Worlds Best Homes

The Owlwood Estate, once home to Marilyn Monroe, Cher and Tony Curtis, sells for $88m

Designed by renowned architect Robert D Farquhar in 1936, the Owlwood Estate hosted Hollywood's greats

Owlwood Estate
(Image credit: Alexis Adams)

The Owlwood Estate, a breathtaking home that was once owned by Tony Curtis and Cher, and lived in by Marilyn Monroe, has sold for an eye-watering $88 million.

The mansion had been on the market since 2017, priced at $180 million, then reduced to $115 million.

The property is known as the shining star of LA's Holmby Hills, and has been a playground for the who's who of Hollywood since it was completed in 1936.

Owlwood Estate

(Image credit: Alexis Adams)

The classic Tuscan-styled mansion was built in 1935 by Robert D. Farquhar for Florence and Charles Quinn. Florence was divorced from Arthur Letts who, in 1925, was the original owner and developer of the 3,296 acres of land on which Holmby Hills is located.

After the Quinns, the home was bought by 20th Century Fox co-founder Joseph Schenck. As detailed in the book Unreal Estate by Michael Gross, Marilyn Monroe was said to spend much time there and at only 21, it was said that, although Schenck was still married to his first wife, she had an affair with him and lived in the guest house.

The Owlwood Estate sits on four acres and was the largest and most luxurious house at the time measuring in at 12,000 square feet and a cost of $150,000. Farquhar also designed Beverly Hills High School and Festival Hall for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco.

Owlwood Estate

(Image credit: Alexis Adams)

The grandiose decor oozes a sumptuous elegance, and the dining room and office boast dark wood wall panelling, extravagant chandeliers and vibrant contemporary art.

See: Dining room ideas – inspiration for decorating and furnishing your space

Owlwood Estate

(Image credit: Alexis Adams)

See: Panelling ideas for walls – to bring warmth and interest to your spaces

Owlwood Estate

(Image credit: Alexis Adams)

The bedrooms are lighter and brighter, with detailed cornicing rubbing shoulders with on-trend statement house plants, like the celebrity-favoured fiddle leaf fig tree.

Owlwood Estate

(Image credit: Alexis Adams)

See: Gwyneth Paltrow's grand childhood home in New York

Owlwood Estate

(Image credit: Alexis Adams)

Actor Tony Curtis later bought the home from Shcenck towards the latter part of his career. It's reported Cher fell in love with the house when attending a party that Tony Curtis threw at the home and she went on to purchase the mansion from him with her then-husband Sonny Bono. 

Owlwood Estate

(Image credit: Alexis Adams)

Gossip began when Cher wanted to leave Sonny but CBS threatened to cancel their TV show, the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, if one of them moved out. So they decided to inhabit separate wings. Later on, they sold the estate to playboy Ghazi Aita of Monaco.

Owlwood Estate

(Image credit: Alexis Adams)

It's not hard to see why everyone fell under the home's spell; the exquisite pool area is surrounded by flower-decked walls, and there's a sumptuous outdoor living area to really make the most of the blue skies and LA lifestyle.

Owlwood Estate

(Image credit: Alexis Adams)

House tour courtesy of Top Ten Real Estate Deals.

Who currently lives in Marilyn Monroe's house?

Marilyn Monroe is said to have lived in 43 different homes, however she only bought one house in Los Angeles at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive. Built in 1929, the Hacienda-style house has four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Marilyn Monroe's home is now owned by Scottish YouTuber Jasmine Chiswell. Just 25, she moved to the US from Carluke, Lanarkshire, to follow her ambition of working as a film producer in Hollywood. She lives in Marilyn Monroe's house – and is even said to emulate the late actress' looks.

Ruth Doherty

Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.