Marilyn Monroe lived in her Brentwood neighborhood home in Los Angeles for only six months before her life came to a sad end on August 4th, 1962.
She lived in an astounding total of 43 homes in her lifetime, but this was the only one she ever actually bought herself.
Monroe purchased the house in February of 1962 after her therapist advised her to put down some roots.
House Crazy Sarah went to see Marilyn’s former house a few years back, but understandably, you can only get as far as the security gate and really can’t see much of the house.
When Marilyn lived there, the wooden gate had a scalloped edge. But the original gate is long gone – as shown in the photo below:
12305 Fifth Helena Drive is a one-story, Spanish-style hacienda situated at the end of a cul-de-sac just off San Vicente Boulevard.
The home is located in a dense residential area of Brentwood, wedged between many other houses.
Marilyn was thrilled to buy her own place and described it as “a cute little Mexican-style house with eight rooms.” She paid $650,000 for the property, which may seem like a lot for a modest one-story home in 1962, but it most recently sold for over $7 million.
One of her last photoshoots took place in this house.
The wood-carved chair on which she sat for the shoot later sold at auction after her death, as did many of her possessions.
Marilyn told LIFE Magazine in her final interview: “Anybody who likes my house, I am sure I will get along with.”
She cherished her Spanish-style house. It had, and still has, a free-form swimming pool, a beautifully landscaped yard with several fruit trees, and a one-story guesthouse that Marilyn was in the process of renovating when she died.
Built in 1929, the Spanish Colonial Revival was an architectural gem that featured a red-tile roof and adobe walls.
The press photos that were taken the day after she died depict her lovely home with her dog Maf’s stuffed toys still out in the yard:
Marilyn was a dog lover and she was gifted the poodle/Maltese terrier mix named Maf from Frank Sinatra. She is shown below cuddling with her beloved Maf.
After the LAPD sealed up Marilyn Monroe’s home and carried her body out on a stretcher, her housekeeper took possession of Maf.
Before her death, Marilyn had been in the process of decorating the home with vintage and handmade pieces that she found on trips to Mexico.
Many unpacked boxes were still strewn about the house at the time of her death.
Below are some 1962 photos of how the home looked when Marilyn lived there:
The star light in her dining room was apparently one of Marilyn’s favorite finds.
Below is Marilyn’s bedroom as it appeared in the police photos:
Ironically, Monroe described her house as “a fortress where I can feel safe from the world.”
Several areas of the home had signature blue and yellow patterned Mexican tile, including the kitchen and bathrooms.
The photomontage below shows what the house looked like in 1962 after Marilyn’s furniture and possessions were removed.
In the years following her death, 12305 5th Helena Drive became a pilgrimage site for Monroe’s many fans. The house sold in the 1970s and again in 2012 for $5.1 million. Most recently, the home sold in 2017 for $7.25 million which is quite a sum for a smaller 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom Brentwood home.
Layout of Marilyn Monroe’s Home:
The photos below are from when the house was listed for sale in 2010.
It still had many of the features that Marilyn fell in love with: the exposed beams and rafters, original floor tiles, and artisanal tile around the living room fireplace.
The design of the house is so lovely; several doors open to the pool patio area, making the outdoors easily accessible.
The kitchen is one room that has undergone a significant transformation since Marilyn’s time there.
Gone are the blue and yellow Mexican tiles. They were replaced with white, glass-fronted cabinetry at one point over the years.
Below is Marilyn’s former bedroom – the room where she died. But the layout has been changed in more recent years; the entry door was moved to another wall.
The ensuite bathroom:
The guest bathroom:
Outside, the yard and pool are still very much as they were when Marilyn lived there.
The other side of the house features a gorgeous courtyard:
Another major change since Marilyn lived here: the guest house and main house were joined together and several rooms were added.
These empty house photos are from the most recent listing in 2017.
The blue & yellow tiled fireplace, thankfully, is still intact.
One of the most poignant things about Marilyn’s last house was the Latin words inscribed on the tiles of her front step: Cursum Perficio which translates to: “End of my journey”.
Sadly, the prophetic words came true for Marilyn only six months after moving into her perfect little Mexican-style house.