Why Marilyn Monroe’s Former Husband Refused to Attend Her Funeral

Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe were once regarded as Hollywood’s most unlikely couple. Miller, the serious playwright, and Monroe, the bombshell sex symbol, made quite the odd pair. But still, they were very much in love, and eventually got married to one another.

Although their marriage didn’t last, they still cared about each other deeply.
Because of this, the public was left scratching their heads when the playwright refused to attend Monroe’s funeral. Keep reading to find out why.

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller with Marilyn Monroe in 1956 | Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe were friends for years before getting married

Miller and Monroe met years before the star’s shot to fame. They were at a party, talking in a corner, when she told him that she wanted to be taken seriously as a dramatic actor. When she said this, everyone else in the room started laughing.

Arthur Miller And Marilyn Monroe In 'The Misfits'
Writer Arthur Miller standing over Marilyn Monroe in between scenes from the film ‘The Misfits’, 1961 | United Artists/Getty Images

They thought a sex symbol like Monroe would never be taken seriously because of her status as a “dumb blonde.” But Miller was one of the few men who could sense her potential. And because he believed in her, she began to fall in love with Miller. Meanwhile, she became his fantasy woman.

Although Miller was married to someone else at the time, he couldn’t get his mind off of Monroe.

She would eventually marry another man, the famous baseball player Joe DiMaggio. But still, despite both being married to other people, Miller and Monroe would never stop thinking about each other.

Why didn’t Arthur Miller attend Marilyn Monroe’s funeral?

Marilyn Monroe and her husband, Arthur Miller
Marilyn Monroe and her husband, Arthur Miller | Hal Mathewson/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

Eventually, after divorcing their spouses, Miller and Monroe got married. They split years later, but still remained friends.

Yet when she tragically died in 1962, the playwright refused to attend her funeral.

Despite being in love with Monroe for countless years, Miller had no interest in going. He felt as though her service would be a “circus” of paparazzi and the press, filled with people he believed wronged her. And as it turns out, he was right about one thing: The funeral did turn out to be a circus.

Marilyn Monroe and American playwright Arthur Miller
Marilyn Monroe and American playwright Arthur Miller | Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images

As The Independent reports, while only 31 guests were supposed to attend, 500 people ended up crashing the service.
Miller even crafted an essay the year she died, explaining why he didn’t attend:

“Instead of jetting [from New York] to the funeral to get my picture taken, I decided to stay home and let the public mourners finish the mockery,” he wrote, via The Independent. “Not that everyone there will be false, but enough. Most of them there destroyed her, ladies and gentlemen.”

Arthur Miller thought that Hollywood destroyed Marilyn Monroe

Miller And Monroe
Arthur Miller with his wife Marilyn Monroe | Bob Haswell/Express/Getty Images

Why Did Marilyn Monroe Divorce All 3 of Her Husbands?

“She was destroyed by many things, and some of those things are you,” he said, referring to the entitled big shots in Hollywood. “Now as you stand there weeping and gawking, glad that it is not you going into the earth, glad that it is this lovely girl who you at last killed.”

“He did think that Hollywood had in some sense destroyed her,” said Miller’s biographer, Christopher Bigsby.