The June 18 auction of Debbie Reynolds' Hollywood memorabilia far exceeded expectations, with the final price of a single Marilyn Monroe dress meeting the $5 million dollars the entire sale was projected to raise.
With the added costs of taxes, auction fees and a 20 percent buyers' premium, the final sale amounts were higher than the winning bids. In the case of Marilyn Monroe's iconic white 'subway' dress from The Seven Year Itch, the total sale edged over the $5 million mark.
Audrey Hepburn's Ascot Gavotte dress, from the famous horseracing scene in My Fair Lady, went for an unexpectedly high $3.7 million.
Another Monroe dress, the red sequined number she wore in Gentleman Prefer Blondes, brought in $1.2 million.
Items from The Wizard of Oz also did well, with Judy Garland's blue Dorothy dress going for $910,000. The famous ruby slippers sold for $510,000.
Reynolds until recently had intended to build a Hollywood memorabilia museum to house her collection. But after repeated failed attempts to secure a backer, Reynolds gave up, and her family persuaded her to sell the items.
According to a New York Post interview published earlier this month, Reynolds began collecting Hollywood memorabilia in 1970, when MGM liquidated its assets in an auction. Reynolds spent $400,000 on various artifacts from costumes to props. A year later, Fox also went bankrupt and auctioned it assets, so Reynolds took the opportunity to grow her collection.
I've always loved movies . . . I'm a fan. But I don't produce films, Reynolds told the Post. So my small way of contributing was collecting.
Marilyn Monroe, who would have been 85 on June 1, is among the world's highest-earning dead celebrities.