Here's Who Inherited Marilyn Monroe's Money After She Died

Marilyn Monroe became one of the most famous actresses of all time. Films like 1953's "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and 1959's "Some Like It Hot" showcased her signature good looks and incredible comedic timing (via IMDb). Monroe demonstrated her dramatic talents in her final completed film — 1961's "The Misfits" — and the following year, the much-admired star was found dead in her Los Angeles home on August 5, 1962. She was only 36 years old at the time.

Monroe's death was declared a suicide, but there has been much speculation over the years about what really happened. In any case, she left clear instructions in her will about who would receive the funds from her estate, which was believed to be around $20 million in value at the time of her death (via the Daily Express). She made her latest will only 10 days before her divorce from playwright Arthur Miller became final in 1961, and her choice of beneficiaries reflected who she cared about the most. First, she set up a trust for her mother, Gladys Baker, who was institutionalized as an adult for her mental health issues after being diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic (via Biography). During her life, Monroe had a difficult relationship with her mother, who left her daughter in a foster home when she was only 2 weeks old.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Marilyn Monroe gave the most to her acting mentor

Marilyn Monroe's trust for her mother was also meant to help support Xenia Chekhov, the widow of her acting coach, Michael Chekhov (via the Daily Express). After the deaths of Chekhov and her mother, Monroe's psychiatrist Dr. Marianne Kris was to receive the remainder of the trust. Monroe also included another family member In her will, leaving $10,000 to her half-sister Bernice Miracle (via The New York Times). Interestingly, she didn't even know she had a half-sister until her mother told her when she was a teenager. She also gave her secretary May Reis $10,000. And her friends, Norman and Hedda Rosten, received $5,000 for their daughter Patricia's education.

The lion's share of Monroe's estate, including her personal effects, went to the legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg, who had mentored Monroe. She had been close to both Strasberg and his wife Paula, but it was the mentor's second wife, Anna, who ended up inheriting the Monroe estate after her husband's death in 1982 (via WBUR). Anna Strasberg hired a company called CMG Worldwide to manage the estate and license Monroe-related products. This move led to Monroe's famous face appearing on a broad range of merchandise. Strasberg later sold most of her stake in the estate.

Another part of Monroe's estate now helps children. After Dr. Kris died, her share of the estate was given to the Anna Freud Centre in London. This facility works with children and their families as they cope with mental health issues.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.