. The equipment was outstanding. His ear was uncanny. His sense of timing was second of none.”

Later, in 1955, he teamed up with a band and worked with Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (bass). Besides concerts, Elvis started taking part in movies, playing minor roles initially, and later he even played leading roles in a few of the 33 movies that he took part in during his career. Since he was a small kid, his idols were Robert Mitchum, Tony Curtis, and James Dean.

One year later, he gave his first performance at Dorsey Brothers’ Stage Show in NYC. Now as a musician, singer and film actor, Elvis became the most successful star of his era, with many appearances, much tiredness, many parties, little sleep and staying in many different hotels.

“The child needs a helping hand or he’ll grow up to be an angry young man some day.”

The sudden change in his career

It must be highlighted that the band’s start was not perfect. Sun Records was not pleased; until Elvis, during a break, grabbed his guitar and started singing with his one-of-a-kind voice the blues song which was also dedicated to his mother, That’s All Right”. The other two members of the band followed him and the result was amazing. Surely, he didn’t know how to sing perfectly, but his incredible emotion while singing left the audience astonished. Elvis’ career had just begun.

He knew his skills and believed in himself. When getting up on stage, he gained confidence and the insecurities of his everyday life disappeared. Nineteen years old then, he had come one step closer to his dream. The only thing he lacked was a girlfriend.

After appearances in local nightclubs, he signed an agreement with RCA Records, and the director Colonel Tom Parker, who changed his life for good. Some television shows and few interviews followed, as Elvis was not interested in this kind of promotion.

“Animals don’t hate and we’re supposed to be better than them.”

As time was passing, he realized that his voice suited more to the rhythm of “Rock and Roll”, so he changed direction and devoted himself to songs of this style.

When he was twenty years old, he had already the power of a star, hitting the headlines, like in Variety with a publication with heading “Elvis a millionaire in one year.” He sold more than ten million singles.

The sudden rise of his success changed not only his life, but also that of his parents. With the first money that he got, he bought a piece of land for his father in Graceland in 1957, so that he could build and use it as a farm. Suddenly, poverty became wealth! His father once said: What happened, El? The last thing I remember is that I was working in a little paint – factory and you were driving a truck.”

The only one who was not so happy was his mother, who was worried about Elvis. She felt that this way she was losing her child, she was afraid of something happening to him and she always had an endless sorrow in her face. She didn’t care about the money. Her son had distanced himself from her and their home was always full with strangers. Nothing was the same anymore. They may have been poor once, but they were united. At that moment, on the contrary, everyone did his own thing. For his mother, the family had fallen apart.

She preferred simple things in life. She couldn’t control Elvis anymore and this was killing her more and more every day.

“I go for all the belles, except the wedding kind.”

The connection between music and Elvis’ experiences

Elvis developed into one of the greatest and most successful stars in the field of music. The secret of his success was the uniqueElvis as a singer way of his performance and the unique style of the songs he chose to sing. Everyone, young people and the elderly, adored him from the first moment they listened to him.

Through his way of expression, he seemed to represent an energy, an optimism, the cute childhood, and the whole America. There was a vitality, a rebelliousness on the stage – a power that affected and touched all those who were listening to him. He seemed to offer to teenagers a new way of life and he helped them interpret themselves differently.

“I’m left, you’re right, and she’s gone. You’re right, and I’m left all alone.”

On stage, he was always unpredictable, to the point that not even the members of the band knew what was going to happen in the next minute and he never gave the same show twice. Elvis always worked with his instinct and nothing was planned – as unplanned his life up to now was. Through singing he used to forget his mother’s worries, the helplessness of his father and his guilt about his brother.

Marion Keisker once said: “He was like a mirror in a way, whatever you were looking for, you were going to find in him. It was not in him to lie or say anything malicious. He had all the intricacy of the very simple.”

Elvis was so much addicted to singing, that when he didn’t sing he was nervous, he could not control his feelings and he could not sleep.

“Now and then, there’s a fool such as I.”

Love is the cure to everything

Getting up on stage, not only did he do what he had always been dreaming of, but also he took from the audience what he was in fact searching for: love. Elvis always believed in its power and he had felt it from his precious mother – nothing could have been compared to that love. But because of the loss of his brother, something was always missing, that not even his own mother could fill.

Here, his audience played their role. They hugged him in any way they could, they cheered for him, they loved him. Elvis as a boy was week, Elvis as a singer felt strong. And he did the same: he loved them more than anything else. He knew that they had made him a star and he owed everything to these people.

He believed that love and the possibility for redemption could sooth his life from his eternal guilt, the difficulties and the negative thoughts he had from time to time, more than his talent.

The once introverted boy, started opening up. Music was now his life, his way of speaking, his was of behaving, his way of expressing himself, his way of not feeling lonely.

“The road to love is full of danger signs.”

Elvis Presley and the women of his life

Elvis and his women – definitely a big topic. While as a little boy he did not pay much attention to the opposite sex, growing up it was, along with his music, one of the most important things. The truth is that he had a special charm, deep eyes, a unique voice, perfect proportions and thick black hair that made women fall for him.

Elvis had met many women in his life. For him, each one of them was something special. He mainly preferred young women, full of freshness and innocence, because he liked taking care of them and feeling that he protects them. He was a very romantic character, and he stated that he had loved every girlfriend that he had. For every parent, Elvis was the perfect potential groom, since he made women crazy with his charm, his impeccable manners and his puerility. Some of the ladies that had a relationship with Elvis were Connie StevensAnn-Margret Candice Bergen, Cybill Shepherd, Linda Thompson and Ginger Alden.

“We can’t build our dreams on suspicious minds.”

What a future Mrs. Presley had to know

Elvis’ requirements were not a few and generally he was quite demanding about the woman he wished to have next to him. This was the reason why so many years had passed until he found his other half.

  • Elvis was never monogamous. He justified it by saying that he has so much love inside him that he wants to share it with many women. He had even cheated several times the only woman that he ever married, Priscilla.
  • He had no idea about housekeeping and he would never agree to help women with household chores.
  • Even though many women had passed from his life, Elvis was determined to marry a virgin woman.
  • The woman that would be with him had to be always available and to keep all possible days open for a possible meeting.
  • Elvis, on the contrary, was almost never available and he never answered phone calls, which means that there was never a normal communication as a couple.

Also, Elvis always forgot important celebrations, like Christmas and birthdays.

“You’ve got to follow that dream, wherever that dream may lead.”

Elvis’ strange habits

  • Elvis always preferred singing and playing music at night sitting on the benches of his neighborhood. He believed that at night the man changes, calms, hushes and has the ability to listen more carefully. At night, nobody cares about appearance, style, facial expressions. Nobody judges you for what you are. The only thing that matters at night is the melody that is heard.
  • Elvis loved sleeping during the day and got up only after sunset, like a vampire. At night everything calms down, all the problems disappear, everything is simpler and people show their real selves.

“Life has taught me one big lesson, always keep the girlies guessing.”

Favorite food of Elvis

Elvis loved food and especially the homemade food that his mum was preparing with much love. Some of his favorite tastes were the following:

  • Simple Southern fare food
  • mama – made fried chicken
  • mashed potatoes with gravy burnt bacon
  • steak cooked through and through
  • eggs and bacon
  • home-fried potatoes
  • pancakes with applesauce
  • biscuits
  • Pepsi
  • ice bottles of Mountain Valley water

Apparently, there were some tastes that Elvis didn’t prefer, or better, detested:

  • fish
  • omelet

The explanation was very simple. The smell of fish and egg reminded him of their old poor years and the difficult days he and his family had.

Nevertheless, Elvis was mad about one specific recipe of cookies that his mother used to make.

This recipe is written below, exactly as it was originally written down by his grandmother, (Minnie Mae Hood Presley):

“Memories, pressed between the pages of my mind. Memories, sweetened through the ages just like wine.”

Buttermilk Biscuits

  • 5 cups self – rising flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 8 tsp. Sugar
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 (1/4 oz.) envelope yeast
  • ½ cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup Crisco or other shortening
  • 2 cups buttermilk

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt. In a teacup or small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over lukewarm water, stir to dissolve, and then cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 10 minutes. You want to keep the yeast warm. After the yeast has proofed (it will look bubbly), add the yeast mixture, shortening, and buttermilk to the flour mixture. Mix together well with a wooden spoon or use a Kitchen Aid with dough hook (this is far easier although historically inaccurate). Cover loosely with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour. Knead on a floured surface just a little. Put back in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 F. Take out the amount needed and roll out to about ½ inch thickness on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Cut with biscuit cutter and place biscuits on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Serve it hot with lots of butter.

Perhaps, if we try it, we will bring the same smell to our home that Elvis had in his, and who knows, maybe it becomes our fevourite taste too. Eventually, we may have more things in common withElvis than we believe.

“When we’re dancing it almost feels the same, I’ve got to stop myself from whispering your name.”


Elvis and his relationship with his audience

Unlike other artists, Elvis owed everything to his audience and he was completely dedicated to it. He would always stop for autographs or photographs, no matter how tired or busy he may have been, because he knew very well that they had brought him where he was.

Elvis and his audienceHe had turned into a man with childish personal beliefs, doing exactly what pleased him, with money and his imagination supporting him: he lived a life many people wanted to have. He enjoyed the magic ability of money inducing positive energy to others. The offerings to his audience were so that he wouldn’t have the feeling of loneliness. He believed that goodness can unite people. He gave generously to get, not something material, but love!

