Jerry Herman purchased the crypt for himself in 1997 for $75,000 before ultimately deciding to lay to rest in New Jersey next to his mother

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The crypt of Marilyn Monroe
The crypt of Marilyn Monroe
| Credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages; Bettmann Archive

A burial crypt next to Hugh Hefner and Marilyn Monroe is up for sale with bids starting at $2 million, the late Jerry Herman's goddaughter Jane Dorian told the Wall Street Journal last Thursday.

The crypt is located at Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles — the final home for many celebrities including Natalie Wood, Dean Martin, Farrah Fawcett and Truman Capote.

Herman, known for musical composition in Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles, originally purchased the crypt in 1997 for $75,000 when he lived in Los Angeles amid fear that testing positive for HIV was a death sentence, Dorian told the Wall Street Journal.

Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
| Credit: Tibrina Hobson/WireImage

"There's Marilyn Monroe, Hugh Hefner, then Jerry's," she told the outlet. "He's next to the two sexiest people that were ever alive."

Herman's goddaughter continued, "He wanted to make sure his final resting place was up to his standard."

"It goes back to the adage: location, location, location," Dorian said.

Thanks to antiviral drugs, the Tony-winning composer lived until age 88, dying of natural causes. By his death, he had moved to Miami and ultimately decided to be buried next to his mother in New Jersey with a spot in view of the lights of Broadway.

Hefner, who died in 2017, previously spoke about his $75,000 purchase of the crypt next to Monroe, who died in 1962. The late actress was the star of the first Playboy cover, the magazine he founded.

Hugh Hefner; Marilyn Monroe
Hugh Hefner; Marilyn Monroe
| Credit: Dan Tuffs/Getty Images; Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

"Spending eternity next to Marilyn is too sweet to pass up," he told the Los Angeles Times in 2009, per NPR.

Richard Poncher, who died in 1986, similarly had a fixation on Monroe and purchased the crypt above her from the actress's ex-husband Joe DiMaggio after their divorce. 

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"He said, 'If I croak, if you don't put me upside down over Marilyn, I'll haunt you the rest of my life,'" his wife Elizabeth Poncher told the LA Times in 2009. "I was standing right there, and [the mortician] turned him over."

Elizabeth decided to put the crypt up for auction on eBay starting at $500,000 due to financial hardship and reached a final bid of $4.6 million. The bid ultimately fell through and the crypt is still the resting place for the Poncher's, according to NPR.