June 25: The Hollywood Superstar & The Roxbury Writer


Today in 1956, the small, rural, western Connecticut town of Roxbury was swarmed by reporters who had learned that the internationally famous starlet Marilyn Monroe was there visiting her fiancée, Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Arthur Miller.

The couple had been dating for months, and they had announced their plans to marry the week before. Miller, famous for writing Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, had a reputation as a straight-laced, introverted author. This was quite the opposite of Marilyn Monroe’s unpredictable, attention-seeking demeanor. The American press was infatuated with what they regarded as one of the unlikeliest romantic matches in Hollywood history.

On discovering that Monroe was to meet Miller’s mother and two children from his previous marriage on June 25th, reporters crowded in front of Miller’s Roxbury home, apparently ready to stay until they caught a glimpse of the famous actress, who stayed inside throughout the day. After 7:00 pm that evening, Arthur Miller emerged from his home. In an effort to placate the paparazzi and request some privacy, he greeted them with, “What do you fellows want? Maybe we can straighten things out.”

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller outside of Miller’s home in Roxbury, CT.

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 (The couple ultimately remained in Miller’s colonial home for the duration of their marriage).

After several minutes of Miller’s attempt to deflect 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 had a monumental impact on Roxbury during the brief time she called it home, and she remains one of the town’s most famous residents.

Further Reading

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