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Press Release - July 30, 2020
Marilyn Monroe’s Personal Pearl Necklace and Private Letter at Heritage AuctionsNote offers apology to troops for cancelled USO appearance offered in Entertainment & Music auction Aug. 8-9
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"Marilyn Monroe took the concept of the Hollywood starlet to new levels – she made men around the world swoon,” Heritage Auctions Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Director Garry Shrum said. "Her appearances on USO tours were huge events for those military bases, and when she was unable to go, that was an enormous disappointment. That she took the time to hand-write this letter is remarkable, and speaks to the fact that her beauty ran far deeper than what was seen in photos and movies.”
The Marilyn Monroe Handwritten and Signed Two-Page Letter (1954) (estimate: $20,000+) was written by the iconic blond bombshell to explain why she did not to fulfill her agreement to visit the base in Thule, Greenland as part of a USO tour that also included Bob Hope and William Holden. Monroe was replaced by Anita Ekberg.
The letter was written in 1954, between two of Monroe's most famous and popular films: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Seven Year Itch. United Service Organization (USO) tours like the one on which Monroe and the two legendary actors were scheduled were started during World War II to help boost the morale of service members by helping them connect with their favorite entertainers while away from home.
The letter reads in part: "I'm a lot more disappointed than you are that I can't be there with you this New Years [sic]. But the fact is I'm sick and my doctor won't let me go, but as soon as I'm able I'll be there any time you can persuade Secretary Talbot to give me a seat in a plane, to do a show for you, to meet you all and tell you I think you're the best men in the world," and is signed by Monroe.
A Marilyn Monroe Photographer's Release Signed "Norma Jeane Dougherty” (1946) is a very scarce document signed by the star early in her career as "Norma Jeane Dougherty” in 1946 when she was working as a model. The name signed on the release was her given name when she was born in 1926. The document shows she was paid $15 for the photos taken by Paul Parry in exchange for waiving her rights to them. The photos that came of his session included Monroe wearing a tennis outfit, and also a cowgirl outfit drinking a beverage in an image that was used for Mission Orange Drink. The client's name (Evers Whyte) is handwritten to upper left.
Other Marilyn Monroe lots in the auction include, but are not limited to:
Marilyn Monroe/Jane Russell One of a Kind Polaroid in Front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre (1953): $2,000+
Marilyn Monroe Focus Magazine CGC Graded 9.0 (Atlas Comics, 1953): $500+
For images and more information on these and the rest of the 1,169 lots in Heritage's Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction, visit HA.com/7221.
Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.
Heritage also enjoys the highest Online traffic and dollar volume of any auction house on earth (source: SimilarWeb and Hiscox Report). The Internet's most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has more than 1,250,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.
Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist
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