Marilyn Monroe in California

  • 01 of 11

    Hollygrove, 1935-1936

    Hollygrove Orphanage
    ©2011 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Norma Jeane Baker spent 21 months at the Los Angeles Orphans Home Society in 1935-36. Her mother suffered a nervous breakdown, leaving her in the care of a friend who ultimately couldn't afford to take care of the child. The building still stands in Hollywood, although its exterior is much changed since she lived there.

    No longer a residential care facility, the former orphanage is now named Hollygrove and it's at 815 N. El Centro Avenue. During her stay, the future Marilyn Monroe attended Vine Street Elementary School at 955 North Vine Street.

    Continue to 2 of 11 below.
  • 02 of 11

    Avalon, Catalina Island 1943-1944

    Marilyn Monroe's Catalina Island Home 1942-43
    ©2014 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Norma Jeane Baker married James Dougherty in 1942 at the age of 16. James joined the Merchant Marines in 1943 and went to Catalina Island for basic training. Marilyn moved there with him and lived on the island for about a year and a half. Shortly after that, she was discovered by a photographer, divorced her husband, and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.

    Marilyn's little home is at 310 Metropole, which is a private residence.

    The Catalina Island Museum has some great pictures of her and hubby James.

    Continue to 3 of 11 below.
  • 03 of 11

    Handprints and Footprints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, 1953

    Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell at Grauman's Chinese Theater, 1953
    Darlene Hammond / Getty Images

    In 1953, Marilyn Monroe starred with Jane Russell in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. As is still common today, the film's stars made their imprint in the Grauman's Chinese Theatre and included the name of the film scrawled across their side-by-side prints.

    A small plaque on the fountain beside the north wall quotes Marilyn Monroe: "I used to go to Grauman's Chinese Theatre and try to fit my foot in a celebrity impression. it really meant to me that anything is possible... almost." Coins collected from the fountain are donated to Hollygrove.

    Continue to 4 of 11 below.
  • 04 of 11

    Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe's San Francisco Home, 1954

    2150 Beach Street, Former Home of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio
    Adapted from Google Street View

    On January 15, 1954, Marilyn Monroe (age 27) married baseball player Joe DiMaggio (age 39) at San Francisco's City Hall. They lived for a time in this house in the Marina District. It's at 2150 Beach Street.

    You can find an amusing account of the marriage at Museum of the City of San Francisco - near the bottom of the page - and it includes a photo of the newlyweds.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Beverly Hills House, 1954

    Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio's Honeymoon Home, Beverly Hills
    ©2010 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Sadly, Monroe and DiMaggio's marriage was short-lived. They separated within a year and on October 6, 1954, Marilyn Monroe appeared with her lawyer in front of this house, where she and DiMaggio lived in Beverly Hills to announce she was seeking a divorce. Headlines in the New York Daily News proclaimed: "Marilyn Splits With Joe Over Sexy Pictures."

    Monroe married playwright Arthur Miller after divorcing DiMaggio, but that marriage was also short-lived. When she died, it was DiMaggio who made her funeral arrangements. He described Marilyn as a "warmhearted girl that those people in Hollywood took advantage of."

    Their honeymoon house is at 508 N. Palm Drive in Beverly Hills.

    Continue to 6 of 11 below.
  • 06 of 11

    Some Like it Hot at the Hotel Del Coronado, 1959

    Some Like it Hot at the Hotel Del Coronado
    ©2016 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    In Monroe's 1959 film Some Like it Hot, two out-of-work male musicians go on the run from the mob after witnessing the Valentine's Day Massacre. Co-stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon dress up in drag to join an all-girl orchestra on its way to Florida. Along the way they meet ukelele-player Sugar Kane, played by Marilyn Monroe. Ostensibly set at the Seminole-Ritz Hotel in Florida the beach resort scenes were actually filmed at the Hotel Del Coronado.

