- Marilyn Monroe's Personal Cocktail Dress
- Marilyn Monroe’s Personal Screen Actors Guild Membership Card
- Marilyn Monroe's Personal Maternity Dress
- A Marilyn Monroe Signed Bank Check
- Marilyn Monroe's Personal Pucci Blouse
- Marilyn Monroe’s Personal Evening Cape
- Marilyn Monroe’s Personal Overcoat
- Marilyn Monroe’s Personal Mink Fur Collar
- Marilyn Monroe’s Personal White Fox Fur Muff
- Marilyn Monroe’s Personal Script “How To Marry A Millionaire”
- Marilyn Monroe’s Personal Sweater
Welcome to The Marilyn Monroe Collection: Dedicated to Keeping the Legend of Marilyn Monroe Alive
This website showcases a personal collection of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia comprising a lifetime of memories, both Marilyn’s and the collector’s. While there are other collections of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia, this compilation is unique in that items within the collection represent significant aspects of Marilyn Monroe’s life. Just a few examples include:
- A Pucci Blouse: Worn by Marilyn as she rehearsed her rendition of ”Happy Birthday Mr. President” for John F. Kennedy. Also, this is the blouse she wore when the last ever photos of her alive were taken.
- A Maternity Dress: Worn during Marilyn’s 1958 pregnancy while filming of Some Like It Hot.
- A Mink Fur Collar: Often worn during her time in New York City, perhaps Marilyn’s favorite fur.
- A White Fox Muff: The very first fur Marilyn paid for with her own money.
- A Kodak Brownie Camera: From Marilyn’s childhood, the first camera ever owned by the most photographed woman in the world.
- An August 3, 1962 Unsigned Bank Check: A poignent symbol of the untimely death of Marilyn Monroe.
Today, along with books, magazines, posters and postcards, the collection consists of over 150 items formerly owned by the legend herself. The collection includes clothing, accessories and furs from her personal wardrobe, cosmetics, books from her home library, numerous personal and professional documents, bank statements, financial documents, signed bank checks, and many other personal items outlining in great detail the personal and very private life of Marilyn Monroe. View the collection in its entirety here.
Marilyn Monroe is undeniably the enduring symbol of glamour and sexuality. Today, 50 years after her untimely and tragic death, she continues to set the standard for beauty. An indelible image of the silver screen, the Marilyn Monroe legend transcends all others. She is an American icon.
The Personal Property of an Icon
News of the death of Marilyn Monroe was announced on August 5, 1962. In her will, Marilyn Monroe bequeathed her possessions to her acting mentor Lee Strasberg: “I give and bequeath all of my personal effects and clothing to LEE STRASBERG, or if he should predecease me, then to my Executor hereinafter named, it being my desire that he distribute these, in his sole discretion, among my friends, colleagues and those to whom I am devoted.”
With the exception of two letters, which he returned to their authors, during his lifetime Lee Strasberg did not follow Marilyn’s direction. He never distributed any of Marilyn’s personal effects to her friends or colleagues. It is clear that she did not intend for Lee Strasberg to keep her possessions, yet he died in February, 1982, still in possession of her entire estate, which included clothing, letters, documents, furniture, all of her personal effects. Upon his death, Lee Strasberg’s entire Estate, including Marilyn’s personal belongings, passed to a woman Marilyn Monroe had never even known. His third wife, Anna Strasberg, was sole beneficiary of his will. His second wife, Paula who was Marilyn’s close friend and acting coach, had died on April 29th, 1966.
Initially, Anna Strasberg maintained that she held a policy of preserving Marilyn’s privacy. However, in October of 1999, she sourced Christie’s, the renowned auction company, to sell the bulk of Marilyn’s estate. The auction, which occurred over two days, was labeled “The Sale of The Century,” garnering over $13 million with the sale of nearly 576 lots. Items sold included Marilyn’s clothing, furs and shoes, furniture from her home, film scripts, jewelry, kitchen items, books from her library, cosmetics, awards, and many other items from her private life. Of note, the dress Marilyn Monroe wore to sing Happy Birthday to President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962, sold at this auction for nearly $1.3 million, and still today holds the record for being the most expensive dress ever sold at auction, a record formerly held by one of Princess Diana’s gowns. Interestingly, the costume Marilyn wore in The Seven Year Itch subway scene sold for $5.6 million in 2011, and this costume now holds the record for the most expensive film costume ever sold at auction. In June of 2005, Anna Strasberg sold the remainder of Marilyn Monroe’s estate through Julien’s Auctions, achieving yet another seven-figure result from several hundred auction lots consisting of Marilyn Monroe’s personal property. Many of the items that make up the Marilyn Monroe Collection, many of which are pictured with Monroe, came directly from her estate.
Today, due to her popularity and longevity, Marilyn Monroe is one of the most sought after celebrities in the world of celebrity property and entertainment memorabilia collecting. Items from her estate continue to sell at auction, and the value of her personal property continues to increase.
To view items sold at the 1999 Christie’s auction, The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe, click here.