He pointed out: “They see me as someone who was lifted from poverty and dropped into a world of glamour and excitement. My job is to share that glamour and excitement with them. I want each person to feel I’m performing for him or her,… I love the idea of overwhelming a total stranger with a gift…”

Elvis was very proud of his audience. His audience imitated him and the people listening to him were polite, civilized, they worked hard, they paid their taxes, and they taught their children to hope. They had been taught all these by Elvis.

“I love only one girl, one in every town.”

The stylistic changes of Elvis Presley during his artistic life

His style could be divided into three parts, as during his life he changed rapidly both his appearance and his music and dancing skills:

  • 1950’s “The New York Elvis” (purest Elvis with a slouchy lanky jacket àhere we meet Elvis for the first time, as a novice singer at the outset of his career)
  • 1960’s “Hollywood Elvis” (neutered Elvis as a wide-eyed country boy à here Elvis is recognized as a singer with his unique vocal and performing skills)

1970’s “The Vegas Elvis” (glamorous Elvis in hand-studded jumpsuits à here Elvis has reached the next and top stage of his career as an entertainer who is revered by the crowd and is turned into the “King of Rock and Roll”)

“I’m with a crowd but oh so alone.” 

Throughout his career, Elvis created an individual style which had never existed before in this form. No one looked like him. If we dared comment on his character, we would say that Elvis had extremely good and polite manners. Since he was a small kid, his mother had taught him that regardless of the poverty of their family, he should be honest, show respect to his fellow men and especially to the older ones, not be involved in fights, not interrupt people while discussing and always answer with a “yes, sir” or “no, ma ‘am”. Also, he always won people’s heart with his musicality, he was discreet, he showed compassion, never offended anyone, never had prejudices against others, he was original and the most important thing was that he was not a creation of journalists. A real gentleman.

His style could be characterized as provocative – his clothes, his hair, the way he sang, the way he moved on the stage, the expression in his look, his jokes. In fact, he was declared as “The greatest cultural force in the 20th century.” We could say that he had a bit of everything: Beale Street, the church, the army, Hollywood, Las Vegas, and something from a poor street kid.

Elvis quickly realized the importance of style in the society he lived, as he remarked that: “In a tuxedo, I’m a star. In regular clothes, I’m nobody.”

“It’s not how much you have that makes people look up to you.”

Elvis’ songs

Elvis’ songs were special not only because he wrote them himself and he had a unique way of expressing himself, but also because he felt his songs body and soul, he absolutely believed in them. “I’m never going to record another song I don’t believe in.”

A distinctive feature of Elvis before every concert was the phrase that he used to say and took courage from: “Well, that’s all right mama, that’s all right for you.”

“Make this fire in my soul dear, forever burn”

His military service

In the prime of his career, in 1957, Elvis was called to report to the American army in order to carry out the duties of his military service for two whole years. It certainly was too crucial a period to stay away from publicity, but he saw it as a break and as an opportunity to give to his country even little of what it had offered to him.

Joining the army, he said: “Every able – bodied American boy should go into the service and I’m an able – bodied American boy,Elvis and military service so why not?”.

Of course, due to his status he had the opportunity to keep his sideburns and his hair, but he didn’t want to differ from the others for the first time in his life.

The same year, one more tragedy happened, that changed his life once again: the death of his mother. The loss and shock that hit the family were devastating. The house was empty and every time Elvis came back to it, he had no one to speak to and no one to hug. Everything reminded of her and this exactly was what made this place so beautiful and sad at the same time.

“One night of sin is what I’m now paying for.”

Elvis once again felt remorse. Remorse for the little time he used to see her over the last years, remorse for not taking care of her as much as he should. He missed the love of his mum and he knew that nobody could ever replace her.

A true love that had no place in the superficial friendships of the last years. A love without interest. The doom of his mother was something more than this.

Some time later, he was transferred to Germany, from where he was discharged in 1960, giving the money that he got from there to charities.

“What’s the good of reaching 90, if you waste 89?” 

The woman of his life

During his service in Germany, Elvis met the 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu. At that time, he was 24 years old. This acquaintance was different. After the death of his mother, Elvis might have been searching for a substitute in another woman, who would look like his mother and would love him like her.

Elvis and Priscilla fell in love and he gave everything to make her happy. He was romantic and protective towards her. The only difference that sometimes caused problems was the big difference in age. Priscilla was still a kid, while Elvis had become a man.

Despite her young age, she always tried to protect Elvis and their relationship, and she would never give answers concerning him to strangers.

Priscilla had recently lost her father and she saw in Elvis a substitute, a guardian angel, a protector. For the first time Elvis felt that he could trust a woman after his mother. He spoke to her about his thoughts, his fears, his mother and his love towards her, his career and finally the pressure to fulfill the others’ expectations.

“You’re so square, baby, I don’t care.”

Priscilla tried everything to keep her relationship with Elvis. In the morning she went to school, at night she became Elvis’ girlfriend. Her double life was very tiring, so Elvis offered her pills (Dexedrine), which were the ones that he also used to take all the time so that his body would not be exhausted. Priscilla had never taken those pills and she was worried about Elvis’ use.

Elvis really loved Priscilla. He had finally found what he had always been looking for in a woman: she was timid, quiet, non-smoker and taciturn. Nevertheless, a sex symbol probably wasn’t able to cut his bad habits, resulting in cheating his Priscilla several times. Even though she knew it, she accepted it because she loved him.

Her sadness was more a result of the requirements Elvis had regarding her. We shouldn’t forget that it was about a 14-year-old young girl, who should have been as modest as possible, totally unassertive and follow Elvis’ directions faithfully, so that she could stay by his side.

Time had passed and Elvis had to return to his country, without Priscilla. The only thing that was left now was his uniform and the hope to meet again.

She was disappointed and she had to get used to Elvis’ negligence. They hardly ever communicated. The only thing they did was that she was sending letters to him and he was sending money to her.

After three whole years of distance relationship, Elvis decided to bring his girlfriend to Graceland in 1963. This happening didn’t go unnoticed by the social media of Memphis, since nobody had met her until then. At Elvis’ side, Priscilla learnt the importance of styling and generally she developed into a fine lady, who underwent a lot of pressure, though, for now she belonged publicly to the sexiest man of her time.

But his habits and the scandals involving him and other women irritated Priscilla. In 1967, Priscilla and Elvis got married in absolute secrecy in Las Vegas. This would surely disappoint many women, but it did not bother him. Some time later, Priscilla got pregnant and gave birth to the daughter of Elvis, named Lisa Marie.

“Do what’s right for you, as long as I don’t hurt no one.”

Elvis Presley’s last years

During the last years of his career, Elvis continued starring in movies and releasing record-breaking songs. In 1968, he even used toElvis and his last years appear in a particular channel which played his music continuously.

One year before, Presley had broken up with his then wife, which hit him very hard. Successful now, but alone, Elvis started becoming peculiarly distant and constantly gaining weight, even though when he was younger he used to take care of his body by exercising daily.

“I have much more money than I could spend, I have thousands of fans out there and many people saying that they are my friends. However, I am the saddest young man you have ever seen…”

“I don’t want to be a tiger, tigers play too rough. I don’t want to be a lion, cause lions ain’t the kind you love up.”

Elvis’ death

Elvis suffered from chronic fatigue, resulting in him taking several pills per day in order to stay awake. The pills gave him energy, but gradually destroyed his body without him realizing it. His audience became aware of his mental and physical decline, because of his poor performance on stage. He had lost his dignity, he was not himself and he was exhausted mentally and physically. He mentioned: “We pay the price for fame with our nerves.”

His health deteriorated considerably. Elvis suffered from coronary heart disease, hypertension, had bad living habits and extreme lifestyle. Eventually, Elvis Presley, when he was only 42 years old, breathed his last on August 16, 1977 due to heart failure, in the bathroom of his home in Memphis. The cause: drug overdose. He was buried in Graceland, close to the graves of his mother and father. Hundreds of people he knew and strangers attended his funeral to honor him. Everything hushed, like time had stopped.

Years later, he remains a legend and he is still successful. So, what would he say if he knew that? Maybe then he would have found the love he was looking for in the honor that he is given even nowadays.

“I’ve spent a life time waiting for the right time, now that you’re near, the time is here at last.” 

Elvis Presley – a wonderful person

A handsome and special man, who loved his mother, put on mascara and sang like an angel. He always looked happy, but only he knew if he really was. And what really made Elvis unique? Certainly not his perfection, but his humanity and simplicity instead.

Elvis a wonderful personToday, he is linked to a stylistic nickname for a particular kind of clothing, life and behavior. For sure, his brother would have been very proud of him.

Elvis managed to prove that it is possible to create your own world, simply relying on style, beliefs, talent and love! He inspired singers from many parts of the world to make their own songs based on his music.

“When I was a child, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies and I was the hero in every movie.” In fact, Elvis made it to become the hero of his own life and to fill many hearts with love. A love that he may never have received himself.

“When I first saw you with your smile so tender, my heart was captured, my soul surrendered.”