    We took a modern photo of the hotel - which has changed little since the movie was shot - then added a drawing of Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon as a tip of our virtual hat to a scene from the film.

    Continue to 7 of 11 below.
  • 07 of 11

    Marilyn Monroe Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1960

    Marilyn Monroe Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
    ©2010 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Marilyn Monroe was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960, the same year she won a Golden Globe for her performance in Some Like It Hot.

    The Marilyn Monroe star is at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard, just south of Highland on the same side of the street as Ripley's Believe It or Not. In the random placement of the stars, she's between Arsenio Hall and Arnold Schwarznegger.

    Continue to 8 of 11 below.
  • 08 of 11

    The Only Home Marilyn Monroe Owned, 1962

    2305 5th Helena Drive, Marilyn Monroe's Last Home
    From Google Maps

    The only house Marilyn Monroe ever owned was a four-bedroom, three-bath house in the Brentwood neighborhood, with 2,624 square feet of living space on a 23,200 square-foot lot. The property also has a swimming pool, courtyard, and citrus grove. Sadly, Monroe died just six months after moving in. On August 15, 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her bedroom. Much has been written about the event, summarized by the Los Angeles Times.

    We've included a map instead of a photo here for two reasons. First - and most important - you can't see the house from the street. We realize that's not going to stop some of you from trying, so here's the map.

    In an odd bit of layout and street-naming, city planners created a gaggle of little streets branching off Carmelina in this area, all of them named Helena Drive with a sequential number: 1st Helena Drive, 2nd Helena Drive and so on. It's an odd way to do things that confuses many mapping systems. Between Sunset Boulevard on the north and San Vicente on the south, 18 of these little streets branch off from Carmelina. They're less than a block long and are basically long driveways between two houses facing Carmelina leading to two more behind them.

    Monroe's house was at the end of 5th Helena Drive. The official address is 12305 5th Helena Drive, but your mapping system may have an easier time finding 333 Carmelina Avenue, which is at the end of 5th Helena Drive.

    Given the ardent nature of Marilyn Monroe's fans, it's no wonder the previous owners put up a big wall that blocks any view of the house. Finally, they may have had enough. In July, 2010, the Huffington Post reported that the house was for sale for $3.6 million. See the official listing for a rare peek inside.

    Zillow has an aerial photo and reports its last selling price and current value.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Marilyn Monroe's Last Resting Place, 1962

    Marilyn Monroe's Crypt
    ©2010 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Marilyn Monroe was laid to rest in a small cemetery on Los Angeles' westside, so out of the way that it's still a bit hard to find. If you visit, you're likely to find a few other folks there, on the same kind of a quest you're on. Besides Marilyn, other celebrities interred here include Natalie Wood, Dean Martin, Rodney Dangerfield, Merv Griffin, Mel Torme, Truman Capote and Farrah Fawcett.

    The story of the crypt just above Marilyn Monroe's is as over-the-top as it gets. It begins during Joe DiMaggio's divorce from Monroe in 1954, when he sold two crypts at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park to entrepreneur Richard Poncher. According to the LA Times, Poncher told his wife: "If I croak, if you don't put me upside down over Marilyn, I'll haunt you the rest of my life." Widow Elsie complied and Poncher's dream came true - until 2009 when his she auctioned Poncher's last resting place on eBay, reportedly selling it for $4.6 million, citing the need to raise money to pay off her mortgage,

    Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park is at 1218 Glendon Avenue in the Westwood area, just south of Wilshire Boulevard near I-405. To get there, turn left from Wilshire onto Glendon, then turn left into what appears to be a driveway between the tall building on the corner and the parking garage. Coming from Westwood Blvd., you can get there by going east on Wellworth Ave and north on Glendon, then into the driveway, which will be on your right.

    Continue to 10 of 11 below.
  • 10 of 11

    Marilyn Monroe in Los Angeles and Southern California

    Posing with Marilyn Monroe at Madame Tussaud's
    ©2011 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Marilyn Monroe in Hollywood

    This recreation of Marilyn Monroe's handprint ceremony is just next door to Grauman's in front of Madame Tussaud's wax museum, and they'll take your photo with it - or just do it yourself.

