Marilyn Monroe is of course most well-known for being ridiculously hot. And rightfully so, because the woman is impossibly beautiful and exudes sensuality out of her every pore. You were mightily blessed, Norma Jean! Yet although starring or co-starring in a string of highly successful and classic films (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Some Like it Hot, The Prince and the Showgirl, How to Marry a Millionaire, etc.) she's never recognized for her talent. The woman was a comic GENIUS.
Watching Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was a revelatory experience. All About Eve is one of my favorite films and one of Marilyn's first roles as Miss Claudia Caswell, aspiring actress. She played a dumb blonde there to epic supporting proportions, but she takes Lorelei Lee to a whole other level. The voice, the mannerisms, the line deliveries are all perfection. You can tell just how calculated and prepared Monroe was with the character, and there's a deep glimmer of intelligence behind the practiced vacant stare. I feel as though critics and movie-watchers frequently knock on Monroe for playing the dumb blonde because it's easy. But it's much harder to turn the dumb blonde into a full-blooded character, and that's what Monroe has done in this film. It's brilliance.
For fun, here's the famous performance of "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend":