It's been 50 years since the legendary Marilyn Monroe died. But even after five decades, this candle in the wind continues to burn brightly. The iconic sex symbol been immortalized by a bevy celebs over the years - everyone from the obvious (Madonna, anyone?) to the surprising (a Peabody award winner!)
Check out these 10 modern day stars who have impersonated Marilyn Monroe.
Since the early days of her career, Madonna has channeled Marilyn, impersonating her in "Saturday Night Live" sketches and in her 1985 "Material Girl" video. But it was her 1991 Vanity Fair cover and photo spread that had people talking. The Steven Meisel shoot featured Madonna striking various Marilyn-inspired poses. Still, in a 1987 Rolling Stone interview the pop star complained about constantly being compared to Monroe. "At first I enjoyed the comparisons between me and her," she said. "Then it started to annoy me, because nobody wants to be continuously compared to someone else. You want people to see that you have a statement of your own to make."
In 2008, actress Lindsay Lohan posed for a New York Magazine photo spread, recreating "The Last Sitting," Marilyn Monroe's famous 1962 final photo shoot with photographer Bert Stern. Lohan admitted that she has somewhat of an obsession with Monroe. "If you saw my house... I have a lot of Marilyn stuff," she said, even revealing that she purchased an apartment where Monroe once lived.
"My Week With Marilyn" star Michelle Williams posed as the sex symbol for the October 2011 cover of Vogue, where she talked about what it was like walk in Marilyn Monroe's footsteps. In an interview with Vogue she said, "I remember seeing that [three or four guys] were watching me come and feeling that they were watching me go--and for the very first time I glimpsed some idea of the pleasure I could take in that kind of attention," Williams said. " And I thought, oh, maybe Marilyn felt that when she walked down the beach."
Celebrity makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin's 1997 photo book, "Making Faces," featured the amazing makeovers of a variety of celebrities. But one of the most talked-about was Lisa Marie Presley's uncanny transformation into Marilyn Monroe. In 1997 Aucoin told Entertainment Weekly of the Herb Ritts photo: "The Lisa Marie shot surprises most people, but she's got those heavy lids and the same mouth. I saw Marilyn right away.''
Peabody award-winning news journalist Katie Couric got serious for her "Today Show" Halloween costume back in 2005, when she dressed up as Marilyn Monroe for the show's annual Halloween episode. Couric opted for Monroe's "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" look, while co-host Matt Lauer dressed as Batman.
Anna Nicole Smith
The late model and reality star Anna Nicole Smith wasn't shy about her devotion to Marilyn Monroe. Her early Guess ads channeled the blonde beauty, and in a 2004 Smith posed in pink satin for a "Gentlemen Prefer Fur-Free Blondes" ad campaign for PETA. In 2002, Smith told CNN's Larry King that Monroe was her idol, and said, "I just feel a connection there with her… I don't know, I just love her... I just completely feel what she went through." Smith died of a drug overdose at age 39.
In 1996, actress Drew Barrymore dressed as Marilyn Monroe for the cover of John F. Kennedy Jr.'s political magazine, George. The occasion was President Bill Clinton's 50th birthday and the magazine's cover story was titled "Happy Birthday Mr. President." But lest you think JFK's twist on his own father's famous 45th birthday serenade from Marilyn was in bad taste, he said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey: "My family is used to all manner of controversy. In the grand scheme of things, this probably didn't register too high on the Richter scale."
Is this hot - or not? In 2010 Paris Hilton dressed as Marilyn Monroe for the launch party for her fragrance, Tease. Hilton told "Entertainment Tonight": "I thought that Marilyn was such a tease. She was so confident and flirty and just one of the sexiest women alive."
In 2006, Christina Aguilera posed like Marilyn for the cover of GQ Magazine and for a naked Marilyn-inspired photo spread. That same year she also channeled Monroe for the artwork for her "Back to Basics" album. According to MTV, XTina spent most of the first day of the photo shoot in a bed with an iron headboard, in a shot inspired by a famous Marilyn Monroe picture.
Actress Scarlett Johansson was a dead ringer for Marilyn in a 2009 ad for Dolce and Gabbana, but she may beg to differ. Despite buzz that she would be a natural to play Monroe in a biopic, in 2011 Johansson told USA Today, "There's a lot there to explore, and I like to watch other people do it, but I have no interest…It's lovely to be compared to somebody as sort of effervescent and charming and fragile and I think kind of an underrated actor. But it's never been one for me."
More From This Contributor:
Note:This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network here to start publishing your own articles.