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The Many Homes Of Marilyn Monroe

The legendary Marilyn Monroe had an eventful and difficult existence that lasted barely 36 years. Before deciding to buy a lovely home in Brentwood, California, she spent that time bouncing between hotels and rental properties, residing in more than 40 of them. Sadly, she didn’t stay in her home for very long before the end of her extraordinary life.

In this piece, we follow her path from wealth, notoriety, and celebrity to the Brentwood house she worked so hard to maintain as a private residence.

Homes Of Marilyn Monroe

Early Life

On June 1st, 1926, in Los Angeles, Norma Jeane Mortenson (Marilyn Monroe) was born. Her father was more of an absent dad than a loving one, while her mother, Gladys Baker, struggled with mental illness. Her two half-siblings were Bernice and Robert. When she was 12 years old, she first heard about Bernice; the two first met in 1944.

Given her family’s status, it’s not unexpected that Marilyn ended up in a foster home. Wayne and Ida Bolender served as her adoptive parents.

Her mother entrusted Ida and Wayne with taking care of her. However, Marilyn remained in contact with her mother for the following seven years. Until the age of seven, she remained with her foster parents.

marilyn monroe foster care

Orphanages And More Foster Care

Marilyn was consequently transferred to the Los Angeles Orphans Home Society, where she remained for two years before moving on to live with family and friends in various residences throughout Los Angeles. She was sexually abused in two of the foster homes she moved between. Despite having a stutter, Marilyn always had aspirations of being an actress.

The transition to orphanages and different foster homes only served to further destabilize Marilyn, who had already experienced the trauma of a troubled childhood. Her adult life was impacted by the frequent moves because she didn’t establish roots in any one spot.

Orphanages and more foster care

James Dougherty

Just 18 days after turning 16, Marilyn fell in love with and wed James Dougherty in 1942. James claimed to be the luckiest man alive and confessed their love. Before relocating to a larger apartment in 1943, they spent a year in a smaller one.

The young couple’s residence in a Sherman Oaks block with only eight apartments was the ideal place to begin their relationship. Marilyn did not fully share Dougherty’s enthusiasm, and the two hardly ever spoke. They still made the decision to continue their relationship.

Marilyn and wed James Dougherty

The Divorce

Perhaps her constant search for comfort and happiness – both of which were sorely lacking throughout her formative years – involved changing residences. Maybe she thought James Dougherty would bring her happiness. The couple chose to relocate once more, though.

Then Marilyn and James decided to move from San Fernando to Santa Catalina Island. James joined the Merchant Marines and was assigned to the Pacific in 1944. Marilyn moved in with her in-laws at the time.

marilyn monroe james-divorce


1950 can be remembered as a turning point for Marilyn. Despite the fact that she was cast in minor roles, she eventually got to appear in Hollywood movies.

She starred in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve. She moved from apartment to apartment at the time, living with various Hollywood celebrities as roommates.

marilyn monroe Hollywood roommates

Sunset Boulevard

Monroe drew in men as sugar draws in flies. She moved from Burbank to John Carroll’s West Hollywood condominium, but she only stayed there for five months before leaving again, this time to Johnny Hyde’s larger Sunset Boulevard estate.

marilyn monroe Sunset Boulevard house

Beverly Hills

Her aspirations were growing quickly. In Beverly Hills, Marilyn relocated once more to a bigger house. This one was built in 1941 and measured 5,900 square feet and had five bedrooms and six bathrooms.

The two-story home featured a spacious lawn, a pool, a sun deck, and a guest house in addition to a huge, sweeping staircase in the hallway. She relocated to the Beverly Carlton Hotel, though, because of rumors that surrounded her and Johnny.

marilyn monroe sunset beverly hills house

Los Angeles Became Home

On the suggestion of her psychiatrist, she decided to establish some roots and purchased a home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1962. It was a colonial revival home in the Spanish style. She had been left broken-hearted, depressed, and a little wiser after her divorce.

It was also the first and final house she ever bought.


After a tough start in life, moving from family to family, relationship to relationship, Marilyn Monroe was finally able to find a home. And though her life was cut short, she was always in search of a place where she belonged.