    In the same area are plenty of ways to see and be photographed with Marilyn and , you'll find her plastered on every souvenir imaginable along Hollywood Boulevard.

    • Handprints at Grauman's
    • Walk of Fame star
    • Look up at the northwest corner of Hollywood and Highland and you'll see her portrayed with film star James Dean, just above a neon sign that proclaims: "Gifts & Souvenirs - 1/2 Hour Photo."
    • Down the block, a life-sized bronze statue of Marilyn Monroe in that famous dress stands outside the Hollywood Museum and inside they have a Marilyn Monroe Collection.
    • Often, a celebrity impersonator dressed up like Marilyn works along Hollywood Boulevard, ready to pose for a small tip.

    More Marilyn Monroe Sites in Los Angeles and Southern California

    • Los Angeles General Hospital, 1100 Mission Road: Born June 1, 1926
    • Hollygrove: Lived here 1935-36
    • Vine Street School, 955 N. Vine Street, Hollywood: Attended while she lived at Hollygrove
    • Van Nuys High School, 6535 Cedros Avenue, Van Nuys: Attended in 1941
    • University High School, 11800 Texas Avenue, West Los Angeles: Attended in 1942 before dropping out to get married
    • Catalina Island: 310 Metropole Avenue, 1943-44
    • Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego: Some Like It Hot
    • Villa Nova Restaurant, 9015 W. Sunset Boulevard: First date with Joe DiMaggio (now the Rainbow Bar and Grill)
    • 20th Century Fox Pico Studios, 10100 Pico Boulevard, Century City: Many of her films were made here
    • Brentwood Home, 12305 5th Helena Drive: Where she died, 1962
    • Westwood Village Memorial Park: Buried

    Marilyn Monroe Homes in Los Angeles

    The Brentwood house was the only one Marilyn Monroe ever owned and during her career, she lived in many rented residences in and around Los Angeles. Among them are the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (7028 Hollywood Boulevard), the Studio Club (1215 Lodi Street), Doheny Apartments (882 N. Doheny Drive), and 935 Palm Drive, Beverly Hills (DiMaggio honeymoon house).

    Sleeping With Marilyn Monroe

    Area hotels have suites commemorating Marilyn Monroe, and one even has a room that was once her bungalow.

    Continue to 11 of 11 below.
  • 11 of 11

    Marilyn Monroe in San Francisco and Northern California

    Marilyn Monroe Souvenir
    ©2010 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

    Marilyn Monroe in San Francisco

    Much of the time Marilyn Monroe spent in San Francisco was during her relationship with Joe DiMaggio, a San Francisco native. Although some misinformed local tour guides will try to tell you the couple were married at Saints Peter and Paul Church in North Beach, the ceremony in fact took place at City Hall. After their marriage, the couple lived for a time in the city's Marina district at 2150 Beach Street.

    You'll find a wax figure of Marilyn Monroe at the Wax Museum on Fisherman's Wharf.

    More Marilyn Monroe Sites in San Francisco and Northern California

    • Castroville: The budding star was named Artichoke Queen in 1947, but nothing in the town commemorates the event.
    • Salinas: Murals by local artist John Cerney at the National Steinbeck Center feature Monroe as the Artichoke Queen of 1947
    • CalNeva Resort, Lake Tahoe: Once owned by Frank Sinatra, who often entertained friends including Miss Monroe

    Sleeping With Marilyn Monroe

    Area hotels have suites commemorating Marilyn Monroe, and one even has a room that was once her bungalow.

    • CalNeva Resort, Lake Tahoe: According to ghost hunter Janice Oberding, Monroe's ghost has been spotted in the swimming pool, the halls of the new hotel and in the parking lot - and you can request a stay in her cabin.