Although she was born as Norma Jeane Mortenson, she was buried as Marilyn Monroe. And although her final resting place was intended to be modest and private, the power of her popularity continues to draw fans and fellow celebrities alike, even after her—and their—demise.
After dying of a drug overdose in what was an apparent suicide on August 5, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was interred three days later at Westwood Village Memorial Cemetery. The funeral arrangements were handled by Joe DiMaggio, whose famous romance with Monroe (which ended in divorce after a brief marriage in 1954) had reportedly been rekindled shortly before her death.
Feeling some resentment toward the entertainment industry for Monroe’s demise, DiMaggio had no interest in making the funeral a Hollywood affair. Westwood was, at a the time, a quiet, out-of-the-way cemetery chosen because it was also the final resting place of Monroe’s childhood guardian, Grace Goddard, and her surrogate mother Ana Lower. The private service was restricted to a small group of the star’s closest friends and associates.
Ironically, thanks to the presence of Marilyn Monroe’s grave, Westwood has been a popular place for celebrity burials ever since. Other famous grave sites in the cemetery include those of Dean Martin, Jack Lemmon, Rodney Dangerfield, Roy Orbison, Frank Zappa, Truman Capote, Ray Bradbury, and Billy Wilder, to name but a few. It is also the final resting place of Hugh Hefner, who bought the tomb next to Monroe’s in 1992 so that he could spend eternity alongside Playboy’s first Playmate.
Marilyn Monroe’s earthly remains are interred in crypt number 24 in the Corridor of Memories, a complex of above-ground crypts on the west side of the cemetery. For 20 years after her death, DiMaggio had red roses delivered to her simple grave three times a week. Today, it is regularly adorned with flowers, cards, letters, and other mementos left by the regular visitors it attracts. Memorial services are held annually on June 1 (her birthday) and August 5 (the date of her death). Monroe’s crypt is easily distinguishable from the others in the wall thanks to the discoloration caused by lipstick marks frequently left by fans.
Know Before You Go
Marilyn's site is marked on the side of a concrete wall, simply as "Marilyn Monroe 1926-1962"