top of page
  • Writer's picturesara wynne

Before Joe and After Arthur

Updated: Aug 12, 2021

882 North Doheny Drive in West Hollywood, CA apartment 3

Some nights I find myself going down the rabbit hole of history either on the water and power website or article after article peeling away the layers until I'm satisfied. I recently went through the list of addresses Marilyn Monroe lived at. The beauty moved around... a lot. When one thinks of Marilyn we associate her with glam, beauty, furs, and diamonds. Jetset life around the world meeting all types of people from all walks of life.

I wanted to look into where she lived right before moving into her Brentwood home. In doing a little research I realized she lived there twice in her life and there were rarely any photos of the inside. While I dug a little deeper I found some photos on MLS and I thought maybe you too would like to see the inside.

It's a small one-bedroom apartment smaller than 650 sqft above the garage but it has everything needed; small kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living room, it also has a fireplace. My favorite part of the apartment is the outdoor terrace which is a perfect setting for outdoor entertaining. The apartment is one of three units on a 6362 sqft lot. The main house is over 5000 sqft. In the 80s renowned interior designer Kalef Alaton gutted the interior and redid it. The compound, especially the one-bedroom apartment is private from curious eyes as it is not on the ground floor. Built-in 1952 and housed many celebrities including Sinatra. In 1953 Marilyn moved in and lived there for a year before marrying baseball legend Joe Dimaggio.

Take a look at some photos from within...

the mailbox seems to be original

Once through the gated entrance of the compound, the apartment is on the left up the steps.

After her marriage to Dimaggio dissolved she moved on to Arthur Miller which also ended in divorce. Marilyn moved to California from New York and once again resided at 882 N. Doheny until she made her first purchase in real estate property. While she lived in this apartment she made future plans for her life. She moved from this apartment into her famous Brentwood house on 5th and Helena. As you know, Marilyn died in her Brentwood home months after moving in. The trail of where Marilyn called home is lined with wonderment and nostalgia. Her childhood stay at the orphanage, the apartments around town, her home where we eternally remember her last days are all relatively close to each other. I was so happy to find these pictures of the interior and search for any I could find of her inside. I found some with her at the piano she had by the window as well.

It's nice to be able to look inside. It has such a cozy feel to it and I can just imagine what types of conversations where had within these walls. The cocktails that were enjoyed on the terrace after a long day of shooting. There was a lot of energy and deep emotion that was experienced within those walls. What a gem that it is still around and how humbling it is to realize such an icon lived in such a modest dwelling.

I've taken a screenshot from an incredibly insightful webpage on all things Marilyn. This is a receipt from the limo rental company that picked Marilyn up from the apartment to take her to a dinner where she met Robert Kennedy. This was six months before her passing...


Marilyn inside the apartment with the large windows behind her

607 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page