In the fictionalized biopic Blonde, Ana de Armas attempts to capture Marilyn Monroe in all her complexity. Written and directed by Andrew Dominik, and based on Joyce Carol Oates’s 1999 novel of the same name, the provocative film—with intertwined black-and-white and color sequences, a changing aspect ratio, and recurring CGI fetuses—is an impressionistic interpretation of the iconic actor’s life. It chronicles the young Norma Jeane Mortenson’s chaotic childhood with her mentally ill mother Gladys (Julianne Nicholson), her lifelong yearning for her absent father, and the rapacious casting couch the platinum pinup experienced; it also touches upon Monroe’s multiple (rumored) abortions, marriages to Yankee slugger Joe DiMaggio (Bobby Cannavale) and Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Arthur Miller (Adrian Brody), and her death in 1962 from a barbiturate overdose at age 36.
Incorporating clips from some of Monroe’s movies, including The Seven Year Itch, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Some Like It Hot, the Netflix film—which likely got its NC-17 rating for a sex scene between the vulnerable star and President Kennedy (Caspar Phillipson)—was shot at some of the real addresses Monroe called home. The humble Los Angeles apartment she shared with Gladys, for example, is in practically the same condition as when Monroe lived there. At her final residence, a Spanish Colonial–style house in Brentwood, California, the production restored Monroe’s bedroom to its original state. She reportedly lived in more than 40 places during her lifetime, and below are some of the notable properties—luxury penthouses, Hollywood mansions, and Connecticut estates—where the screen siren spent seminal moments.
Mediterranean-style mansion in the Hollywood Hills
After stays at a women-only residence, assorted LA apartments and hotels, and the Beverly Hills home of her agent (who left his wife for her), in 1952, Monroe rented a house that she and DiMaggio ultimately lived in during their short marriage. Built in 1938, the two-story walled-and-gated 3,335-square-foot Spanish-style villa has four bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths, and a living room with a wood-beamed ceiling and French doors that open onto a terra-cotta terrace with canyon views. The Hollywood Hills house overlooks Runyon Canyon.
French Normandy–style penthouse in West Hollywood