Facts about Elvis

  • Elvis had the famous crooked smile
  • His movements with his pelvis gave him the nickname “Elvis, the pelvis”
  • He usually wore jumpsuits and white sequined costumes with rhinestones
  • He had a deep and powerful voice with southern accent
  • The back of his head was often oily
  • He was known to his friends and his audience for his exceptionally kind and generous personality
  • At some point in his life he weighed 113 kg
  • In the last year of his life, doctors gave him about 10,000 pills
  • He signed his autographs on peculiar spots of his female fans, like “Elvis” on the left breast and “Presley” on the right one
  • He hated fish, and he didn’t even let his daughter, Lisa Marie, eat it
  • He enjoyed smoking slim German cigarettes
  • He dyed his hair, so that it looked darker on television
  • He used to dye his eyelashes too, which caused health problems later
  • He spoke with a slight stutter
  • His daughter got married later to the well-known to everyone Michael Jackson
  • He was a nominee for 14 Grammy awards, winning 3 times

Quotes of Elvis Presley

Below, you will be able to be inspired by Elvis Presley’s greatest quotes:

Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.
The army teaches boys to think like men.
It’s human nature to gripe, but I’m going ahead and doing the best I can.
Until we meet again, may God bless you as he has blessed me.
I’m not trying to be sexy. It’s just my way of expressing myself when I move around.
From the time I was a kid, I always knew something was going to happen to me. Didn’t know exactly what.
That’s why I hate to get started in these jam sessions. I’m always the last one to leave.
Those people in New York are not gonna change me none.
I like to sing ballads the way Eddie Fisher does and the way Perry Como does. But the way I’m singing now is what makes the money.
I’ve never written a song in my life. It’s all a big hoax.
Just because I managed to do a little something, I don’t want anyone back home to think I got the big head.
My movements, ma’am, are all leg movements. I don’t do nothing with my body.
I think I have something tonight that’s not quite correct for evening wear. Blue suede shoes.
The colored folks been singing it and playing it just like I’m doin’ now, man, for more years than I know. I got it from them.
I’m no hillbilly singer.
I’m strictly for Stevenson. I don’t dig the intellectual bit, but I’m telling you, man, he knows the most.
I was an overnight sensation.
When I got outta High School I was driving a truck. I was just a poor boy from Memphis, Memphis.
I’ve been getting some bad publicity – but you got to expect that.
They put me on television. And the whole thing broke loose. It was wild, I tell ya for sure.
I like entertaining people. I really miss it.
I was an only child, and Mother was always right with me all my life. I used to get very angry at her when I was growing up-it’s a natural thing.
I’ve tried to lead a straight, clean life, not set any kind of a bad example.
I’ll never make it, it will never happen, because they’re never going to hear me ’cause they’re screaming all the time.
I’ll never feel comfortable taking a strong drink, and I’ll never feel easy smoking a cigarette. I just don’t think those things are right for me.
Man that record came out and was real big in Memphis. They started playing it, and it got real big. Don’t know why-the lyrics had no meaning.
I’m trying to keep a level head. You have to be careful out in the world. It’s so easy to get turned.
I miss my singing career very much.
I’ll stay in Memphis.
After a hard day of basic training, you could eat a rattlesnake.
I learned how important it is to entertain people and give them a reason to come and watch you play.
Every time I think that I’m getting old, and gradually going to the grave, something else happens.
I’m so nervous. I’ve always been nervous, ever since I was a kid.
I don’t think I’m bad for people. If I did think I was bad for people, I would go back to driving a truck, and I really mean this.
When I was a boy, I always saw myself as a hero in comic books and in movies. I grew up believing this dream.
I hope I didn’t bore you too much with my life story.
The closest I ever came to getting married was just before I started singing. In fact, my first record saved my neck.
I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to.
More than anything else, I want the folks back at home to think right of me.
A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It’s my favorite part of the business, live concerts.
Man, I really like Vegas.
The Lord can give, and the Lord can take away. I might be herding sheep next year.
I was training to be an electrician. I suppose I got wired the wrong way round somewhere along the line.
I have no use for bodyguards, but I have very specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants.
Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me. I can’t help it.’
I never expected to be anybody important.


If you want to see the entire collection of Elvis Presley’s quotes, please click the link below:

Elvis Presley Quotes Collection

This was an analysis of Elvis Presley’s personality and life. If you want to find out which category of personality you belong to or what kind of Motto suits you, click the link below:

Motto Personality Test by Motto Cosmos



TOP 20
TOP 20
Baby, Let’s Play House 5 1955
I Forgot to Remember to Forget 1 1955
Mystery Train 11 1955
Heartbreak Hotel 1 1 5 1956
I Was the One 19 8 1956
Blue Suede Shoes 20 1956
I Want You, I Need You, I Love You 1 1 10 1956
My Baby Left Me 13 1956
Don’t Be Cruel 1 1 1 1956
Hound Dog 1 1 1 1956
Love Me Tender 1 3 4 1956
Anyway You Want Me (That’s How I Will Be) 20 1956
When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again 19 1956
Love Me 2 10 7 1956
Too Much 1 3 7 1957
Playing for Keeps 8 1957
All Shook Up 1 1 1 1957
(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear 1 1 1 1957
Loving You 20 15 1957
Mean Woman Blues 11 1957
Jailhouse Rock 1 1 1 1957
Treat Me Nice 18 11 1957
(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care 4 1957
Don’t 1 2 4 1957
I Beg of You 8 4 4 1957
Wear My Ring Around Your Neck 2 3 7 1958
Doncha’ Think It’s Time 15 1958
Hard Headed Woman 1 2 2 1958
Don’t Ask Me Why 2 1958
One Night 4 10 1958
I Got Stung 8 1958
(Now and Then There’s) A Fool Such As I 2 16 1959
I Need Your Love Tonight 4 1959
A Big Hunk O’ Love 1 10 1959
My Wish Came True 12 15 1959
Stuck On You 1 6 1960
Fame and Fortune 17 1960
It’s Now or Never 1 7 1960
Are You Lonesome Tonight 1 3 1960
I Gotta Know 20 1960
Surrender 1 1961
Flaming Star 14 1961
I Feel So Bad 5 15 1961
Little Sister 5 1961
(Marie’s the Name of) His Latest Flame 4 1961
Can’t Help Falling in Love 2 1961
Good Luck Charm 1 1962
Follow That Dream 15 1962
She’s Not You 5 13 1962
Return to Sender 2 5 1962
One Broken Heart for Sale 11 21 1963
(You’re the) Devil in Disguise 3 9 1963
Boss Nova Baby 8 20 1964
Kissin’ Cousins 12 1963
Such a Night 16 1964
Ask Me 12 1964
Ain’t That Lovin’ You, Baby 16 1964
Crying in the Chapel 3 1965
(Such an) Easy Question 11 1965
I’m Yours 11 1965
Puppet on a String 14 1965
Love Letters 19 1966
If I Can Dream 12 1968
In the Ghetto 3 1969
Suspicious Minds 1 1969
Don’t Cry Daddy 6 13 1969
Rubberneckin’ 6 1969
Kentucky Rain 16 1970
The Wonder of You 9 1970
Mama Liked the Roses 9 1970
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me 11 1970
Patch It Up 11 1970
There Goes My Everything 9 1971
Burning Love 2 1972
Separate Ways 20 1972
Always on My Mind 16 1972
Streamroller Blues 17 1973
Fool 17 1973
I’ve Got a Thing About You, Baby 4 1974
If You Talk in Your Sleep 17 1973
Help Me 6 1974
Promised Land 14 1974
It’s Midnight 9 1974
My Boy 20 14 1975
T-R-O-U-B-L-E 11 1975
Hurt 6 1976
Moody Blue 1 1976
Way Down 18 1 1977
My Way 2 1977
Unchained Melody 6 1978
Are You Sincere 10 1979
There’s A Honky Tonk Angel (Who Will Take Me Back In) 6 1979
Guitar Man 1 1981
Lovin’ Arms 8 1981




Elvis Presley 1 1956
Elvis 1 1956
Peace in the Valley (EP) 3 1957
Loving You 1 1957
Just for You (EP) 16 1957
Elvis Christmas Album 1 1957
Elvis Golden Records 3 1958
King Creole 2 1958
For LP Fans Only 19 1959
Elvis is Back! 2 1960
GI Blues 1 1960
His Hand in Mine 13 1961
Something for Everybody 1 1961
Blue Hawaii 1 1961
Pot Luck 4 1962
Girls! Girls! Girls! 3 1962
It Happened at the World’s Fair 4 1963
Elvis’ Golden Records, Volume 3 3 1963
Fun in Acapulco 3 1963
Kissin’ Cousins 6 1964
Roustabout 1 1964
Girl Happy 8 1965
Elvis for Everyone! 10 1965
Harum Scarum 8 1965
Frankie and Johnny 20 1966
Paradise, Hawaiian Style 15 1966
Spinout 18 1966
How Great Thou Art 18 1967
Elvis’ TV Special 8 1968
From Elvis in Memphis 13 1969
From Memphis to Vegas, From Vegas to Memphis (2-disc set) 12 1969
On Stage- February 1970 13 1970
Elvis Country 12 1971
Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden 11 1972
Elvis – Aloha from Hawaii, via Satellite (2-disc set) 1 1973
Moody Blue 3 1977
Elvis in Concert (2-disc set) 5 1977
ELV1S 30 #1 Hits 1 2002
Elvis 2nd to None 3 2003


Filmography of Elvis Presley

  • Change of Habit (1969)
  • The Trouble with Girls (1969)
  • Charro! (1969)
  • Live a Little, Love a Little (1968)
  • Speedway (1968)
  • Stay Away, Joe (1968)
  • Clambake (1967)
  • Double Trouble (1967)
  • Easy Come, Easy Go (1967)
  • Spinout (1966)
  • Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966)
  • Frankie and Johnny (1966)
  • Harum Scarum (1965)
  • Tickle Me (1965)
  • Girl Happy (1965)
  • Roustabout (1964)
  • Viva Las Vegas (1964)
  • Kissin’ Cousins (1964)
  • Fun in Acapulco (1963)
  • It Happened at the World’s Fair (1963)
  • Girls! Girls! Girls! (1962)
  • Kid Galahad (1962)
  • Follow That Dream (1962)
  • Blue Hawaii (1961)
  • Wild in the Country (1961)
  • Flaming Star (1960)
  • I. Blues (1960)
  • King Creole (1958)
  • Jailhouse Rock (1957)
  • Loving You (1957)
  • Love Me Tender (1956)

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Personality of Marilyn Monroe				    	    	    	    	    	    	    	    	    	    	5/5							(14)

Personality of Marilyn Monroe 5/5 (14)

Personality of Marilyn Monroe

“Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn’t that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you”

She was a woman that no one could resist her sensuality.  She was a dynamic sensual woman, full of charm – a woman who could be admired by men and envied by women, no matter where she went. She was an amazing woman with immense elegance who devoted time to her appearance, showed off her beauty while she could win the heart of people around her and charm them due to her innocence, her geniality and her affection.

