Early lifeManson was born in Canton, Ohio. He is the only child of Barb (née Wyer) and Hugh Warner. Manson is of German descent on his father's side, and is a fourth cousin twice removed of Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan. In his autobiography The Long Hard Road Out of Hell, he detailed his grandfather's sexual fetishes (including bestiality and sadomasochism) influence to the forming of Marilyn Manson and the Spooky Kids. The environment in his childhood made him vulnerable to further abuse and he was molested several times by a neighbor. The trauma put him on a path of rebellion.
As a child, he attended his mother's Episcopalian church, though his father was Catholic. Warner attended Heritage Christian School from first grade to tenth grade. He later transferred to Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Manson graduated from high school in 1987, and became a student at Broward Community College in 1990. He was working towards a degree in journalism and gaining experience in the field by writing music articles for a South Florida lifestyle magazine, 25th Parallel. He would soon meet several of the musicians to whom his own band would later be compared, including My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.
MusicManson formed Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids in Florida in 1989 (the name was shortened to Marilyn Manson in 1992). While with The Spooky Kids, he was involved with Jeordie White (also known as Twiggy Ramirez) and Stephen Gregory Bier Jr. (also known as Madonna Wayne Gacy) in two side-projects: Satan on Fire, a faux-Christian metal ensemble where he played bass guitar, and drums in Mrs. Scabtree, a collaborative band formed with White and then girlfriend Jessicka (vocalist with the band Jack Off Jill) as a way to combat contractual agreements that prohibited Marilyn Manson from playing in certain clubs. In the summer of 1993, the band drew the attention of Trent Reznor. Reznor produced their 1994 debut album, Portrait of an American Family and released it on his Nothing Records label. The band began to develop a cult following, which grew larger with the release of Smells Like Children in 1995. That EP yielded the band's first big MTV hit with "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)," a cover of the 1983 Eurythmics hit. Antichrist Superstar (co-produced by Trent Reznor) was an even greater success.
In the US alone, three of the band's albums have been awarded platinum certification, three more gold, and the band has had five releases debut in the top ten, including two number-one albums. Manson first worked as a producer with the band Jack Off Jill. He helped name the band and produce most of the band's early recordings, and also played guitar on the song "My Cat" and had the band open most of his South Florida shows. Manson later wrote the liner notes to the band's album Humid Teenage Mediocrity 1992-1995, a collection of early Jack Off Jill recordings. Manson has appeared as a guest performer on DMX's album Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood and on Godhead's 2000 Years of Human Error album — the only album released on his vanity label Posthuman.
Film and televisionDavid Lynch's Lost Highway. Since then he has appeared in a variety of minor roles and cameos, including Party Monster; then-girlfriend Rose McGowan's 1998 film Jawbreaker; Asia Argento's 2004 film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things; Rise; and The Hire: Beat The Devil, the sixth installment in the BMW Films series. He was interviewed in Michael Moore's political documentary Bowling for Columbine discussing possible motivations for the Columbine massacre and allegations that his music was somehow a factor. He has appeared in animated form in Clone High and participated in several episodes of the MTV series Celebrity Deathmatch, becoming the show's unofficial champion and mascot; he often performed the voice for his claymated puppet, and contributed the song "Astonishing Panorama of the Endtimes" to the soundtrack album. In July 2005, Manson told Rolling Stone that he was shifting his focus from music to filmmaking - "I just don't think the world is worth putting music into right now. I no longer want to make art that other people — particularly record companies — are turning into a product. I just want to make art."
Johnny Depp reportedly used Manson as his inspiration for his performance as Willy Wonka in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Manson himself expressed interest in playing the role of Willy Wonka in the film.[unreliable source?]
He had been working on his directorial debut, Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, since 2004, with Manson also set to portray the role of Lewis Carroll, author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Initially announced as a web-only release, it was later decided to give the estimated $4.2 million budget film a conventional cinema release, with a slated release date of mid-2007. The film was to have an original music soundtrack with previously unreleased songs. Production of the film had been postponed indefinitely until after the Eat Me, Drink Me tour. In 2010, studio bosses shut down production on the project, reportedly due to viewers responses over the violent content of clips released on the internet. The film was later officially put on "indefinite production hold". However, Manson will portray metalband frontman Lars in the upcoming slasher Splatter Sisters, for which he will also contribute an original soundtrack.
