Marilyn Monroe dress from 'The Seven-Year Itch' sells for $4.6 million
The dress that famously billowed up around Marilyn Monroe as she stood over a subway vent while filming "The Seven-Year Itch" sold for $4.6 million on Saturday at an auction of memorabilia belonging to actress Debbie Reynolds.
"Oh, do you feel the breeze from the subway?" Monroe said in the 1955 film. "Isn't it delicious?"
Delicious indeed -- the winning bid for the "subway grate" dress easily outstripped the $1 million to $2 million estimated value placed on the frock by dealer Profiles in History.
Reynolds, 79, had hoped to see the ivory-colored rayon-acetate halter dress with pleated skirt housed one day in a museum that would hold her massive collection of costumes, key props, movie posters, original costume sketches and more, assembled over the course of 50 years from studios including 20th Century Fox and MGM. A planned project in Tennessee went bankrupt in 2009, leaving the actress with creditors to pay. Reynolds, of course, is mother to actress and writer Carrie Fisher and was married to Eddie Fisher until he left her for Elizabeth Taylor.
The Saturday auction, held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, presented 700 items from Reynolds' collection, including Elizabeth Taylor's ceremonial headdress from "Cleopatra," the blue "Dorothy" dress worn by Judy Garland during the first two weeks of filming "The Wizard of Oz" and a Santa suit from the original "Miracle on 34th Street." A second auction will be held in December.
The winning bidder for Monroe's subway dress will add another $1 million in commission, CNN points out. Sound like a sign of a world going quietly crazy? Fear not: An original poster from the 1944 Ingrid Bergman-Charles Boyer film "Gaslight" was valued at a relatively sane $300-$500.
Next major pop-culture item on the auction radar: Michael Jackson's original "Thriller" jacket, which goes on the block this coming weekend.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Reuters contributed to this report.
Photos: Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of a New York subway grating, left, while in character for the filming of "The Seven Year Itch" in Manhattan in 1954. Almost six decades later, the dress, right, sold at auction for $4.6 million. Credits: Associated Press, left; Fred Prouser / Reuters, right