She used to be a needy and aching little girl who went down as a sex symbol due to her glamorous style, her white complexion, her blond hair, her sexy way of talking to others with a voice that was a mixture of baby-talk and cat’s purr and a mole on the left side of her face. While most people knew Marilyn Monroe by her stage name, the star was actually born Norma Jeane Mortenson and baptized Norma Jeane Baker.

“Millions of people live their entire lives without finding themselves. But it is something I must do.”


Marilyn Monroe- A melancholic smile


Sometimes being dressed in a bustier with ostrich feathers and a huge shiny necklace or in a flamboyant outfit like a corduroy peddle-pusher suit or in her favorite white terry-cloth robe, she used to draw the attention of other people on her.  She was a woman who seemed to be fiery, confident and charismatic who could charm other people with her unpretentious nature and her melancholic gaze.

It was a deep gaze that had less to do with a showbiz star, with money and glamour, a constant smile that could perfectly conceal her deepest desires, the most tragic events of her life, the uncontrollable grief, the rejection and the melancholy she felt.

Besides, a proverb says “If a person laughs too much, even at stupid things, this person is lonely deep inside and suffers more.”

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

Marilyn Monroe – Her difficult childhood


Norma Jean Baker, better known as Marilyn Monroe, experienced a disrupted, loveless childhood that included two years at an orphanage.

Marilyn Monroe kidThe life story of Marilyn Monroe was surrounded by mysteries, omissions, and misunderstandings, since her birth. Marilyn Monroe was born on June 01, 1926, at the Los Angeles County Hospital. She grew up in a quite peculiar family environment. The childhood of Marilyn Monroe cannot be called dull or careless. Because of the unstable mental health and financial instability of her mother, Norma spent the most of her childhood in orphanages and foster families.

When Norma Jean was seven years old, her mother, Gladys Baker Mortenson, was hospitalized after being diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, a severe mental condition. So, since her father was absent and her mother was mentally unstable, Norma Jean was left in a series of foster homes and the Los Angeles Orphans’ Home Society. The constant move from one foster home to another resulted in Norma’s “sketchy” educational background. Marilyn had to lose her innocence and deal with the hardships of life.

She spent her childhood years being away from her real family and living with poor foster parents. Despite the fact that foster parents had treated in a decent way, these people had their own children too and this fact had an impact on the living conditions of the family, especially on the economic aspect of them.

When she was only seven years old, Marilyn, being a child placed in the care of a family, a foster child, she had to work as a cleaner and, later on, as a worker in a parachute factory in order to help her foster parents. The fact that she was rejected by her real parents was a big shock in her childhood; she never recovered from the damage of this rejection that had a negative impact on her life in the future.

“You know, most people really don’t know me.”


Marilyn Monroe – A child who has never been loved


Love! One word, thousands of feelings, thoughts, names, moments…! Every person has the right to love and be loved; it’s a feeling that is unquestionably priceless, especially for a child. Unfortunately, the fate of some children deals them a bad hand. There are children who grow up feeling that they are not the leading figures, the stars, in their own lives, but they end up playing the role of supporting figures, the role of background actors.  There are mothers who never stood by their children and fathers who treat their own children with hostility.

Marilyn was one of these children: neglected, abandoned, stranded, feeling as she was the bottom of the barrel, wilted, without maternal love, care and protection. Besides, what does a child ask for? A child needs someone who could be supportive and helpful. A child needs someone who could say “I love you”.

The lack of maternal love arose a wave of feelings of emptiness, had a negative impact on the healthy growth and it was the deciding factor for the choices she made in her life which are determined by the unstable love affairs and friendly relationships, her low self-esteem and her vulnerable mental condition.

Children, who grow up without love and care, also learn neither to appreciate and nor to respect themselves. They consider themselves as worthless people and they believe that they do not deserve being appreciated and loved by their immediate family and their inner circle.  So did Marilyn. Looking carefully her life and her behavior, we realize that her whole stance in life was due to the lack of parental love during her childhood.

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

Marilyn Monroe, being a defenseless child

Marilyn Monroe early yearsMarilyn grew up without really knowing who her biological father was.  She had no father to help raise her, to protect her, or to love her. Though her birth certificate identifies her father as “Edward Mortenson,” who was Gladys’s second husband, most biographers agree that Norma Jeane’s father was actually C. Stanley Gifford who also worked at Consolidated Film Industries, but he abandoned Gladys after being told of her pregnancy.

When Marilyn was a teenager, she tried to speak with him by telephone but he hung up. Later on, Marilyn supposedly attempted tried to contact him again, this time in person. More than once, she tried to meet him but he refused to see her. A few years later, he was killed in a car accident.

So, Marilyn was completely rejected by her parents, without any psychological support and mental calm, showing signs of wrong upbringing and doing permanent and irreparable damage to her soul.


“I was never used to being happy, so that wasn’t something I ever took for granted. You see, I was brought up differently from the average American child because the average child is brought up expecting to be happy.”


A photo: her only hope…


The only thing Marilyn had from her father was a photo of him. However, for Marilyn, it was something more than a simple photo; it was a part of herself, a piece of her identity. She used to look at this photo, dreaming of how this man would be, if she took after him and what would happen if he had met her; would he change his mind about her? Would he love her? What was her fault? Why she did not deserve his love?

Marilyn Monroe was just a girl that all she wanted in life was love. She used to say: “That was my first happy time, finding my father’s picture. And every time I remembered how he smiled and how his hat was tipped I felt warm and not alone.” She was dreaming that this man in the photo would be waiting for her at home every time she was coming back from school, he would give her a big hug and he would kiss her. That was something that could make her happy. She loved something soulless and imaginary.


“Millions of people live their entire lives without finding themselves. But, it is something I must do.”


Mothers who do not want to love their children or mothers who cannot love their children?


On the other hand, her mother was paying money in order to be away from her… or this  was what Marilyn thought her mother was doing. It probably happened for the best since her mother was promiscuous as she was always switching between sexual partners who were not always a good example for a little girl or a teenager. She was an extremely attractive woman who lost control. Due to serious mental health issues, she lost her job and spent almost her entire life being in and out of psychiatric hospitals.

Marilyn was a girl who was rejected in every way. She ended up being in and out of orphanages, changing – nine times – the “family” environment she was placed in. Ending up in as foster family was the best thing she could get.


“We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.”


Marilyn Monroe and her relations with other people of her age


Being scruffy and untidy, dressed in plain clothes, made Marilyn look different from the other children of her age, especially during the school years when she was attached by her classmates.

She has never beaten someone up. She has neither insulted other people. As a matter of fact, she could not get away with it…  She was by herself and … they were too many of them!  She was bearing with them. She could not respond to their attacks; she could not backlash. She had to live with the fact that she would be beset by these people as she did not want to let other people down, especially the ones in her life, like her foster parents.

Without her parents, without any friends, she was trapped in a vicious circle and she could not put everything behind her and get on in life.


“I am trying to find myself. Sometimes that’s not easy.”



Marilyn’s good looks being considered as a curse and a blessing as well


She was fully grown, in appearance, compared with the girls of her age; she was more feminine. When she was nine years old, she was sexually abused by her foster father. This tragic event left her insecure about herself making her hate her own body.

Beautiful Marilyn MonroeDuring adolescence, Marilyn realized that boys and girls were looking at her differently. She  was flattered being noticed by the opposite sex. However, certain obscene words, such as “slut” or “lush” could be heard against her in the schoolyard. She used to say that there were “girls frightened of losing her boyfriends because I was more attractive!”

Despite the obscene words against her by girls of her age, something changed inside her, lending her an air of self-confidence and self-respect. She felt as if there were two people trapped inside a body. “I was felt fool full of a strange feeling, as if I were two people. One of them was Norma Jean from the orphanage who belonged to nobody. The other was someone whose name I didn’t know. But she belonged to the ocean and the sky and the whole world.”

Suddenly, the humble little girl of next door, who was invisible and unobtrusive, was in the eye of things being admired by everyone. Suddenly, the little orphan with a mole on the right cheek had a name and an identity. Is it really what she wanted? At that moment she believed so, even though deep inside she was still a child…


“It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone – so far.”


Marilyn Monroe and her relationship with God


Marilyn hung in; she was not discouraged. She was always trying to find encouragement, to be given a hand. Besides the photo of her father which was hidden in her room, taking precious care of it and cherishing it like treasure, God had a significant role in her life. Everyone in her backyard was talking about God:

“Nearly everybody I knew talked about God. My best friend and Aunt Grace touched my cheek and said that HE loved me and watched over me. Remembering what Grace had said I lay in bed at night crying to myself. The only One who loved me and watched over me was Someone I couldn’t see or hear or touch. So I used to draw picture of God.”

Nevertheless, she believed in someone she could neither touch nor see. She was drawing pictures where God, as she was visualizing him, was the leading character and she was feeling close to someone loved her as she was, despite her feelings, her thoughts…  She was feeling close to someone who could embrace her and protect her. That was what she was told about God.


“Someday I want to have children and give them all the love I never had.”


