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Marilyn Monroe 'subway dress' sells for $4.6 million at auction

June 19, 2011 |  4:42 pm


Possibly the most iconic dress in film history, the “subway” dress Marilyn Monroe wore in the 1955 film “The Seven Year Itch” was sold Saturday for $4.6 million at a Hollywood costume auction.

The dress, designed by William Travilla, was part of actress Debbie Reynolds’ private collection of nearly 600 costumes and other film memorabilia that were auctioned off at Beverly Hills’ Paley Center for Media.

The ivory, pleated halter dress was estimated to sell for about $2 million.

Other items in the 12-hour auction also went for more than their estimates, such as the red-sequined dress Monroe wore in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” expected to fetch $200,000 to $300,000 but sold for $1.2 million. The Ascot dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady” also sold for well above its estimate at $3.7 million.

The auction also included costumes worn by Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Natalie Wood.


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-- Jenn Harris

Photos: Left, Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of a New York subway grating while in character for the filming of "The Seven Year Itch" on Sept. 9, 1954. Credit: Matty Zimmerman / Associated Press. Right, the dress worn by Monroe in the film on display for the auction. Credit: Fred Prouser / Reuters.