Tag Archives: Marilyn

Marilyn’s First, and Last, Home

Just finished another excellent book about the life and times of Miss Marilyn Monroe.  The book, Goddess, was recommended to me by a staff member at Vroman’s – even though it is currently out of print – who said it was the definitive biography about the star.  See why I love that bookstore?!?  🙂

Anyway, reading the book reminded me that a couple of years back, on our annual Haunted Hollywood tour, my boyfriend and I did a little stalking of the house where Marilyn Monroe took her final breath.  This was actually the first, and last, home Miss Monroe every owned.  She purchased the house in 1961, but didn’t officially move in until March of 1962, just six months before her death. 

While shopping for homes in 1961, Marilyn decided she wanted a place close in both proximity and looks to her therapist, Dr. Ralph Greenson’s, home.  The Spanish style home on Fifth Helena Drive fit the bill, as it looked very similar to Dr. Greenson’s home and was located only a few short miles away.  According to Goddess, Marilyn actually cried while signing the final papers as she said she never imagined she would be purchasing a home alone.  Ironically, after moving in to the home, Marilyn had a plaque placed above her door which read “Cursom Perificio”.  Translation – “My Journey Ends Here”.   How right she was.

Sadly, there isn’t a whole lot to see of the home from the street as there is a huge wall surrounding it.  But it was still very cool to visit, and I highly recommend stalking it if you are at all Marilyn fan.  According to Goddess, Marilyn absolutely loved her little Spanish bungalow and was personally handpicking all of the furnishings before her death.  She even made a trip to Mexico shortly before her death to pick up some decorations for the home.  (In the above photo a large green home is visible above Marilyn’s gate – that is a neighbor’s house, not hers.) 

Remember to be courteous when stalking and not to disturb the home’s current residents.  From what I have read they do not take kindly to tourists taking pictures in front of their house.  Which begs the question – Then WHY in the heck did they buy one of the world’s most famous houses?? LOL

You can read a brief history of Marilyn’s home here.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Marilyn’s final home is located at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood.  The house can be difficult to find as there are many streets in the area with the name “Helena”.   Take South Carmelina Avenue past  First, Second, Third and Fourth Helena Drive and then you will see Fifth Helena, where Marilyn’s home is located.

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Marilyn’s Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

 I know I have blogged about the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel quite a few times in the past, but what can I say?  Every time I go there I discover something new!  A few weeks ago while doing some Hollywood stalking with my mom, we took a little lunch break at the Tropicana Bar next to the Roosevelt Hotel’s pool.  While we were there I happened to ask the pool security guard if he knew where Marilyn Monroe’s former room was located.  Not only did he know where it was, but it turns out we were sitting directly beneath it!  🙂

For about two years, shortly before she became the world’s most famous starlet, Marilyn lived in a poolside suite at the Roosevelt.  At the time MM was fresh from her first divorce and her modeling career was just taking off.  According to the security guard, Marilyn’s room is one of the largest rooms in the entire hotel, with a huge wraparound balcony overlooking the pool.  A mirror that hung in Marilyn’s room during the time she called the Roosevelt home now hangs in a mezzanine hallway just off the hotel lobby.  Marilyn must have truly loved the Roosevelt, as she doesn’t seem to want to leave.  Rumors persist that the hotel is still haunted by her ghost to this day. 

As I have said many times before, the Roosevelt is one of my very favorite places in all of LA.  I highly recommend stalking it if you have the chance.  You can even spend the night in the Marilyn Monroe suite, which is apparently the hotel’s most requested room.  🙂  Looks like I need to plan a little overnight stalking trip!!  🙂 The Tropicana Bar is a fabulous place to grab a drink and a bite to eat – they have GREAT food and the staff could not be friendlier!!  But be prepared, the menu is pricey.  It is worth every penny, though, as it is one of the hippest spots in LA and is pretty much celeb central.  The poolside bar is one of Lauren Conrad’s favorite places to hang out and it has even shown up in a few episodes of The Hills.  🙂

In other Marilyn news, I just finished an absolutely fascinating book about Marilyn’s life called The Last Days of Marilyn Monroe.  If you are at all an MM fan, I highly recommend reading. 