The consequences of rejection


Could a photo and some drawings suffice to relieve her pain and sorrow? Definitely, not! Since Marilyn was a child, she felt that she was different from other girls; she was never been loved and she started to love hope that there is love.

She tried to fill the emotional void she experienced during the first years of her life with wrong relationships, with drinking or substances, or even with different lovers. She was always looking for reassurance by others being based on her beauty, her abilities and on success.

The lack of the reassurance that Marilyn was trying to get from her parents, without any response, in order to be strong enough and build a healthy personality, made her feel insecure and she was feeling overwhelmed by grief to a point where her everyday life was affected.

On that issue, she pointed out that: it was a while I lay on this ocean bottom, figuring never to see daylight again, that I fell in love for the first time. I’d not only ever been in love, but I hadn’t ever dreamed of it. It was something that existed for other people – people who had families and home. But when I lay on this ocean bottom it hit me, hoisted me into the air, and stood me on my feet looking at the world as if I’d just been born.”

Besides that, her desire to be taken care of and the lack of being taken care of made her have bad feelings. She had thought to hurt herself, thinking that she did not deserve being a child, she did not deserve being happy, she did not deserve being alive or living… She believed or other people made her believe that this was the case… She had suicidal thoughts which were more and more intense over the time. However, something stopped her from committing suicide. Was it the mystery man in the photo or God that prevented her from committing suicide?

“We should all start to live before we get too old.”


Marilyn Monroe – a girl with big dreams…


There were, however, moments of joy and happiness in her life … However sad it sounded, there were moments of joy and happiness TOO, while every child, every human being, should only be surrounded and overwhelmed by this feeling.

Marilyn Monroe Big DreamsMarilyn was a smart child. Her IQ was reaching to 168; we would say that she was a genius. She liked music, dancing and acting. Shewas dreaming to be a great actress who could grow into being recognized and admired by everyone. She was right and that was what happened, one way or another. The years were passing by and Marilyn was growing into being a beautiful young woman who was learning to live through life’s difficulties. Nevertheless, rejection and lack of love were forever stamped on her soul.

Early on in her life, she seemed to be very assertive and tough young woman. She could not take pity on any other person and she did not let anyone approach her. Even a light touching, a tickling, of her best friend was something strange to her. In the same way she wore her clothes in the morning, she put this fake smile on her lips starting her day.


“Sometimes I feel my whole life has been one big rejection.”


What is love?


As we pointed out above, when Norma Jeane Baker was 8 years old, she saw a picture of her father for the first time. This photo became a totem for her — a symbol of the fatherly love she would spend her life desperately, but fruitlessly, seeking, even after she became the world’s most glamorous movie star, Marilyn Monroe.

  At age 8, for the first time, Marilyn felt a strange and beautiful feeling that grown-ups called love. Was she in love for the first time or just a joy due to the fact that someone was caring about her? Neither did she know exactly what she felt. Whatever it was, it seemed that something aroused her feelings.

Later, at age 15, she was forced to marry, for a first time, to an eligible 20-year-old man named Jimmy Daugherty. She wasn’t in love with him when they first maried and truthfully, the same can be said about him. They may have grown to care for each other but sexual chemistry (certainly for Marilyn) and romantic love were absent in this marriage.

They did not talk to each other.  They did not have many things in common. He used to play cards and she used to go outside to play with the neighborhood children. However, marriage to Dougherty was preferable to returning to the orphanage and that determined her status as a married woman instead of an orphan. After a while, she filed for divorce. Later on, she got married to the baseball player Joe DiMaggio for a nine-month period and, after their divorce, she got married to the famous playwright Arthur Miller.

Was she in love? She believed so, when she met a tall man who was wearing glasses. He was not one of her showbiz’s acquaintances or one of those who wanted others see him at her side.  He was just a musician who, being unsophisticated, unpretentious and optimistic, managed to change her way of thinking.

For the first time in her life, Marilyn felt she found the remedy, the cure, to heal the trauma she experienced over the years and reclaim her life. When she met him, she realized why she was so unhappy, so miserable in her life: she imagined herself as someone who did not deserve to be loved, as if she had an unloving heart. She had never loved herself; how could she ask from others to love her??


“I like to feel blonde all over.”


The need to rebuild her life


Marilyn had pledged to provide her own child anything she was deprived of when she would have her own child. She would protect her child, support it, stand by it and solve any problems that were never been solved for her.

She would do all that without lying. She would do all that without lying for Santa, or for the kindness of other people helping one another. She would teach her child to stand on its own feet, to rise to the occasion, to wisely deal with any difficulties of life, always with the help and love of its mother.


“I am alone; I am always alone no matter what.”


The rising and the fall of a shining star


At age 19, Marilyn Monroe finally took a step forward in order to fulfill her dream. After having moved to Hollywood, she started her modeling career. As a model, she posed for the most eminent photographers. Although her finances were not so good, her smile was real. She did not care about money. The only thing worth working for was being a successful actor who could attract more and more attention, especially for her talent.

Marilyn Monroe angelSoon, working for companies such as the magazine Photoplay και the Twentieth Century Fox was the next professional step in her career.

In 1954, she got married to a baseball player, Joe Di Maggio, who was different than other men. He wasn’t handsome.  He was lanky and spindly. He didn’t walk, he lumbered. He did not try to impress others. He didn’t like her career as he thought women should be at home as he wanted his wife to raise their children, to cook and clean, and it had always been that way in the DiMaggio family.  Nevertheless, he wanted his wife be modest and elegant. He wanted her be a traditional, stay-at-home housewife.
He was against publicity and Marilyn tried to change her style for his sake in order to please him, wearing long dresses and high neck clothes. Despite her efforts, Joe was getting insanely jealous of every man that Monroe met and began to beat her. Even then, she could not settle in this way of life. Marilyn lost her patience after nine months of their marriage, and in the same year, the couple divorced.


“It’s often just enough to be with someone. I don’t need to touch them. Not even talk. A feeling passes between you both. You ‘re not alone.”


Since her divorce from Joe, her life was dominated by the curse of loneliness. She was alone, even in a colourful city of millions of people.

Marilyn Monroe featured in B movies and later on she starred in movies such as All about Eve (1950), Niagara (1953) and Gentlemen prefer blondes (1953) launching her as a sex symbol superstar. In 1955, she starred in The seven year itch and after this film she wanted serious acting to replace the sexpot image and she decided to go to New York’s Actors Studio for acting seminars.  Then, she created her own studio, Marilyn Monroe Productions, and she worked one more time with Twentieth Century Fox.

Marilyn Monroe got married for a third time with the famous playwright Arthur Miller. They made together films such as The Prince and the Showgirl, Some Like It Hot and The Misfits which proved to be the final film for the legendary Clark Gable, who died later that year of a heart attack. The film was popular with critics and the public alike.

 In 1961, Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller were separated, soon after less than around 5 years of relationship.

“Dreaming about being an actress, is more exciting then being one.”


The dirty life of Hollywood


Being a young, blond, charming and feminine woman, she got in touch with companies looking for such ladies, either as models or for posing for naked photos in calendars, or for short roles in movies.  Marilyn Monroe did not miss any opportunity, moving slowly to the top in showbiz.

However, there were strange and smutty rendezvous with photographers, screenwriters, and directors of companies who tried to seduce her and tempt her in exchange for her body or even marriage with her. The smutty approaches and sexual advances had little to do with what Marilyn thought Hollywood was. Values and talent had no significance, only the appearance had some significance.

“A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing.”


Marilyn Monroe – A woman under pressure and criticism


Marlyn Monroe criticismShe did not care about money; she did not care about sex either. She wanted to get as much money as she needed to live. What was essential for Monroe was to become an even better actress, to learn things, to change, to improve her talent and acting. By reading books and by attending acting, dancing and singings courses and seminars, she thought she would one day get at the top because of her talent and not because of her appearance.  Did she deserve to be among such great personalities? What did her personality look like? Who was she?  She thought that no matter what she did, she was hot satisfied with her work; on the contrary, she was hard and critical to herself.

Any dismissal could make her doubt about herself and her unsuccessful attempts and failures as an actress were a serious blow to her already damaged personality.


“The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.”


Marilyn Monroe – a woman in scandals


To some, Marilyn Monroe was a goddess. To others, she was little more than a bimbo. But deep down, Marilyn was a desperate woman trying to escape the tragedy of her childhood. She built a career like no actress before her, thriving on scandals… until they would eventually overwhelm and destroy her.

Τhe fight against alcohol


At nights, before going to bed, she used to take a bottle of whiskey with her.  She was taking comfort in it and it was helping her to forget everything she had gone through: pain, distress, grief, sorrow and whinge. Drinking was just the beginning as after that there were other harmful substances that were helping her come out of the vicious circle she was trapped in but they were creating more and more mental and physical problems. The substance abuse could not be hidden for a long time.


“It is wonderful to have someone praise you, to be desired.”


Love affair stories

Marilyn Monroe scandals

Marilyn Monroe, without a doubt, had a long history of terrible relationships. Many blame the men she happened to choose, while others blame Marilyn herself, but in the end, she took a hard hit by love. She definitely was a troubled individual, so a lifetime of depression and unwanted emotions was inevitable.

Marilyn became the most known sex symbol in the country and even the president of the United States couldn’t resist her. In 1962, dressed in a sheer, flesh-coloured, rhinestone dress and having a playful look, Marilyn appeared before President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”. Her look, her body position and her breathy, sensuous voice made other people think that these two people had an affair. She also had an affair with JFK’s brother, Robert Kennedy.

