Fact Check

Is This Marilyn Monroe Posing With a Cat?

A doctored image appears to show Monroe holding a cat to her face.

Published Jun 8, 2017

An image showing Marilyn Monroe with a cat is a genuine photograph.

Marilyn Monroe was one of the most photographed women in the world during the 20th century. And judging by the number of rumors we've investigated and subsequently debunked about the Hollywood legend, she could be the most Photoshopped of the 21st. One example is the following image which purportedly shows Marilyn Monroe holding a cat next to her face:

This is not a genuine photograph of Marilyn Monroe with a cat. 

The original photograph depicts photographer Anna Vihastaya with her cat. Vihastaya uploaded the self-portrait to to her 500PX page in October 2011. Whoever doctored the photo later added Monroe's face to the photograph, while keeping Vihastaya's hair. The original photograph of Marilyn Monroe dates from around 1953 and features the actress, sans cat, sitting on her patio. 

Here's a comparison showing the original image (left), the genuine photograph of Monroe (center), and the digitally altered composite (right):


Adhav, Lauren.   "43 Most Glamorous Photos of Marilyn Monroe."     Cosmopolitan.   26 May 2016.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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