Take a Look at Marilyn Monroe's Los Angeles House

The hacienda-style Marilyn Monroe house
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  • 01 of 05

    Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood Home

    The actress strikes a distinctly Marilyn pose next to her Hollywood swimming pool
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    Marilyn Monroe lived in her Brentwood home in Los Angeles for about six months before her life came to a tragic end in 1962. Although Monroe lived in 43 different homes in her lifetime, this was the only one she actually bought and chose on her own. She reportedly purchased it after her psychiatrist advised her to "put down some roots." 

    It was during the half-year that Monroe lived in the house that she made one of her last public appearances—the infamous presentation of the song "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" at John F. Kennedy's 45th birthday gala. Less than 18 months after that celebration, both Monroe and JFK would be dead.

    Monroe's life was troubled from the beginning and she never got accustomed to a stable home. Born to a young, unwed mother who was institutionalized on and off throughout Monroe's life for mental illness, Marilyn (born Norma Jean) lived in often-abusive foster homes and an orphanage and attended nine schools while growing up. Her first marriage was in her teens to a neighbor of her foster family, who was a soldier during World War II.

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  • 02 of 05

    Front of Marilyn Monroe's House

    Philip Ramey Photography LLC / Corbis / Getty Images

    Monroe bought the hacienda in February 1962. Some sources say the selling price was $77,500, while others have it as $90,000. She reportedly paid for half of it with cash and took out a mortgage for the rest. She had moved back to Los Angeles after her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller broke up. 

    Located at 12305 5th Helena Drive, Monroe's L-shaped Spanish Colonial Revival originally had adobe walls and a red-tile roof. It also had two bedrooms instead of the four it has now, along with a small guesthouse. To decorate in the home's Spanish style, Monroe went on shopping trips to Tijuana and Mexico City, where she bought tiles, tin masks, mirrors, and textiles.

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  • 03 of 05

    Marilyn Monroe Relaxing at Home

    Marilyn Monroe lounging on the patio
    Michael Ochs Archive / Getty Images

    Built in 1929, the one-story hacienda-style house is situated behind tall gates at the end of a quiet cul de sac on more than half an acre of tree-filled grounds. The four-bedroom, three-bath ​home features a sparkling freeform pool, an expansive yard, and citrus grove

    When the 23,200-square-foot house went up for sale in 2017, it was listed at $6.9 million and sold for $7.25 million.

    Although Monroe lived in houses with ex-husbands Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, this house was the first she bought without a spouse. She reportedly described her casa as a "fortress where I can feel safe from the world," according to the book, ​Cursum Perficio: Marilyn Monroe's Brentwood Hacienda.

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  • 04 of 05

    Marilyn's Freeform Pool and Backyard Garden

    The backyard and pool of Monroe's Brentwood home
    Philip Ramey Photography LLC / Corbis / Getty Images

    Monroe's single-level Spanish-style house was the perfect setting for a freeform swimming pool, which was a popular shape for inground pools at the time. Monroe's beautifully landscaped yard had several fruit trees and a one-story guesthouse she was in the process of renovating when she died.

    Monroe's bedroom has a fireplace and doors leading to a courtyard patio. Nothing extravagant—especially by today's standards—but it became a tranquil haven for the actress.

    Like Monroe's bedroom, the office opens out to the brick courtyard patio and pool area, blending indoors and outdoors in true Southern California style.

    A simple but attractive brick patio joins Monroe's house with her swimming pool. According to an article in Architectural Digest, the actress casually referred to the hacienda as “a cute little Mexican-style house with eight rooms."

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  • 05 of 05

    More About 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood, LA

    Monroe's home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood
    JGKlein / Wikimedia Commons

    The Brentwood home was purchased by Marilyn Monroe in early 1962 and was last on the market in 2017. In the interim years, it was the residence of at least two people in the entertainment industry, including actress Veronica Hamel (Hill Street Blues) and later, director Michael Ritchie. 

    During remodeling by Hamel and her husband, surveillance and bugging equipment ​three bath in the roof and walls. This is thought to have been installed secretly during the time Marilyn Monroe allegedly was involved with John F. Kennedy or Robert Kennedy in the early 1960s, although this has never been verified.

    Inscribed on tiles embedded in the front stoop of Monroe's house were the Latin words Cursum Perficio, which means "My journey is over" or "I have completed my journey." Sadly, the words came true for Monroe six months after moving into the Los Angeles area home.