Marilyn Monroe at home in Hollywood by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1953.
In 1962, just weeks before she died at the age of 36, Marilyn Monroe welcomed a Life Magazine reporter into her Brentwood home—a tranquil, gated Spanish hacienda at the quiet end of a small cul-de-sac. She had spent the previous seven years in back-to-back high-profile marriages—to Joe DiMaggio then Arthur Miller—and told the reporter that she was adoring the process of putting together the first home she owned alone, even making a special trip to Mexico to furnish it in what the reporter described as “impetuous, charming taste.”
And on Friday, 55 years after said interview, Monroe’s beloved home—a 2,624 square-foot, white stucco hacienda with red tiles that was built in 1929—was put back on the market. The property boasts four bedrooms and three bathrooms, and according to listing agent Lisa Optican of Mercer Vine, the same casement windows, beamed ceilings, citrus grove, and kidney-shaped pool enjoyed by Monroe.
Optican’s client, who never lived in the home, purchased the property in 2012.
“There have been owners in the past who have made changes to the property but the overall feeling and aesthetic and vibe of what attracted Marilyn to it is still there and you can feel it,” Optican told VF.com by phone. “It is really warm, romantic, intimate. The same courtyard, entry, and backyard with the pool and the expansive grassy yard and garden are all there. You feel it and get why she was attracted to it—she wanted a home rather than just a big house in Beverly Hills.”
The home, which sits at 12305 5th Helena Drive, is listed for $6.9 million.
Monroe reportedly purchased the property for less than $90,000 and told Life’s reporter that she was particularly excited about how private it was. Refusing to let the magazine photograph the house, Monroe explained, “I don’t want everybody to see exactly where I live, what my sofa or my fireplace looks like. Do you know the book Everyman? Well, I want to stay just in the fantasy of Everyman.”
Monroe told the magazine that she was also keeping the guest house open for friends of hers who wanted to take advantage of the privacy, saying the space would be reserved for “any friends of mine who are in some kind of trouble, you know, and maybe they’ll want to live here where they won’t be bothered till things are O.K. for them.”
As for welcoming guests, Monroe said, “Anybody who likes my house, I’m sure I’ll get along with.”
Marilyn Monroe's home at 12305 5th Helena Drive.