The famous white subway dress that Marilyn Monroe wore during a saucy scene in The Seven Year Itch will be auctioned on June 18 through the broker Profiles in History. The dress is one of 600 Hollywood treasures amassed over the years by actress Debbie Reynolds, who 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 pursuaded her to sell the items.

The auction is expected to raise as much as $7 million dollars, with the Marilyn Monroe subway dress estimated at $2 million. In May, a lesser-known dress of Marilyn's - a black crepe cocktail dress from an unknown desiger -  sold for $348,000 at a Julien's auction house Hollywood Legends sale. The dress was initially estimated at $20,000-$30,000.

Debbie Reynolds the Auction will additionally offer iconic costumes from the classic films The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, and Cleopatra, as well as the red sequined dress with the plunging neckline that Marilyn wore in Gentleman Prefer Blondes.

According to a New York Post article, 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 today, is among the world's highest-earning dead celebrities.

 

[Source: The New York Post]