New York Film Locations

Marilyn Monroe and New York City

4 August 2023

This month marks the 61st year since the passing of Marilyn Monroe, and as a special news report, otsoNY pinpoints some of the locations and homes that Monroe graced with her presence.

Actress Marilyn Monroe

Original name Norma Jeane Mortenson, later called Norma Jeane Baker, she was born on 1st June 1926, in Los Angeles, California. Her mother was frequently confined in an asylum, and Norma Jeane was reared by 12 successive sets of foster parents and, for a time, in an orphanage. In 1942, she married a fellow worker in an aircraft factory, but they divorced soon after World War II. She became a popular photographer’s model and in 1946 signed a short-term contract with Twentieth Century-Fox, taking as her screen name Marilyn Monroe. After a few brief appearances in movies made by the Fox and Columbia studios, she was again unemployed, and she returned to modelling for photographers. Her nude photograph on a calendar brought her a role in the film “Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay!” in 1948 and was followed by other minor roles. In 1950, Monroe played a small un-credited role in “The Asphalt Jungle” that reaped a mountain of fan mail. An appearance in “All About Eve” won her another contract from Fox and much recognition. In a succession of movies, including “Let’s Make It Legal”, “Love Nest”, “Clash by Night”, and “Niagara”, she advanced to star billing on the strength of her studio-fostered image as a ‘love goddess’. With performances in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, “How to Marry a Millionaire”, and “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, her fame grew steadily and spread throughout the world, and she became the object of unprecedented popular adulation. In 1954, she married baseball star Joe DiMaggio, and the attendant publicity was enormous. With the end of their marriage less than a year later she began to grow discontented with her career.

Monroe studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors’ Studio in New York City, and in “The Seven Year Itch” and “Bus Stop”, she began to emerge as a talented comedian. In 1956, she married playwright Arthur Miller and briefly retired from moviemaking, although she co-starred with Laurence Olivier in “The Prince and the Showgirl”. She won critical acclaim for the first time as a serious actress for “Some Like It Hot” in 1959. Her last film, the drama “The Misfits”, was written by Miller specifically for Monroe, though their marriage disintegrated during production; they divorced in 1961.

In 1962, Monroe began filming the comedy “Something’s Got to Give”. However, she was frequently absent from the set because of illnesses, and in May she travelled to New York City to attend a gala where she famously sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to John F. Kennedy, with whom she was allegedly having an affair. In June, Monroe was fired from the film. Although she was later rehired, work never resumed. After several months as a virtual recluse, Monroe died from an overdose of sleeping pills in her Los Angeles home on 4th August 1962. Her death was ruled a ‘probable suicide’ and this finding was supported by the actress’s history of drug use and previous suicide attempts. However, some believed that she had been killed after threatening to reveal her relationship with the Kennedy brothers, she was also rumoured to have had an affair with U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy or that she had information linking the two men to organised crime. Although there was insufficient evidence to support these claims, conspiracy theories persisted. In their first runs, Monroe’s 23 movies grossed a total of more than $200 million, and her fame surpassed that of any other entertainer of her time. Her early image as a dumb and seductive blonde gave way in later years to the tragic figure of a sensitive and insecure woman unable to escape the pressures of Hollywood. Her vulnerability and sensuousness combined with her needless death eventually raised her to the status of an American cultural icon.

St. Regis Hotel at 2 East 55th Street

Monroe spent most of her short-adult life going between LA and New York City where she spent time in several hotels to include Suite 1105 at the St. Regis Hotel at 2 East 55th Street. She and Joe DiMaggio stayed there during the filming of “The Seven Year Itch” in 1954. Monroe moved to the Gladstone Hotel at 114 East 52nd Street following her divorce from DiMaggio. At the time she was working with photographer Milton H. Green.

Waldorf Astoria at 301 Park Avenue

A short time afterwards, Monroe sublet a three-room suite on the 27th floor of the Waldorf Astoria at 301 Park Avenue, where she used the hotel stationary to write poems and diary entries. In 1955, Monroe lived at 2 Sutton Place. It was during this time when she met Arthur Miller at the Broadway premiere of his show “A View from a Bridge”. The two married the next year.

2 Sutton Place

2 Sutton Place

After getting married, Monroe and Miller moved to the 13th floor of this apartment building at 444 East 57th Street. Miller wrote the final draft of “The Misfits” in this apartment. The couple lived there until 1961, when they divorced.

2 Sutton Place

2 Sutton Place

During their married life, they rented a home in Amagansett, on the east coast of Long Island. The house at 64 Deep Lane in East Hampton was built in the 1800s, and other tenants included Kurt Vonnegut and Terence Stamp.

64 Deep Lane in East Hampton


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