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It seems gentlemen aren't the only ones who prefer blondes. No matter which corner of pop culture you love to loiter in, it's likely you've stumbled upon Marilyn Monroe recently—billowing white skirt, coy smile, breathy come-ons and all. There's NBC's new series, "Smash," which debuted last night, and chronicles two Broadway neophytes' fight for the titular role in a production based on the bombshell's life. Then there's Michelle William's Oscar-nominated turn as the actress in last year's "My Week With Marilyn." Add in Nicki Minaj's latest leak, "Marilyn Monroe," and a playful homage from a certain "Gossip Girl," and clearly, Marilyn is having a moment.

It's all a bit curious considering the woman formerly known as Norma Jeane died nearly 50 years ago. Is she simply gone but not forgotten, or are there greater forces pushing us to re-examine the life of a woman whose life was rarely free of examination?

"We could say that the huge resurgence is a result of it being the 50th anniversary of her death this year. Although this probably has something to do with it, it certainly isn't all," said Michelle Morgan, author of "Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed." "What does Marilyn have that keeps her memory shining bright? Well, I think that really depends on who you're speaking to.


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This Sunday we have a hot date planned with the likes of James Franco, Natalie Portman, Jesse Eisenberg, Hailee Steinfeld and, of course, a fellow named Oscar.

Our very favorite stars will put on their best threads and vie for a coveted Academy Award, and whether or not our picks get to take the podium at the Kodiak Theater, all of them have some amazing projects lined up in the next few months and years that we're equally excited for.

Here now is rundown of what's next for some of our favorite 2011 Oscar nominees:


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