There were rumors that Robert Kennedy was brought in to deflect Marilyn’s attention away from his brother – also rumors that shortly before her death she was pregnant with his child.  It was presumed that Marilyn was too much of a risk to the Kennedy name and so was phased out of the president’s life.  Yet is there any truth to these rumors? She neither confirmed nor denied these rumors…

“If I’m a star, then the people made me a star.”


Mr. Perfect for Marilyn Monroe…


Like all the girls of her age, Marilyn imagined the prince of her dreams and the man who could make her happy. Even in choosing the perfect mate for her, Marilyn made the difference.

She never liked men in good teeth. Does it seem strange to you? While most of people concentrate on a beautiful smile and good teeth, she thought that a shiny smile would be repulsive for her…

There was an explanation for her stance on this issue. She had a firm belief that a man with perfect teeth would not have a perfect character. She believed that these men who focus on physical appearance and perfection, giving emphasis to something that is noticed at a glance, so that they can hide their inner imperfections. Marilyn was so confident that this was a case that she consciously rejected this type of men.

She had even noticed that people wearing glamorous clothes and having a stylized smile could automatically turn into great people. How important they really were, she’d often noticed it at the party they were invited to. Then, she could realize that that the stars she had worshiped as a child were not always so perfect with exceptional personalities, but they were colorless, or even frightened, timorous and daunted.

“I learned to walk as a baby, and I haven’t had a lesson since.”

Moreover, she preferred dealing with men who were ‘hunters’. These men know what they want; they focus their eyes on women and they do all they can, sparing no effort in order to keep the woman who have at their side. Was this attitude selfish? Was it just a way of dealing with her, something that no one did in the past?

Marilyn Monroe happinessMoreover, Marilyn used to give preference to reserved, close-mouthed, modest and low-profile men. She believed they were more polite and gentlemen, they were almost never angry, and they did not criticize their wives. In the past, she used to hang about with people who were talking about themselves, their cleverness and money and sex were on their minds. When she was asked once “Which would you rather marry – a poor boy you loved or a rich man you liked?” she answered that money did not matter. Real happiness lies in love.  And love is everywhere; love is rare and unique.

She had said once: “The real lover is the man who can thrill you by kissing your forehead or smiling into your eyes or just staring into space.”


“I have always had a talent for irritating women since I was fourteen.”


Marilyn Monroe and other women


Marilyn had an unconventional connection with the female sex. It was a story of love and hate.  She believed in women’s power and in the crafty mind of a woman, but she did not believe in friendship among women. Friendship among women is based on lies and “superficial” words and women try to beat or undermine one another.

Anyway, as regards Marilyn, there were women who worshiped her and women who hated her. These women hated her, not for her bad or mean character but because she was really standing out. She was dressed in a different manner; she was talking in a distinctive, accented and characteristic way and that was something that was perceived by all, women and men. As far as the women were concerned, Marilyn was a moving threat.

On the other hand, there were women who worshiped her. She admired women too besides the fact that there were certain women who were biased against her.

She loved women and, while she was reading certain books on acting, she run into the word “lesbian” and she asked herself if she had anything to do with it.

Over the years, she realized that besides the “sex symbol” title that was granted to her by millions of men worldwide, she was not comfortable with men and she was not sexually satisfied by men.

“Respect is one of life’s greatest treasures. I mean, what does it all add up to if you don’t have that?”

She started to experiment sexually with individuals of the same sex. There were scandals as Marilyn admitted to sexual encounters with big showbiz name such as the actresses Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Marlene Dietrich and Elizabeth Taylor, as well as with both her acting coaches, Natasha Lytess and Paula Strasberg.

The trauma of being rejected and not being loved throughout her childhood is reflected in Marilyn’s sexual orientation. Not knowing who she really is and what she really wants in life, she felt a desire to discover her real identity.  In Marilyn Monroe’s case, the need to discover her real identity and a craving for affection which was probably developed early on in life as she was moved around from foster parent to foster parent has brought her to a pass that made her not to enjoy her sex life with men and have relationships and sexual encounters with older individuals of the same sex in order to feel the affection she never had from her own mother.

“A career is born in public – talent in privacy.”


Marilyn Monroe: a two-faced woman


Despite the fact that she had a life in luxury and wealth, Marilyn was looking back on all the times she shared with her aunt queuing up for free food for hours and thinking about all these poor people who accommodated her from time to time.

She could remember the sounds and smells of poverty, the struggle and the difficult times and the willingness to fight for themselves in the look of the people she lived with.

 She could look back on a little girl whose name was Norma Jeane Mortenson and was wearing once the orphanage uniform; she could look back on this little girl who as walking for miles, in the rain or in the snow just because she did not have any money to buy a bus ticket.

Now, she had a lot of money and “friends” and she lost count and she lost control…

She was a two-faced woman, a woman living two lives into one soul as by changing her name she changed her life as well. No one remembers a little reserved, introverted girl whose name was Norma. Everyone admires Marilyn, who is seemingly dynamic, who attends the parties where all celebrities go in, who falls in love and flirts with other people. She was now known as an “offbeat” personality.

“I’ve been on a calendar, but I’ve never been on time.”


Shaping “Marilyn’s” personality


Over the years, something had changed inside her… She was admiring what other people used to admire on her: her nice body, her beautiful eyes, her blond hair, the mole on her cheek. Nevertheless, she had an intangible feeling that something was wrong.  Money meant nothing to her; friendships were insincere, fake, superficial… But the most important thing was that she could not express herself as she wanted, she could not do everything she could; she could not do her utmost to achieve her goals…

Her life was not complete; something was missing… She was very well aware of what was missing but she did not know how she could get it… Instead of being happy, she was depressed and desperate…

“Fame is like caviar, you know – it’s good to have caviar but not when you have it at every meal.”

She used to be a little girl deprived of love and her parents were emotionally unavailable. She was growing up with emotionally detached parents and she turned into a woman lacking self-confidence, trust, unable to set limits, unable to find her own identity and highly sensitive.

She was afraid. She was afraid to talk about her past, she was afraid to show what she really was. However, it was really jumping out at her that she was different from any other woman and she is unforgettable to this day. What were the strong features in her personality?

    • her innocence
    • her honesty
    • her capricious or fanciful quality
    • her kindness
    • her mistakes
    • her tough childhood have never failed to catch people’s attention.

These elements made her perfectly imperfect personality that was not reaching superficial glamour and perfection.  As she pointed out in the book entitled «A Life of the Actress», in 1993: “When you’re famous you kind of run into human nature in a raw kind of way. It stirs up envy, fame does. People you run into feel that, well, who does she think she is, Marilyn Monroe? They feel fame gives them some kind of privilege to walk up to you and say anything to you, of any kind of nature — and it won’t hurt your feelings — like it’s happening to your clothes not you.”

Marilyn was a very generous and loving girl; she was spending many hours in health care institutions, group homes and charities giving money for the people in need and offering her affection and love to the kids with mental problems. She offered her love even though she was deprived of that…


“Hollywood is a place where they‘ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”


What were the weak features in her personality?

Marilyn Monroe personalityMarilyn had bad social habits. She was always late and she used to stand other people up, even for one or two hours. The reason was not that she was spending more time in order to get ready for her meeting but she was doing that on purpose.

Absurdly, she was tickled to let other people waiting for her as she thought that it was great that people were waiting for her in order to meet her. It was exciting for her that people could spend hours somewhere in order to be with her for a few minutes… That was not the case when she was Norma. Not even her mother was willing to see her, to spend some time with her… Marilyn seemed to give vent to her frustrations of her childhood throughout her adult life…

However, that was not unnoticed by other people. They used to misunderstand her behavior as they thought that she wanted to make a grand entrance in a way that could make people notice her. It could be right but Norma wanted to feel that and Marilyn owed that to her…

“Fame doesn’t fulfill you. It warms you a bit, but that warmth is temporary.”


What were the most peculiar things about Marilyn Monroe


  • She used to refer to “Marilyn Monroe” in the third person mode. She used to add at the end of a phrase “Marilyn would say that.” She did that because she could never identify herself entirely with the personality of Marilyn. She probably did not want to…
  • She could never learn her lines by heart and she used to improvise…
  • She probably is the only person who changed so many names throughout her life. She was baptized Norma Jeane Baker, but the name on her birth certificate was Norma Jeane Mortenson. Later, when she married James Dougherty, she became Norma Jeane Dougherty. She used to sign papers as Jean Norman or Mona Monroe, she used to stay at hotels as Zelda Zonk and she was hospitalized as Faye Miller. The star didn’t change her name legally to Marilyn Monroe until 1956. When she married playwright Arthur Miller she liked to be called Marilyn Monroe Miller.
  • Marilyn married her second husband, baseball star Joe DiMaggio, in January 1954. She asked Joe to promise to leave flowers on her grave every week if she died before him. He later kept his promise. DiMaggio had roses delivered to her grave three times a week for 20 years.
  • She chose “Marilyn” by herself as she thought that she resembled an actress, Marilyn Miller, who died at the age of 37, before her time; Marilyn died at the age of 36. Was it something that happened by chance?
  • Marilyn did not have any children; her attempts to have a baby ended up in many miscarriages.
  • I’m sure you have heard of the song by Marilyn Monroe, “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” and by hearing this song you would think that Marilyn Monroe owned a lot of expensive diamond jewelry; actually that was not the case at all. She owned very little valuable jewelry. She did not like jewelry, especially diamonds. She avoided wearing jewelry and this was the reason she was buried without any jewelry…

“An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like a machine. A money machine.”


The unfair death of a tragic woman


Marilyn Monroe rising star“I am good, but not an angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.”- Marilyn Monroe

That was one of the most loved and true quotes of Marilyn.

