August 5, 2012, marks the 50th anniversary of the death (by suicide or accidental drug overdose, discounting various conspiracy theories) of film icon Marilyn Monroe. I'm not a huge movie buff; I actually don't think I've seen one of her films all the way through.
Yet her story is fascinating for what it reveals about the nature of sexual attractiveness, and also as an example of the sort of suffering Buddhists call "dukkha". Here we have someone who got past an abusive childhood to get to the point where she "had it all": fame, adulation, money...but it wasn't enough to fill the hole inside. She was not suffering from poverty, physical illness; her career was bumpy but looking up. What caused her to either take her own life, or become so dependant on drugs she was set up for a fatal accident? In a way, this woman the world adored died of loneliness.