You can read my other posts about the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel here and here

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is located at 7000 Hollywood Boulevard in downtown Hollywood.  Marilyn’s room is located directly above the Tropicana, the Roosevelt’s poolside bar.

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Marilyn Merlot

I am still very much in the throws of my Marilyn Monroe obsession, and it is definitely true what they say – the more you think about something, the more you attract that thing to you.  My father happened to be going through his wine collection last week and discovered a bottle of “Marilyn Merlot” wine that he had purchased almost a decade ago.  No one in my family has ever been a big Marilyn fan, so it was a fairly random purchase.  My dad says he came across the wine one day many years ago in a grocery store and he grabbed it thinking it might one day be a collector’s item.  Due to my recent obsession, he of course gave the bottle to me and I quickly put it on display in my kitchen.  Flash forward to this past weekend, when my parents were vacationing in Monterey, California.  They made a visit to their favorite wine shop there, Terranova Fine Wines, and lo and behold, sitting on a shelf in the store was a vast collection of the Marilyn Wines, including the one my father had just given me.  It’s present day worth?  $225!!  Guess he was right about it one day being a collector’s item.  🙂

Bob, the owner of Terranova, filled my dad in on the history of the Marilyn Wines.  Apparently, in 1985 two Napa area brothers gained exclusive rights to Marilyn’s name and certain images of the starlet and decided to use them on bottles of wine.  Beginning in ’85, the brothers released a new vintage of Marilyn Merlot each year on her birthday – June 1 – each with a different photograph of the screen legend.  The wine was not extremely popular until its fourth vintage when it caught the attention of a Japanese businessman who formed a partnership with the brothers.  They agreed that 60 percent of each year’s vintage would be sold exclusively in Japan, as Marilyn is still a huge icon there.  They also agreed to only release a limited quantity of each year’s wine, so as to prevent overflooding of the market.  Today the wines are hugely successful, with some vintages costing upwards of thousands of dollars.  The brothers have branched out and now also produce Marilyn Cabernet, Norma Jeane Wines, the Velvet Collection, and Blonde de Noirs, their latest creation of sparkling wines.  All royalties from the sales of the wines go to Anna Strasberg, the wife of Marilyn’s beloved acting coach, Lee Strasberg, to whom Marilyn left everything in her will.  Anna allocates the money to the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and the Anna Freud Fondation in London.

That same day that my parents learned the history of the Marilyn Wines, my boyfriend and I were actually stalking the Beverly Hills home Marilyn shared for a few short months with husband Joe DiMaggio.  Monroe and DiMaggio rented the house in April of 1954 while Marilyn was in town filming There’s No Business Like Show Business.  The home, which is most often referred to as Joe and Marilyn’s honeymoon home, is a very cute, but nondescript Elizabethan style house.  It is amazing to me to that she lived in such a normal home at the height of her career. 

On October 6, 1954 a distraught Marilyn held a press conference on the front lawn of this home announcing her divorce from Joe DiMaggio.  The press were out in force that day, camped out in Marilyn’s front yard, to document the event.  Marilyn vacated the home shortly thereafter.  You can see a slide-show of the press conference that took place that day here.  Although it is a very long slide-show, there are quite a few photographs where you can see the home in the background.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Marilyn and Joe’s honeymoon home is located at 508 North Palm Drive in Beverly Hills, just off Santa Monica Boulevard.  Terranova Fine Wines is located at 315 Calle Principal in Monterey, California.  If you visit the store, be sure to ask for Bob, who has a vast knowledge of Marilyn Monroe and the Marilyn Wines.  You can also visit the Terranova website here.

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