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What was Marilyn Monroe’s net worth?

The present playing host to an endangered reminder of the 50s star has raised questions

Marilyn Monroe
Photo by Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The golden age of Hollywood gave rise to some shining stars, but none were as brilliant as Marilyn Monroe. More than the sex symbol she was known for, she was a talented actor who appeared in classics such as Some Like It Hot and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She had a promising future ahead of her that was sadly cut short in 1962 when the actor died at only 36 years old. These sad circumstances made her a fascinating figure, for better and for worse. Movies such as Blonde exploited the real-life actor’s struggles – including the state of her mental health – not allowing her reprieve even in death.

But there have always been many who have wanted to preserve the icon’s memories and keep her presence intact. After discovering that L.A. City Council was voting to demolish Monroe’s Brentwood house, council member Traci Park made moves to ensure that the landmark would remain intact. The only property that Monroe owned in her own right, the Spanish colonial home is a beautiful reminder of the charming talent of the actor.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Park pushed for the house to be granted cultural-monument status. The Seven Year Itch actor purchased the home at $75,000, which owners bought for $8.35 million. Preserving the structure is one way to remember the Hollywood star, but the fact that one of the biggest celebrities ever only had one lone property in her has left many wondering what her net worth was.

Marilyn Monroe’s net worth when she died

marilyn monroe in some like it hot
Photo via United Artists

The circumstances surrounding Monroe’s death are still mired in mystery after she was found deceased in her bedroom. History.com reported that authorities concluded that this was a suicide by sleeping pills, but we will never know for sure. What is known is what Monroe wanted done with her estate. She had a net worth of $800,000 at the time of her death, which celebritynetworth.com calculated is around $7 million in today’s currency. In addition to financially caring for her mother and half-sister with the funds, Monroe left her home to Lee Strasberg, director of the Actors Studio, and his wife, Paula. Via Vanity Fair, the two were effectively second parents to the actor.

After Paula’s death, Lee married actor Anna Mizrahi, who inherited Monroe’s home after her husband’s death. Through this ownership, Mizrahi monetized Monroe’s likeness and was able to make millions of dollars off of licensing her to various brands. Even after her death, Monroe was one of the highest-paid celebrities, according to Forbes. License Global says Authentic Brands Group has now acquired the actor’s intellectual property, allowing the company to use her image.

Given Monroe’s ever-lasting star power, it is evident that it doesn’t matter how much money The Misfits star was worth at the time of her death as she remains an even more impressive icon six decades later.

Carolyn Jenkins
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Carolyn Jenkins