Doctors Respond to Marilyn Monroe's Plastic Surgery

Earlier this month, Marilyn Monroe took center stage once again as medical records and X-rays of the iconic Hollywood beauty went up for auction and revealed she had plastic surgery. We asked some of's doctors what they thought about the news.

Marilyn Monroe Plastic Surgery Picture LocateADoc"Marilyn Monroe's appeal transcends the pure physical characteristics of her facial features," Raleigh, NC plastic surgeon, Glenn Lyle, MD, said. "Her mannerisms, body language and voice made her sexy. Certainly she was beautiful but not more so than many other actresses of her day. I doubt that whatever surgery that she had made a huge difference in her success. Nowadays, I suspect a majority of actresses have had cosmetic surgery or at least non-invasive procedures."

The medical records were part of a collection for sale by Hollywood plastic surgeon Norman Leaf from the 1950 - 1962 time period. The notes and X-rays are by plastic surgeon Michael Gurdin and indicate Norma Jean Baker, who became known around the world as Marilyn Monroe during this period, had surgery including a cartilage implant for a "chin deformity" in 1950 followed by a rhinoplasty for the nasal tip of her nose.

"What a beautiful woman, and no one knew she had plastic surgery – the sign of good work," Greensboro, NC cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Christopher Coley, said adding that the work on Monroe, who was often referred to as a natural beauty, is what he strives for at the Coley Cosmetic & Hand Surgery Center -- "to provide results that transform and beautify the individual without making someone look 'plastic'!”

The fact that cosmetic surgery is so prevalent in Hollywood affected some of our doctor's opinions.

"It should come as no surprise that Marilyn had facial plastic surgery, despite the fact that her face was classically beautiful from the beginning," Oklahoma City, OK cosmetic surgeon, William W. Ehrlich, MD, said.  "In fact, this is currently common practice in Hollywood. Typically, a young, fresh, female face becomes a star, and, almost immediately, she loses from 10-15 or more pounds, then has facial 'enhancements,' often surgical.

"The average American woman wears a dress size 10-12.  At her absolute thinnest, Marilyn Monroe was a size 8.  Most photographic and fashion models used to market clothing to American women wear dress sizes 2-4 or smaller. Today, Marilyn Monroe would be instantly rejected as a fashion model."

Leaf said he will donate the proceeds of the auction to assist U.S. veterans with medical work. The organization, Rebuilding America's Warriors, gives free reconstructive surgery on injuries not covered by government benefits.

"I think it is of questionable ethics to release surgical notes on a patient," Lyle said. "Despite the worthy cause, it still violates some elements of the doctor / patient trust no matter how long time has passed."

About the star having work done, The Raleigh Plastic Surgery Center doctor added, "As someone who still enjoys an old Marilyn Monroe film, I say "who cares?"

Monroe’s biggest films were all shot after her 1950 procedure including 1953′s “How to Marry a Millionaire,” 1955′s “The Seven Year Itch” and 1959′s “Some Like It Hot.”


Further Reading

  • Motivated by his wife and kids, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who once called himself “the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen”, disclosed Tuesday he secretly underwent Gastric Banding (Lap Band Surgery) on February 16, 2013, performed by Dr. George Fielding, head of NYU Medical Center’s Weight Management Program.

  • The Kardashian sisters are no stranger to cosmetic surgery and it is no surprise that brother Rob has been influenced. Radar Online reported an insider of the National Enquirer quoted, “Rob was complaining about his face drooping and that he’s starting to look old”. It seems his sister Kim was the push and shove he needed. “Kim told him to stop whining and put his money where his mouth is. She turned him on to her trusted plastic surgeon and convinced him to go for a Botox treatment. Rob was all for it and made an appointment right away."

  • Bullied Teen gets a Back to School Face  When you think of the first day of school, most teens need a new backpack, school supplies, and trendy clothes. Not Nadia Ilse, a 14-year-old girl from Georgia who walks in on the first day of school with a new face and new self-confidence.