Monroe dreamt of becoming an actress like Jean Harlow and Lana Turner. When her husband was sent to the South Pacific, she began working in a munitions factory in Van Nuys, California. It was there that she was first discovered by a photographer.By the time Dougherty returned in 1946, Monroe had a successful career as a model. That year, she signed her first movie contract. With the contract came a new name and image; she began calling herself “Marilyn Monroe” and dyed her hair blonde.At first, Monroe wasn’t initially considered to be star acting material. Her acting career didn’t really take off until a few years later.