Sunday, January 07, 2018

I found Marilyn Monroe's House in Burbank from 1948

Hello there! Hope everything is going great with you. I have an interesting photo essay to feature and which I'm excited to share. Here's the tale...


For decades in Burbank California we had the story that Marilyn Monroe lived here. We even had a photo dating to around 1948 that included an address. But nobody could figure out where that address was, whether the house was actually in Burbank, or whether it even existed anymore.

All of that has changed. The location of the house has been discovered and I can prove this was the place where the photo was taken. Click on the shots below and follow along as I tell you about Marilyn Monroe's house in Burbank. The 70 year mystery has finally been solved!


It's 1948 and Norma Jean (Mortenson) Dougherty is a 21 or 22 year old in Burbank California. She'd been working at a plane factory at the north end of town and is gradually picking up modeling work. Things are changing as she gets ready for a new career in show biz. She's signed a short term contract with Columbia Pictures and is frequently appearing as an extra and in bit parts in the movies. She's working as Marilyn Monroe for the first time. 

And she's living at 4215 Rowland Avenue.

Fast forward to Burbank in 2017 and the question becomes... Where's Rowland Avenue?

There's no such street in Burbank. If the street doesn't exist then what about the house? 

The great mystery surrounding the iconic photo of Marilyn Monroe in Burbank was solved this past summer by Wes Clark, a local historian who published the info on July 6 2017 and gave credit to Harry A. Marnell for disclosing that Rowland Avenue's name had been changed years ago. We now know what the current street name is and where to look.

Armed with the info I set out towards that part of town on Dec 28 2017. It was a neighborhood I lived at in 1995. In fact the house was across the street and only a few doors down from my old residence. As I approached I made a personal commitment. To take one shot as I walked by and make the best of it. Here it is...

It was built in 1937. A blow up of the photo shows the entrance. I lightened the image slightly for clarity. The front door is now painted white. The dark object in the center is a holiday wreath with a red bow.

By overlaying a transparent version of the photo we can see exactly where Marilyn Monroe was standing 70 years ago in 1948.

To further confirm the location of the 4215 photograph I used the street view from Google Maps dated 2015.

This is an image of the front door zoomed in from the street view on Google Maps.

This is an overlay of the original Marilyn Monroe photo at the exact spot where the image was taken.

Thanks to Google Maps technology we can see what Marilyn Monroe was looking at from the perspective of her front door. The panorama still has some of that small town country charm to it. Beyond the hill on the left is Hollywood. Towards the base of the hill is Warner Bros Studio. To the right of the hill and directly in the center of the image would be the area of Universal Studios.

Marilyn Monroe was facing Hollywood!

Another piece of the puzzle in the life of one of America's greatest and most iconic entertainment talents. 

Norma Jeane we have found you !!

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