ArtManson claimed in a 2004 interview with i-D magazine to have begun his career as a watercolor painter in 1999 when he made five-minute concept pieces and sold them to drug dealers. On September 13–14, 2002, his first show, The Golden Age of Grotesque, was held at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions Centre. Art in America's Max Henry likened them to the works of a "psychiatric patient given materials to use as therapy" and said his work would never be taken seriously in a fine-art context, writing that the value was "in their celebrity, not the work". On September 14–15, 2004, Manson held a second exhibition on the first night in Paris and the second in Berlin. The show was named ‘Trismegistus’ which was also the title of the center piece of the exhibit – a large, three-headed Christ painted onto an antique wood panel from a portable embalmers table.
Manson named his self-proclaimed art movement Celebritarian Corporation. He has coined a slogan for the movement: “We will sell our shadow to those who stand within it.” In 2005 he said that the Celebritarian Corporation has been "incubating for seven years" which if correct would indicate that Celebritarian Corporation, in some form, started in 1998.
Celebritarian Corporation is also the namesake of an art gallery owned by Manson, called the Celebritarian Corporation Gallery of Fine Art in Los Angeles for which his third exhibition was the inaugural show. From April 2–17, 2007, his recent works were on show at the Space 39 Modern & Contemporary in Florida. 40 pieces from this show traveled to Germany's Gallery Brigitte Schenk in Cologne to be publicly exhibited from June 28 - July 28, 2007. Manson was refused admittance to Kölner Dom (Cologne Cathedral), when he was in the city to attend the opening night. This was, according to Manson, due to his makeup.
Manson revealed a series of twenty paintings in 2010 entitled Genealogies of Pain, an exhibition the artist collaborated on with David Lynch. The series is being showcased in Vienna's Kunsthalle gallery.
Personal lifeManson made an appearance in the video game Area 51 as Edgar, a Grey Alien. His song "Cruci-Fiction In Space" is featured in a commercial for a video game, The Darkness. His likeness is also featured on the Celebrity Deathmatch video game for which he recorded a song for the soundtrack (2003). The song "Use your fist and not your mouth" was the credits score of the game Cold Fear as well as Spawn: Armageddon. Manson launched "Mansinthe," his own brand of Swiss made absinthe, which has received mixed reviews ranging from critics who compared the drink's odor to sewage water and described the taste as being "as bad as piss" to coming second to Versinthe in an Absinthe top 5 and winning a Gold medal at the 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Prior to his relationship with Dita Von Teese, he was in a relationship with Michele Greenberg. He then was engaged to actress Rose McGowan from February 1999 to January 19, 2001. In 2007, attention was brought to Manson's love life again when a relationship with actress Evan Rachel Wood was made public. Manson and Wood reportedly maintained an on-again off-again relationship for several years. Manson proposed to Wood during a Paris stage performance in January 2010, but the couple broke off the engagement later that year. After media comments from Manson that he wears his signature black leather pants 24/7, animal rights group PETA added Manson to PETA’s ‘Worst-Dressed Celebrities of 2008’.
Marriage to Dita Von TeeseManson and Dita Von Teese first met when he asked her to dance in one of his music videos. Though she was unable to, the two kept in contact. On his 32nd birthday they became a couple. He proposed on March 22, 2004 and gave her a 1930s-era, 7 carats (1,400 mg), European round-cut diamond engagement ring. On November 28, 2005, Manson and von Teese were married in a private, non-denominational ceremony in their home. A larger ceremony was held on December 3, at Gurteen Castle, in Kilsheelan, County Tipperary, Ireland, the home of their friend, Gottfried Helnwein. The wedding was officiated by surrealist film director and comic book writer Alejandro Jodorowsky.
On December 30, 2006 Von Teese filed for divorce due to "irreconcilable differences." ET.com and People claimed that Manson was having an extramarital affair with then 19-year-old actress Evan Rachel Wood, who is to co-star in his horror film Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, and features in the video for his 2007 single, "Heart-Shaped Glasses." The relationship was confirmed by Von Teese in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, "I get the impression he thinks I was unsupportive, but the truth is I wasn't supportive of his lifestyle, and someone else came along who was." Manson's alcohol abuse and distant behavior were also cited as cause for the split. A judgement of divorce was entered in Los Angeles Superior Court on December 27, 2007.
- In September 1996, former bassist Gidget Gein negotiated a settlement with Manson where he would receive $17,500 in cash, 20 percent of any royalties paid for recordings and for any songs he had a hand in writing and his share of any other royalties or fees the group earned while he was a member. Furthermore, the settlement allowed him to market himself as a former member of Marilyn Manson. This settlement was not honored, however.
