On this day in 1956, the small, rural, western Connecticut town of Roxbury was swarmed by reporters who recently learned that the internationally-famous starlet Marilyn Monroe was in town visiting her fiancée, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller.
Even though the couple had been dating for months, they had only announced their plans to marry the week before. Miller, famous in his own right for writing Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, had a reputation as a straight-laced, introverted author — quite the opposite of Marilyn Monroe’s unpredictable, attention-seeking demeanor — and the American press became instantly infatuated with what they regarded as one of the unlikeliest romantic matches in Hollywood history.
Upon discovering that Monroe was in town on June 25th to meet Miller’s mother and two children from his previous marriage, reporters crowded in front of Miller’s Roxbury home and were by all appearances ready to stay there until they caught a glimpse of the famous actress, who had stayed inside all day. After 7:00 pm that evening, Arthur Miller finally emerged from his home in an attempt to placate the paparazzi and request some privacy, greeting them with, “What do you fellows want? Maybe we can straighten things out.”
Bombarded with questions about the upcoming wedding, Miller told the press that the wedding wouldn’t take place before the upcoming weekend, and refused to divulge the ceremony’s location. “It probably won’t be here [in Roxbury] because it’s too close to the main road,” he said. “You fellows will be all over the place.” He even hinted that the couple might make their permanent residence somewhere even further away from New York City than Roxbury (although the couple ultimately remained in Miller’s colonial home for the duration of their marriage).
After several minutes of deflecting press questions, Marilyn made an appearance beside her fiancée, and the two briefly posed for photos before retreating inside. Miller and Monroe were married four days later in a small, private ceremony in Westchester County, New York. Even though their marriage was a rocky one from the start — the pair ended up separating in 1960 and divorced in 1961 — Monroe still managed to have an monumental impact on the tiny town of Roxbury during the brief time she called it home, and remains one of the town’s most famous residents.
Amanda Ruggieri, “The Town that Couldn’t Contain Marilyn Monroe,” BBC Travel
Jeffrey Meyers, “Step Inside Marilyn Monroe’s Country Retreat in Connecticut,” Architectural Digest