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The Last Homes of Five Late Great Silver Screen Icons

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Blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe certainly met an untimely end, by apparent suicide at age 36, and the suspicious circumstances of her death spawned one of history's most persistent conspiracy theories. What goes uncontested is that Monroe was found dead here, at her Brentwood home, by the housekeeper on August 5, 1962, less than a year after purchasing the red-roofed Spanish-style spread. It was the first and only home she ever owned, and was purchased for less than $90K. Immediately following her death, Marilyn's house sold to the Nunez family, who also took ownership of the home's contents, and in 1972 sold to a couple who are rumored to have uncovered a government-issue wire tapping system during a renovation. Conspiracy theorists, eat your heart out. Two years ago, the 2,600-square-foot, two-bedroom house returned to market with a much higher asking price, $3.6M, but the same private look and feel that drew Monroe to this pad in the first place.

? Carole Lombard, the queen of the screwball comedy, died tragically in a plane crash in January 1942, on her return from a tour selling war bonds. At the time, she was four years into her marriage to fellow silver screen star Clark Gable. Together they had moved onto a 20-acre ranch in Encino, Calif. previously owned by director Raoul Walsh, where they reportedly raised farm animals together. Gable, devastated by her death, moved out and joined the Army Air Force soon after.

? Cary Grant, a titan of the acting world, quit working at 62 in order to care for his daughter, Jennifer. Grant was almost psychotically obsessed with raising his daughter properly, and preserving artifacts from her upbringing, so much so that he installed a bank vault in this gated Beverly Hills estate to store her keepsakes. Grant lived out his years in this house, willing it to his fifth wife, Barbara, upon his death in 1986.

? The short-lived superstar of the 1920s, Rudolph Valentino, died suddenly at age 31 after surgery to remedy appendicitis, and was, thanks to a legion of obsessed fans, instantly granted iconic status. His home, dubbed Falcon Lair, was also legendary. Set in the Beverly Hills, the elaborate home was built by developer George Read in 1923, purchased by Valentino for $175K—that's $2.2M in today's dollars—and decorated in a most lavish style. The house didn't bring the star much good fortune. His wife divorced him soon after they moved in and the star spent little more than a year in the house before his death. In 1953, the tobacco heiress Doris Duke purchased the property and, after her estate sold it, it was torn down in 2006.

? This last tale involves Hollywood heavyweights, death and a house, but in this case the owner of the manse, actor Wallace Beery, is alleged to have murdered vaudeville performer Ted Healy in the parking lot of an L.A. nightclub, along with his accomplice, Bond producer Albert Broccoli. While that bizarre claim has never been proven, it was included in a revealing book about a pair of MGM "fixers." If Beery's scruples are in question, the condition of his former home, a William Kesling-designed manse in Hollywood, is certainly not. The impeccably-presented Art Deco masterpiece is currently listed for $899K.

· Marilyn Monroe Died Here [The Real Estalker]
· Old Hollywood Romances and the Houses Where They Happened [Curbed National]
· Cary and Jennifer Grant's Former Home [IAMNOTASTALKER]
· 947 N Martel [Zillow]