At 16, Norma Jeane Baker married her 21-year-old neighbor Jimmy Doherty. Shortly after taking his name “Norman Jeane Doherty” he was sent overseas for World War II in 1944. Norma Jeane soon was on the hot list for modeling calls and photo shoots. She eventually went to drama classes in 1946. After going to some drama classes in 1946, Norma Jeane dyed her hair blonde and adapted the stage name Marilyn Monroe. With her sights now set on stardom, she also divorced Jimmy. Who knew the twenty year-old model would go on to become the most famous actress in the world?
Toward the end of 1946, Marilyn Monroe signed her first studio contract with Twentieth Century Fox. It represented her introduction into the film world as a working actress. The agreement paid Monroe $125 a week and helped her become a multi-tool actress with lessons in acting, singing and dancing. The reason this document is so valuable and important is exactly due to this fact: It is her very FIRST studio contract. Any other contract that has been sold on the market does not compare to this court document, which was part of the 20th Century contract, was the missing link that got her onto the golden screen.
This document facilitated that first contract with Twentieth Century Fox through the California court system. Monroe was a minor at the time of her signing. This is the legal document from the Superior Court from which they had a hearing to allow the contract to go through with Fox. Without it there would be no iconic image of her white dress blowing up from the subway grates. Simply put, there would be no Marilyn Monroe.
Dated on September 5, 1946 the document is well preserved and in excellent overall condition. It is a rare film related paper which bears her signature as Norma Jeane Dougherty. Shortly thereafter, under Fox her name was changed to Marilyn Monroe. It was countersigned by her guardian Grace McKee and her attorney. The piece measures approximately 8.5×13 and was sealed for preservation (it can easily be extracted if opened).
Authentication: JSA Full Letter.