Posts Tagged ‘celebrity philanthropy’

Marilyn Monroe Birthday–and Her Charity Work


Katharine McPhee or Megan Hilty, whoever plays Marilyn Monroe in the show-within-the-show on Smash, the delving into her larger-than-life persona probably won’t go into Norma Jeane’s charitable work…but for a superstar of her era, she set a mighty fine example. Today is Marilyn’s birthday, so I thought I’d try to find some of the ways she reached out to make the world a better place.

In 1953 she performed with Jane Russell in a fundraising benefit at the Hollywood Bowl for underprivileged children at St. Jude’s hospital.

While still traveling on her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio, she did three gigs for US service members serving in Korea.

Worked with WAIF (World Adoption International Fund–founded by Jane Russell in 1955), an organization that facilitated more than 50,000 abandoned children being adopted.

In 1955 she rode a pink elephant at a benefit gala for Mike Todd’s Celebrity Circus at Madison Square Garden for the Arthritis and Rheumatism Foundation.

Marilyn gave her earnings from the world premiere of The Prince and The Showgirl to The Milk Fund For Babies.

1958 March of Dimes Fashion Parade to aid children with polio.

Donated to a children’s welfare organization that provided free breakfasts to underprivileged children.

This one is well known: Marilyn visited an orphanage in Mexico and wrote a check for $1000 while the press was there–and after they left she tore it up and wrote a new one for $10,000.

Was a member and lent her name and efforts to SANE, an organization dedicated to eliminating nuclear weapons.

Her last public appearance was at Dodger Stadium for a benefit for muscular dystrophy.

Celebs Making a Difference–Ryan Seacrest

Photo: Ryan Seacrest Foundation

I love when I learn something new and heartening about famous folks. When some celebrity has been fighting the good fight regardless of how brightly the spotlight does or does not shine on their philanthropic efforts, it makes me care more about that entertainer or athlete. There are so many that, because of their body of work and name recognition, can do so much to bring attention and focus to issues that matter to them…and often, a celeb will go that extra step and create their own foundation or charitable organization. Ryan Seacrest who is practically ubiquitous on all media platforms, uses his celebrity status to bring creative media to others as a way to heal. The Ryan Seacrest Foundation is a 501(c)(3) that is dedicated to bringing multimedia and interactive technology and entertainment to seriously ill and injured children. The first major project is building broadcast media centers in pediatric hospitals and wards so kids can explore radio and television. Raising spirits and getting individuals excited about creativity is healing, not only for those doing the creating, but for those listening/watching as well. Seacrest also uses his connections to bring lots of other celebrities on board to lend their support, from Justin Bieber to David Beckham, Lady Gaga and CeeLo Green to Taylor Swift and Conan O’Brien. The list goes on and on, as does the great work.