Marilyn Monroe's legacy in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, New York City and Westwood is legendary. But, when Marilyn needed a calmer escape, the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley became her getaway.
The Valley was important early in her career — and people who lived there were important to her memory.
In a few of the video clips enclosed above in the gallery to this story (above) are Monroe's arrival to a party at the home of Ray Anthony in Studio City on Aug. 3, 1952. Before that rather abrupt helicopter landing, she prepped and powdered up nearby at Dorothy Dandridge's house. The video is a rare clip, and photos of the private affair were taken by a David White Stereo Realist Camera, a dual-lens point and shoot that creates a three-dimensional effect when seen through a special viewer. (They are available for sale.)
On a personal note, I knew a few of the significant people in Monroe's life who lived in the Valley. I knew Marilyn's step-sister Bebe Goddard, who lived in North Hollywood, who lived with her as a child in Van Nuys.
I befriended Evelyn Moriarty, who lived most of her life in Valley Village and was Monroe's stand-in and was the startlet's friend in the last part of her life. And, I interviewed Bob Slatzer, who lived at the time in Studio City, and he claimed to have married Monroe and said she loved going to the Studio City Theatre which is now the
I introduced all of them to Teresa Seeger, one of the founders of the longest-running Marilyn Monroe fan club, Marilyn Remembered. (She writes film reviews for Studio City Patch under her pen name Cheyenne Chasen.)
There are great stories about Monroe in the Valley. She tried "making sushi" at her house here for her first husband, James Dougherty, after he brought fish home when they lived in Van Nuys. She has on Cahuenga Boulevard and was rumored to hang out at the .
She went to 10th grade at Van Nuys High School, 6535 Cedros Ave., where her co-star in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Jane Russell also went to school. In fact, their handprints and footprints are now immortalized next to each other at Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
In Burbank, near the Media Triangle, Monroe rented an apartment on a second floor, and she also rented a place in Toluca Lake (although reports are sketchy to the exact address, so we are not confirming it).
In Van Nuys, the Radio Plane Corporation at 7901 Woodley Ave. was significant because it was when a then-unknown Norma Jeanne was discovered by photographer David Conover and she got her first modeling job.
She also lived on 4524 Vista Del Monte St. in Sherman Oaks, click here for photo of the house.
Here are other significant San Fernando Valley addresses for Marilyn where she was known to live, and the years:6707 Odessa Ave Van Nuys, CA 1937 14743 Archwoods St Van Nuys, CA 1937 6707 Odessa Ave Van Nuys, CA 1938 11348 Nebraska Ave. Sawtelle, CA 1938-41 6707 Odessa Ave. Van Nuys, CA 1941-42 11348 Nebraska Ave. Sawtelle, CA 1942 4524 Vista Del Monte St. Sherman Oaks, CA 1942 14747 Archwood St. Van Nuys, CA
1943131 South Avon St. Burbank, CA
An award-winning Marilyn Monroe impersonator, Charleen Haynes, still lives in Studio City, and above in the video gallery is a performance at Studio City's once-legendary Queen Mary of drag performer Heather Fontaine as Marilyn Monroe.
Another little-known Monroe trivia note is that her mother, Gladys, was labeled insane and put into the Rockhaven Sanitorium, and when she was 63 years old, she escaped. Police found her a day later wandering Ventura Boulevard in Studio City.
Also, Studio City owns some of Monroe's furniture and he "speaks" to her regularly. He tells us that Marilyn's spirit is very much still in Studio City—and she feels very much at home here.
A reception following the memorial service will be held at the Westwood Presbyterian Church fellowship hall. A Hugh Hefner-signed Marilyn Monroe painting of the first cover of Playboy will be on display at the reception and offered for sale to benefit children suffering from abuse and neglect. To view or learn more, go to www.hollygrove.org/help/events_marilynpainting.shtml .
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