- Former guitarist and founding member Scott Putesky (aka Daisy Berkowitz) filed a $15 million lawsuit in a Fort Lauderdale court against the singer, the band and the band's attorney, David Codikow in January 1998 after his forcible departure from the group in the Spring of 1996. Berkowitz claimed he was cheated by the band out of "thousands of dollars in royalties, publishing rights, and performance fees." He also filed an attorney malpractice suit against Codikow, alleging that "Codikow represented Warner's interests more than the band's and that he gave Warner disproportionate control over the band's name, recordings, merchandising, and touring proceeds." By October of that year, the suit had been settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
- In November 30, 1998, a few days after the band accumulated "[a] total [of] more than $25,000" in backstage and hotel room damages during the Poughkeepsie, New York stop of their Mechanical Animals Tour, SPIN editor Craig Marks filed a $24 million lawsuit against Manson and his bodyguards for allegedly assaulting his person and threatening to kill his family. According to Mark's interview with the New York Post, the issue stemmed from Manson's displeasure with the magazine's decision to renege on a promised cover story of the band for their January 1998 cover. According to Marks, the last-minute change was made because Manson's record wasn't "performing." The Post described the editor as "bruised and battered." Manson for his part issued a statement saying, "I had a conversation with Craig Marks expressing I was tired of Spin's immature business behavior and the series of deals they had broken with me. I told him that I didn't care what he prints or whether or not I'm on the cover. I simply no longer wanted to work with him or his magazine that obviously has a lack of respect for musicians and their fans." On February 19, 1999, Manson counter-sued Marks for libel, slander and defamation. The singer was seeking $40 million in reparation, claiming that Marks' statements were false and "were made ... with actual malice, hatred and personal ill will." According to the counter-suit, Marks' allegations have "greatly damaged and injured [Manson's] reputation and standing in the music profession, in the music and entertainment industries, in his community and in the general public, and has been subjected to great shame, humiliation and indignity." As for the Poughkeepsie incident, Manson apologized and offered to make financial restitution.
- In a civil battery suit, David Diaz, a security officer from a concert in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 27, 2000, sued for $75,000 in a Minneapolis federal court. The federal court jury found in Manson's favor.
- In a civil suit presented by Oakland County, Michigan, Manson was charged with sexual misconduct against another security officer, Joshua Keasler, during a concert in Clarkston, Michigan, on July 30, 2001. Oakland County originally filed assault and battery and criminal sexual misconduct charges, but the judge reduced the latter charge to misdemeanor disorderly conduct. Manson pleaded no contest to the reduced charges, paid a $4,000 fine, and later settled the lawsuit under undisclosed terms.
- On April 3, 2002, Maria St. John filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing Manson of providing her adult daughter, Jennifer Syme, with cocaine and instructing her to drive while under the influence. After attending a party at Manson's house, Syme was given a lift home; Manson claims she was taken home by a designated driver. After she got home she got behind the wheel of her own vehicle and was killed instantly when she crashed it into three parked cars. Manson is reported to have said there were no drugs or alcohol at the party. St. John's lawyer questioned "[if] there were no drinks, no drugs, why would she need a designated driver?" The suit alleged Syme was returning to the party at Manson's request. The case, BC271111, was dismissed on May 29, 2003.
- On August 2, 2007, former band member Stephen "Pogo/Madonna Wayne Gacy" Bier filed a lawsuit against Manson for unpaid "partnership proceeds," seeking $20 million in back pay. Several details from the lawsuit leaked to the press. In November 2007, additional papers were filed saying that Manson purchased a child's skeleton and masks made of human skin. He also allegedly bought stuffed animals, such as a grizzly bear and two baboons and a collection of Nazi memorabilia. In December 2007, Manson countersued, claiming that Bier failed to fulfill his duties as a bandmember to play for recordings and to promote the band. On December 28, 2009, the suit was settled with an agreement which saw Bier's attorneys being paid a total of $380,000, of which Manson's insurance company paid $175,000, while the remainder was paid by Bier's former business managers, according to Manson's lawyer Howard King.
