Monroe never knew her father. She once thought Clark Gable to be her father — a story repeated often enough for a version of it to gain some currency. However, there’s no evidence that Gable ever met or knew Monroe’s mother, Gladys, who developed psychiatric problems and was eventually placed in a mental institution.As an adult, Monroe would maintain that one of her earliest memories was of her mother trying to smother her in her crib with a pillow. Monroe had a half-sister, to whom she was not close; they met only a half-dozen times. With her breathy voice and hourglass figure, she would soon become one of Hollywood’s most famous actresses. She proved her skill by winning various honors and attracting large audiences to her films.