In the early 1960s, her health began to deteriorate. She had alcohol abuse and drug addiction problems and she suffered from depression. Her substance abuse problems were the cause of her death at the age of 36.

On August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was found dead in the bedroom of her Brentwood home of a barbiturate overdose. At least, that was the official statement of the police. However, there are several conspiracy theories about why and how she died.  Her rumored close ties to the Kennedy family play a large role in these theories, along with Monroe’s history of mental illness and drug abuse. Anyway, there were several men connected with her one way or another: Robert F. Kennedy, John F Kennedy, labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa, Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana, the FBI, the CIA, or her psychiatrist Ralph Greenson. Her death was put down to “probable suicide” caused by a “self-administered overdose of sedative drugs”. That was all…

“What good am I? I can’t have kids. I can’t cook. I’ve been divorced three times. Who would want me?”

The movie scene and the publicity could never replace the love she was looking for. The filmgoers and the fans could not fill the gaps from her childhood. She spent a lifetime in superficial relationships, being alone, idolizing money… She spent a lifetime in a consumer society where people were viewed as expendable.

“The Most Advertised Girl in the World” died whinging for not having been loved, hugged and kissed by people who had real feelings for her. That was the most typical figure of a person in despair. She was a woman athirst for life. She was a girl who lived the American dream; being born into a lower class, she attained a happy way of living, reaching the top, as she was always dreaming. The substance of this dream was full of grief and she did not bring any peace, quiet and happiness in her soul…

“Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world.” Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, spent her childhood in various foster homes subject to abuse and neglect. From foster kid, to factory worker, to model, then to Hollywood sex symbol and actress Marilyn was the epitome of the American Dream. She displayed the perfect Cinderella story reinstating that the American dream was ultimately to go from poverty and have a fresh start as someone more successful with a generally better life. However, she ended up dead under strange conditions and the American dream turned out into a nightmare for her…

Quotes of Marilyn Monroe

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Marilyn Monroe’s Quotes Collection

This was an analysis of Marilyn Monroe’s personality and life. If you want to find out which personality you belong to or what kind of Motto suits you, click on the link below:

Motto Personality Test by Motto Cosmos

Get inspired from Marilyn Monroe’s most important quotes:

I am good, but not n angel. I do sin, but I am not the devil. I am just a small girl in a big world trying to find someone to love.
Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.
I’m selfish, impatient, and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as well don’t deserve me at my best.
Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn’t that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you.
I restore myself when I’m alone.
We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle.
The real lover is the man who can thrill you just by touching your head or smiling into your eyes – or just by staring into space.
Sex is a part of nature. I go along with nature.
If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.
Experts on romance say for a happy marriage there has to be more than a passionate love. For a lasting union, they insist, there must be a genuine liking for each other. Which, in my book, is a good definition for friendship.
Fear is stupid. So are regrets.
I am trying to find myself. Sometimes that’s not easy.
It’s better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone – so far.
Someday I want to have children and give them all the love I never had.
A woman knows by intuition, or instinct, what is best for herself.
A smart girl leaves before she is left.
Beauty and femininity are ageless and can’t be contrived, and glamour, although the manufacturers won’t like this, cannot be manufactured. Not real glamour; it’s based on femininity.
I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.
We should all start to live before we get too old.
Fame is like caviar, you know – it’s good to have caviar but not when you have it at every meal.
I think that sexuality is only attractive when it’s natural and spontaneous.
Hollywood is a place where they ‘ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.
Fame doesn’t fulfill you. It warms you a bit, but that warmth is temporary.
Dogs never bite me – just humans.
One of the best things that ever happened to me is that I’m a woman, That is the way all females should feel.
A strong man doesn’t have to be dominant toward a woman. He doesn’t match his strength against a woman weak with love for him. He matches it against the world.
Sometimes I feel my whoe life has been one big rejection.
I know I will never be happy, but I know I can be gay!
I defy gravity.
I have always had a talent for irritating women since I was fourteen.
Friends accept you the way you are.
Sometimes I’ve been to a party where no one spoke to me for a whole evening. The men, frightened by ther wives or sweeties, would give me a wide berth. And the ladies would gang up in a corner to discuss my dangerous character.
Respect is one of life’s greatest treasures. I mean, what does it all add up to if you don’t have that?
I remember when I was in high school I didn’t have a new dress for each special occasion. The girls would bring the fact to my attention, not always too delicately. The boys, however, never bothered with the subject. They were my friends, not because of the size of my wardrobe but because they liked me.
Millions of people live their entire lives without finding themselves. But it is something I must do.
I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.
Sometimes, wearing a scarf and a polo coat and no makeup and with a certain attitude of walking, I go shopping or just look at people living. But then, you know, there will be a few teenagers who are kind of sharp, and they’ll say, ‘hey just a minute. You know who I think that is?’. And they’ll start tailing me. And I don’t mind.
What do I wear in bed? Why, chanel No. 5, of course.
Naturally, there are times when every woman likes to be flattered.. to feel she is the most important thing in someone’s world. Only a man can paint this picture.
You know, most people really don’t know me.
The truth is, I’ve never fooled anyone. I’ve let men sometimes fool themselves.
Designers want me to dress like spring, in billowing things. I don’t feel like spring. I feel like a warm red autumn.
If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere.
I was honoured when they asked me to appear at the president’s birthday rally in Madison Square Garden. There was like a hush over the whole place when I came on to sing ‘happy birthday’, ‘like if I had been wearing a slip, I would have thought it was showing or something. I thought, ‘oh, my Gosh, what if no sound comes out!’
A career is born in public – talent in privacy.
If you spend your life competing with business men, what do you have? A bank account and ulcers!
I don’t know if high society is different in other cities, but in hollywood, important people can’t stand to be invited someplace that isn’t full of other important people. They don’t mind a few unfamous people being present because they make good listeners.
When clark gable died, I cried for 2 days straight. I couldn’t eat or sleep.
Marriage destroyed my relationship with two wonderful men.
I’ve been on a calendar, but I’ve never been on time.
It’s all make believe, isn’t it?
Nothing’s ever easy as long as you go on living.
I have too many fantasies to be a housewife. I guess I am a fantasy.
I don’t mind making jokes, but I don’t want to look like one.
If there is only one thing in my life that I am proud of, it’s that I’ve never been a kept woman.
What good is it being Marilyn Monroe? Why can’t I just be an ordinary woman?
I used to think as I looked out on the hollywood night, ‘there must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me dreaming of being a movie star. ‘But I’m not going to worry about them. I’m dreaming the hardest.
I don’t want everybody to see exaclty where I live, what my sofa or my fireplace looks like.
What’s the good of drawing in the next breath if all you do is let it out and draw in another?
There are many times when a woman will ask another girl friend how she likes her new hat. She will reply ‘fine’, but slap her hand to her forehead the minute the girl leaves to yipe, ‘what a horror’.
A man makes you feel important – makes you glad you are a woman.
I  want to grow old without facelifts. I want to have the courage to be loyal to the face I have made.
There was my name up in lights. I said, ‘God, somebody’s made a mistake.’ But there it was, in lights. And I sat there and said, ‘remember, you ‘re not a star. ‘Yet there it was up in lights.
I never wanted to be Marilyn – it just happened. Marilyn’s like a veil I wear over Norma Jeane.
Some of my foster families used to send me to the movies to get me out of the house and there I’d sit all day and way into the night. Up in front, there with the screen so big, a little kid all alone, and I loved it. I loves anything that moved up there and I didn’t miss anything that happened and there was no popcorn either.
Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you ‘d never complete your life, would you? You’d never wholly know you.
I always have a full – length mirror next to the camera when I’m doing publicity stills. That way, I know how I look.
To put it bluntly, I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation. But I’m working on the foundeation.
I have feelings too. I am still human. All I want is to be loved, for myself and for my talent.
What I really want to say: That what the world really needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, negroes, jews, arabs. We are all brothers.
I like actors very much, but to marry one would be like marrying your brother. You look too much alike in the mirror.
I think one of the basic reasons men make good friends is that they can make up their minds quickly.
I was brought up differently than the average American child because the average child is brought up expecting to be happy.
I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.
There isn’t anybody that looks like me without clothes on.
Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.
I don’t consider myself an intellectual. And this is not one of my aims. But I admire intellectual people.
I ‘ve never dropped anyone I believed in.
A career is wonderful, but you can’t curl up with it on a cold night.
My dinners at home are startingly simple. Every night, I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamp chops or some liver, which I broil in the electric oven in my room. I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all. I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots.
It’s not true I had nothing on, I had the radio on.
I like to feel blonde all over.
I want to be an artist, not…a celluloid aphrodisiac.
I’m very definitely a woman and I enjoy it.
The body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.
It is wonderful to have someone praise you, to be desired.
I am alone; I am always alone no matter what.
Fame is fickle, and I know it. It has its compensations but it also has its drawbacks, and I’ve experienced them both.
At twelve I looked like a girl of seventeen. My body was developed and shapely. I still wore the blue dress and the blouse the orphanage provided. They made me look like an overgrown lummox.
Next to my husband, and along with Marlon Brando, I think that Yves Montand is the most attractive man I’ve ever met.
Depending upon my activities, I sleep between five and ten hours every night. I sleep in an extra – wide single bed, and I use only one heavy down comforter over me, summer or winter. I have never been able to wear pajamas or creepy nightgowns; they disturb my sleep.
The trouble with censors is that they worry if a girl has cleavage. They ought to worry if she hasn’t any.
It’s often just enough to be with someone. I don’t need to touch them. Not even talk. A feeling passes between you both. You ‘re not alone.
Dreaming about being an actress, is more exciting then being one.
A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate to be a thing.
There is a need for aloneness, which I don’t think most people realise for an actor. It’s almost having certain kinds of secrets for yourself that you ‘ll let the whole world in on only for a moment, when you ‘re acting. But everybody is always tugging at you. They ‘d all like sort of a chunk of you.
It’s not too much fun to know yourself too well or think you do – everyone needs a little conceit to carry then through & past the falls.
Men who think that a woman’s past love affairs lessen her love for them are usually stupid and weak.
All my stepchildren carried the burden of my fame. Sometimes they would read terrible things about me, and I’d worry about whether it would hurt them. I would tell them: ‘Don’t hide these things from me. I’d rather you ask me these things straight out, and I’ll answer all your questions.’
If I’m a star, then the people made me a star.
I learned to walk as a baby, and I haven’t had a lesson since.
The nicest thing for me is sleep, then at least I can dream.
I am not a victim of emotional conflicts. I am human.
I wish I knew why I am so anguished.
Confidentally, the type of male I find most enjoyable for a friend is one who has enough fire and assurance to speak up for his convictions.
I am not a victim of emotional conflicts. I am human.
Before marriage, a girl hat to make love to a man to hold him. After marriage, she has to hold him to make love to him.
I don’t want to make money, I just want to be wonderful.
I used to get the feeling, and sometimes I still get it, that sometimes I was fooling somebody; I don’t know who or what, maybe myself.
I love a natural look in pictures.
When I was 11, the whole world was closed to me. I just felt I was on the outside of the world.
I think that when you are famous every weakness is exaggerated.
I’ve always wanted a baby.
I don’t look at myself as a commodity, but I’m sure a lot of people have.
A man has a tendency to accept you the way you are, while most women immediately start to pick flaws and want to change you.
The ‘public’ scares me, but people I trust.
Husbands are chiefly good as lovers when they are betraying their wives.
I’ve always felt toward the slightest scene, even if all I had to do in a scene was just to come in and say, ‘hi’, that the people ought to get their money’s worth and that this is an obligation of mine, to give them the best you can get from me.
A man is more Frank and sincere with the emotions than a woman. We girls, I’m afraid, have a tendency to hide our feelings.
In hollywood a girl’s virtue is much less important than her hairdo.
When I was a youngster I lived with different families. I nearly always felt closer to the man of the house. Maybe because I always dreamed of having a father of my own.
An actor is supposed to be a sensitive instrument. Isaac Stern takes good care of his violin. What if everybody jumped on his violin?
Girdles and wire stays should have never been invented. No man wants to hug a padded bird cage.
I don’t digest things with my mind.
Why is it you always meet people when you look your worst?
I am involved in a freedom ride protesting the loss of the minority rights belonging to the few remaining earthbound stars. All we demanded was our right to twinkle.
If your man is a sports enthusiast, you may have to resign yourself to his spouting off in a monotone on a prize fight, football game or pennant race.
I have been told my eating habits are absolutely bizarre. But I don’t think so.
An actress is not a machine, but they treat you like a machine. A money machine.
What good am I? I can’t have kids. I can’t cook. I’ve been divorced three times. Who would want me?
For a long time I was scared I’d find out I was like my mother.
The thing I want more than anything else? I want to have children. I used to feel for every child I had, I would adopt another.
A woman can bring a new love to each man she loves, providing there are not too many.
I’ve often stood silent at a party for hours listening to my movie idols turn into dull and little people.
I read poetry to save time.
When I was five I think, that’s when I started wanting to be an actress.
When it comes to gossip, I have to readily admit men are as guilty as women.
Having a child, that’s always been my biggest fear. I want a child and I fear a child.
I often wake up in the night, and I like to have something to think about.
I’m one of the world’s most self-conscious people. I really have to struggle.
The public doesn’t mind people living together without being married, providing they don’t overdo it.
First, I’m trying to prove to myself that I’m a person. Then maybe I’ll convince myself that I’m an actress.
Fame may go by and – so long, I’ve had you.
The fact is that I find more most men are more open, more generous, and much more stimulating than the majority of females I know.
I enjoy acting when you really hit it right.
I want the world to see my body.
My public is growing up just as I am. After all, I’m not 19 anymore and if I stick with the sex bit, who will be paying to see me when I’m 50?
We human beings are strange creatures and still reserve the right to think for ourselves.
I’ll think I have a few wonderful friends and all of a sudden, ooh, here it comes. They do a lot of things. They talk about you to the press, to their friends, tell stories, and you know, it’s disappointing.
Men are so willing to respect anything that bores them.
I am invariably late for appointments – sometimes as much as two hours. I’ve tried to change my ways but the things that make me late are too strong, and too pleasing.
I guess I have always been deeply terrified to really be someone’s wife since I know from life one cannot love another, ever, really.
My work is the only ground I’ve ever had to stand on. To put it bluntly, I seem to have a whole superstructure with no foundation, but I’m working on the foundation.
I myself would like to become more disciplined within my work.
An actor is supposed to be a sensitive instrument.
In fact, my popularity seems almost entirely a masculine phenomenon.
Black men don’t like to be called ‘boys’, but women accept being called ‘girls’.
Arthur Miller wouldn’t have married me if I had been nothing but a dumb blonde.
I have noticed… that men usually leave married women alone and are inclined to treat all wives with respect. This is no great credit to married women.
Girls shouldn’t worry about being the equal of men in the business world.
I want to be an artist. An actress with integrity, and that includes all kinds of parts.
A woman can’t be alone. She needs a man. A man and a woman support and strenghten each other. She just can’t do it by herself.
I once wanted to prove myself by being a great actress. Now I want to prove that I’m a person. Then maybe I’ll be a great actress.
If I close my eyes and think of hollywood, all I see is one big varicose vein.
I’m looking forward to becoming a marvelous – excuse the word marvelous – character actress. Like Marie Dressler, like will Rogers.
If a star or studio chief or any other great movie personages find themselves sitting among a lot of nobodies, they get frightened – as if somebody was trying to demote them.
When I was five, I think, that’s when I started wanting to be an actress. I loved to play. I didn’t like the world around me because it was kind of grim, but I loved to play house. It was like you could make your own boundaries.