- Portrait of an American Family (1994)
- Antichrist Superstar (1996)
- Mechanical Animals (1998)
- Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) (2000)
- The Golden Age of Grotesque (2003)
- Eat Me, Drink Me (2007)
- The High End of Low (2009)
- TBA (2011)
- S.F.W. ("Get Your Gunn" featured on soundtrack)
- Lost Highway (as Porno Star #1, "Apple of Sodom" & "I Put a Spell on You" included on soundtrack) (1997)
- Spawn ("Long Hard Road out of Hell" included on soundtrack) (1997)
- Private Parts ("Suck for Your Solution" included on soundtrack) (1997)
- Nowhere ("Kiddie Grinder (Remix)" included on soundtrack) (1997)
- Dead Man on Campus ("Golden Years" included on soundtrack) (1998)
- The Matrix ("Rock is Dead" included on soundtrack) (1999)
- Jawbreaker (as The Stranger) (1999)
- Detroit Rock City ("Highway to Hell" included on soundtrack) (1999)
- Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 ("Suicide is Painless" included on soundtrack) (2000)
- Valentine ("Valentine's Day" included on soundtrack) (2001)
- From Hell ("The Nobodies (Wormwood Remix)" included on soundtrack) (2001)
- Not Another Teen Movie ("Tainted Love" included on soundtrack) (2001)
- Resident Evil (Composer, 2002)
- Bowling for Columbine (interview, 2002)
- Queen of the Damned (Vocals on "Redeemer" included on soundtrack) (2002)
- The Hire: Beat The Devil (as Himself) (2003)
- Party Monster (as Christina) (2003)
- Doppelherz (Director, Composer) 2003)
- The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (as Jackson) (2004)
- Area 51 (as voice of Edgar) (2005)
- Saw II ("Irresponsible Hate Anthem (Venus Head Trap Mix)" included on soundtrack) (2005)
- House of Wax ("Dried Up, Tied and Dead to the World" included on soundtrack) (2005)
- Living Neon Dreams (2006)
- Rise: Blood Hunter (as Bartender) (2006)
- King Shot (2009)
- Gamer ("Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" included on soundtrack) (2009)
- Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll (as Lewis Carroll, Director, Writer, Composer) (2010)
- Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (as The Dark Man) (2010)
- Splatter Sisters (Actor, Composer) (2011)
- Vampires Suck ("If I Was Your Vampire" included on soundtrack) (2010)
Appearances in other media
- In an episode of Metalocalypse called Regionklok, Manson was featured as the priest of a Satanist church, telling the fellow satanists not to forget to pick their trash up and to not park by the neighbors house, due to towing.
- Season 2, Episode 18 of South Park features Trey Parker doing a parody of Marilyn Manson singing "Stinky Britches"
- Episode 2 of Clone High portrays Marilyn Manson singing a song about the Food Pyramid
- Season 5, Episode 4 of Family Guy portrays Marilyn Manson informing Chris Griffin of nutrition
- In the final episode of the fourth season of Mr. Show David Cross portrays the character "Marilyn Monster" in a sketch.
- In The X-Files Season 8, Episode 17 the characters Detective Potter and Agent Reyes discuss Marilyn Manson after finding his cd at the desk of a suspect.
- Andy Dick created the character "Marilyn Poppins" for The Andy Dick Show as a satirical homage to Marilyn Manson
- Manson was characterized in the British TV Series Bo' Selecta! during Series 4, Bo! in the USA.
- During Season 4 of Madtv Pat Kilbane portrayed Marilyn Manson in episodes 406 & 407 for a Kenny Rogers sketch and Lowered Expectations sketch respectively.
- MTV's Cartoon Sushi featured a clip of Marilyn Manson and Charles Manson in a celebrity fight to the death. This later spawned the series Celebrity Deathmatch in which Marilyn Manson continued his appearances crashing the fight between Hanson vs. The Spice Girls in the "Deathbowl '98", as well as his deathmatch with Garth Brooks in Season 1, Episode 6. His final match against Ricky Martin occurred when Martin interrupted a performance by Manson's band. Celebrity Deathmatch was made into a video game in 2003 featuring Marilyn Manson as a playable character.
- Marilyn Manson is mentioned in Method Man's song "Well All Rite Cha", Outkast's song "Y'all Scared", Shop Boyz' song "Party Like a Rockstar", Dead Celebrity Status' song "In My Backyard", Wyclef Jean's song "Where Fugees At?", D12's songs "These Drugs" & "Blow My Buzz", Xzibit's song "3 Card Molly", Bizzy Bone's song "Social Studios", Slaughterhouse's song "The One", Nicki Minaj's song "Higher Than a Kite", Big & Rich's song "Comin' to Your City", Lonestar's song "Don't Let's Talk About Lisa", Princess Superstar's song "I Love You (Or at Least I Like You)", The Ataris' song "The Radio Still Sucks", Bowling for Soup's song "Luckiest Loser", Thousand Foot Krutch's song "Unbelievable", Relient K's song "My Girlfriend", Eminem's songs "When the Music Stops," "Still Don't Give a Fuck" & "The Way I Am" as well as New Radicals' song "You Get What You Give". Both latter songs generated interest from Manson.