JFK and Marilyn Monroe ‘tryst’ house hits market for US$5m

If the affair happened, Monroe’s biographer thinks it probably happened here, at Bing Crosby’s home near Palm Springs


Bing Crosby’s house in Rancho Mirage, California, saw a lot of parties while he lived there from 1957 into the 1960s.

Frank Sinatra, Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez lived nearby. The home’s most famous guests, though, likely were Marilyn Monroe and John F Kennedy (JFK) who, according to Monroe’s biographer, visited the house at the same time and may have made their rumoured love connection in the legendary dry heat.

(A two-bedroom attached casita has been nicknamed the JFK Wing in the late US president’s honour.)

The 6,700 sq ft estate, spread across more than an acre, was built for the crooner and his second wife, Kathryn, in 1957.

The backyard has a pool and spa.

Much of the home has sliding walls to allow for indoor-outdoor living

The single-storey home, with a 1,400 sq ft master suite along with four other en-suite bedrooms, has been on and off the market since 2010, when it was first listed for US$3.4 million (RM14.01 million). It’s also been available for rent through Airbnb for US$3,400 a night.

Now the home has reappeared on the market, with a price of US$5 million. Linda Taglianetti, Fredrik Eklund, John Gomes and Gail Vasquez of Douglas Elliman Real Estate represent the listing at 70375 Calico Rd.

The master suite has 2 bathrooms and looks out onto the pool

The open-concept kitchen

The Spanish-style home is set in the Thunderbird Heights community of Rancho Mirage, a city near Palm Springs that’s seen an increase in home values of more than 30% in the past six months, according to Douglas Elliman’s Micro Market Report.

According to Douglas Elliman data, Crosby’s estate is valued at seven times the median home price in the same ZIP code. (Zillow, meanwhile, estimates its worth at about US$3.2 million.)

An outdoor shower on the property

There’s a vaguely Moroccan-inspired media room

“The home is all about indoor-outdoor living and traditional-meeting-modern design — and it overlooks such a gorgeous backdrop,” Eklund says.

That might be true, but the home’s pedigree clearly adds perceived value. What other listing can offer the chance for carolling around a pool and fire pit with such a level of celebrity history?

The house is in decent shape, but could use some upgrades. Along with a well-proportioned main structure with retractable glass walls, the purchase includes an adjacent half-acre lot on which owners can build a small guest house for future presidential affairs. — Bloomberg