Filmography of Marilyn Monroe

Year Film Role Director
1947 Dangerous Years Evie Arthur Pierson
1948 Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! Betty (uncredited) Hugh Herbert
1948 Ladies of the Chorus Peggy Martin Phil Karlson
1949 Love Happy Grunion’s Client (uncredited) David Miller
1950 A Ticket to Tomahawk Clara (uncredited) Richard Sale
1950 Right Cross Dusky Ledoux (uncredited) John Sturges
1950 The Fireball Polly Tay Garnett
1950 The Asphalt Jungle Angela Phinlay John Huston
1950 All About Eve Miss Claudia Caswell Joseph L. Mankiewicz
1951 Love Nest Roberta Stevens Joseph M. Newman
1951 Let’s Make It Legal Joyce Mannering Richard Sale
1951 Home Town Story Iris Martin Arthur Pierson
1951 As Young as You Feel Harriet Harman Jones
1952 O. Henry’s Full House Streetwalker Henry Koster
1952 Monkey Business Lois Laurel Howard Hawks
1952 Clash by Night Peggy Fritz Lang
1952 We’re Not Married! Anabel Norris Edmund Goulding
1952 Don’t Bother to Knock Nell Forbes Roy Baker
1953 Niagara Rose Loomis Henry Hathaway
1953 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes Lorelei Lee Howard Hawks
1953 How to Marry a Millionaire Pola Debevoise Jean Negulesco
1954 River of No Return Kay Weston Otto Preminger
1954 There’s No Business Like Show Business Vicky Walter Lang
1955 The Seven Year Itch The Girl Billy Wilder
1956 Bus Stop Chérie Joshua Logan
1957 The Prince and the Showgirl Elsie Marina Laurence Olivier
1959 Some Like It Hot Sugar Kane Kowalczyk Billy Wilder
1960 Let’s Make Love Amanda Dell George Cukor
1961 The Misfits Roslyn Taber John Huston
1962 Something’s Got to Give (unfinished) Ellen Wagstaff Arden George Cukor


Awards and nominations of Marilyn Monroe

  • 1951 Henrietta Awards: The Best Young Box Office Personality
  • 1952 Photoplay Award: Fastest Rising Star of 1952
  • 1952 Photoplay Award: Special Award
  • 1952 Look American Magazine Achievement Award: Most Promising Female Newcomer of 1952
  • 1953 Golden Globe Henrietta Award: World Film Favorite Female.
  • 1953 Sweetheart of The Month (Playboy)
  • 1953 Photoplay Award: Most Popular Female Star
  • 1954 Photoplay Award for Best Actress: for Gentlemen Prefer Blondesand How to Marry a Millionaire
  • 1956 BAFTAFilm Award nomination: Best Foreign Actress for The Seven Year Itch
  • 1956 Golden Globe nomination: Best Motion Picture Actress in Comedy or Musical for Bus Stop
  • 1958 BAFTA Film Award nomination: Best Foreign Actress for The Prince and the Showgirl
  • 1958 David di Donatello Award (Italian): Best Foreign Actress for The Prince and the Showgirl
  • 1959 Crystal Star Award (French): Best Foreign Actress for The Prince and the Showgirl
  • 1960 Golden Globe, Best Motion Picture Actress in Comedy or Musical for Some Like It Hot
  • 1962 Golden Globe, World Film Favorite: Female
  • Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame 6104 Hollywood Blvd.
  • 1999 she was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute in their list AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Stars.


Awards and Achievements of Marilyn Monroe


Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Rosalind Russell
for Auntie Mame
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
for Some Like It Hot

Succeeded by
Shirley MacLaine
for The Apartment

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