Oh Marilyn, Happy Birthday! Our Madonna has referenced and paid homage to Marilyn many times in her career and rightfully so. When asked by Regis Philbin in 1991 during her promotion for Truth or Dare why the references to Monroe, Madonna said something along the lines that she identified with how everyone always focused on and obsessed over each others sexuality.
For me, Madonna always gave Marilyn a much needed shot of adrenaline. Twisting that vulnerability and drug addiction into strength. I think public opinion is different today on Monroe than it was 25 years ago. We look at her more as a strong figure rather than weak.
I always loved this SNL sketch of Madonna as Marilyn Monroe from 1985 when she hosted the show. We have one of my favorites, the fantastic Joan Cusack as the maid and Randy Quaid as Jack Kennedy. A young Robert Downey, Jr. plays Elvis Presley. Madonna would work later with Quaid in Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989) and John Lovitz in A League of Their Own (1992). And Robert Downey, Jr., of course, went on to star in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (2009).
Miss Monroe, Miss Monroe, I can't figure out your new vacuum cleaner....