Marilyn’s Letters at Bonham’s

A letter written by the young Norma Jeane Dougherty to her half-sister, Berniece Miracle, in June 1945, is among the Marilyn-related documents on auction at Bonham’s and Butterfield’s on Wednesday, April 20.

Also included are Marilyn’s first offer on her Brentwood home from 1962, and a letter from Arthur Miller to director George Cukor, thanking him for his kindness to Marilyn during filming of Let’s Make Love in 1960.

“I just wanted to thank you for the way you have behaved toward Marilyn. The picture, of course, is important to her and to you, but immeasurably more important are the precious days and weeks of her life which your patience and skill and understanding have made humanly meaningful for her. I have never known her so happy at work, so hopeful for herself, so prepared to cast away the worst of her doubts. You must know now some of the reasons why she is so precious to me and will understand the sincerity of my respect for you. / I am at work here, but I don’t know how long I’ll be able to bear this bachelorhood…”

Speaking for Bonham’s, Kathryn Williamson described Monroe as the most ‘collectable’ of stars.

‘My Great-Aunt, Eunice Murray’

Marilyn at the Fox lot on her 36th birthday with Henry Weinstein, Murray (Photo by George Barris)

“Aunt Eunice and Dr. Greenson eventually became friends, and as time went by, he became very impressed by her stable character. For this reason, when the need later arose, Dr. Greenson, and some of his colleagues, hired her as a ‘support worker’ for some of their high-profile clients. She became the stable ‘friend’ that most of them did not have.”

An intriguing article about Marilyn’s last housekeeper, Eunice Murray, at Galveston Music Scene

Feng Shui at Marilyn’s Final Home

A more spiritual perspective on Marilyn’s last home, currently up for sale, from feng shui expert Dana Claudat.

“Is it little coincidence that this house appears to be missing vital areas of the bagua? The fastest way I can explain the bagua is to say that in feng shui, certain areas of a home can be placed within a geometric grid that encompasses every area of existence — physically, spiritually, emotionally and even monetarily, assigning certain significance to every area. When areas are ‘missing’ it is not the end of the world, but it certainly raises eyebrows that such a coincidence has occurred. Though I can’t see a complete floor plan, it seems that the ‘Self’ and ‘Wisdom’ areas are absent totally from the floor plan of the property.

Even more concerning is that this house is replete with such devastatingly powerful and aggressive beams slicing the energy through every room that I feel no holistic life stands a chance here without some real work on the space. The beams are really intense. Look at every room, nearly each one (including the living room — the main gathering area, and the kitchen — the area of nurture and nourishment in the home) has been bisected by really large beams.”

I must admit to having mixed feelings about this property. While it is a beautiful house, where Marilyn once lived, it is also the place where her life ended. Whoever finally buys it will have to accept that it will always carry these associations with MM, and it inspires a sometimes morbid curiosity in people.

The house is located in a tiny cul-de-sac in Brentwood, a quiet, upmarket residential suburb of Los Angeles. Some of its more recent occupants and neighbours have not been happy about the constant visits by sightseers, and I can understand that.

However, public interest shows no sign of waning. Ideally I would like to see this house restored to its 1962 form as a national heritage site, in the way that John Lennon’s childhood home in Liverpool, UK is now maintained.

But while Monroe is fast becoming one of America’s greatest icons, historians have been slow to recognise this. The endless auctions of recent years, where Marilyn’s personal property has been dispersed among private collectors, are a similar example of opportunities squandered.

And with no surviving relatives to protect Marilyn’s legacy, I can’t see a sea-change occurring anytime soon. In death, as in life, Monroe seems to be alone and unprotected.

Ambulance Driver Remembers Marilyn’s Death


“While I was working for the Park Pantry Cafeteria on W. Anaheim Blvd. in Long Beach California, I met an older, thin man, who had taken the job as dishwasher for the restaurant. It was apparent from his demeanor that the man was living a hard life, and dishwashing was not a career, it was a job, but only for this week…

Nevertheless, between the clanging of pots and pans, the clash of dishes and the tinkle of silverware being washed, in what seemed a meaningless and unending cycle, conversation ensued, often during impromptu cigarette breaks.

This thin, hardened dishwasher told me about his recent stint of employment as an ambulance driver.  And , as fortune would have it, he discovered that he  was one of the persons called by Fate to remove Marilyn Monroe’s remains,  following her untimely death, from her apartment in Hollywood. (I can’t confirm that he is the same man pictured above, but he seems consistent with my memories).

He seemed proud of the connection, as if being the person to push Marilyn Monroe’s gurney out of her apartment became the high point of his life.

I only thought of this memory today as I was sitting at my desk, working, listening to my iPod through my new, inexpensive (what else)? docking station, listening to Elton John singing ‘Goodbye Norma Jean’.”

Zac Turango, Wildomar Magazine

Marilyn’s Last Home On Offer

“Sprawling & very special authentic 1929 Hacienda situated behind tall gates at the end of a quiet cul de sac on over 23K sq ft (per assessor) of tree-filled grounds. The crown jewel & largest property of all the Helenas (one of Brentwood’s most romantic & coveted locations) affording lovely vistas & grt privacy & seclusion yet in close proximity to San Vicente shops & restaurants & the Sunday Farmers’ Market. Thick walls, traditional casement windows, polished concrete & terra cotta tile floors, original wood beamed ceilings & period hardware & tiles create a warm, inviting & unique environment. French doors open to private courtyard, expansive grassy yard, pool, citrus grove & beautiful setting. 4 bedrooms, 3 baths + formal living room, family room, office, pool-side game room & separate children’s play house. Sun-filled cook’s kitchen opens to spacious courtyard garden. Wonderful charm & great architecture inside & out. Magical property in the finest Brentwood neighborhood.” – Sawbuck.com

More photos at David Offer Homes

Ray Tolman and Marilyn’s Brentwood Hacienda

Artwork by Brandon Heidrick

“Ray Tolman, who built music stands, played the flute and taught sociology in his long career, died at his home near Bergen Park on June 28. He was 93.

Tolman, who started building things when he was 9, had one famous client few would guess: Marilyn Monroe. He had met her through her psychiatrist, for whom Tolman built a conference table. According to Tolman, when Monroe saw the table, she asked him to design several things for her home, and he was still building for her when she died in 1962.”

Denver Post

To learn more about Marilyn’s last home, visit the website of author Gary Vitacco-Robles, author of Cursum Perficio: Marilyn Monroe’s Brentwood Hacienda.