Marilyn Monroe’s Golden Globe Fetches $250,000

Marilyn Monroe’s Golden Globe Fetches $250,000


A 1961 Golden Globe awarded to Marilyn Monroe was sold this weekend for $250,000, one of the highest prices fetched at auction for a Golden Globe, according to the auctioneer who brokered the sale.

Darren Julien, the chief executive of Julien Auctions in Beverly Hills, said the award — the Henrietta Award for that year — was sold to a European buyer. It was one of three Golden Globes she received from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association during her career.

The sale confirms what collectors of celebrity memorabilia have observed this past year: Prices paid for anything related to celebrities have dramatically increased. Earlier this month, a red wheelchair that belonged to the physicist Stephen Hawking sold at auction for $390,000. Mr. Hawking had Lou Gehrig’s disease and died in March.

It is not just fans and collectors of celebrity memorabilia who are scooping up items, though. Mr. Julien said there had been an influx of money from overseas buyers, particularly in China and Russia, who view Western pop culture artifacts as investments.

“A lot of clients who invest in the art market are buying these things too,” Mr. Julien said. “They want to diversify their portfolios.”

And Ms. Monroe, who wowed audiences in the 1950s with her sexually expressive onscreen persona, has long been a favorite for these investors.

Recently, Ms. Monroe’s Jewish prayer book sold for $26,250, according to J. Greenstein & Company, which oversaw the auction. The price was double original estimates and included commission. One of her other Golden Globes, a best actress award she won for her turn as a singer in the comedy “Some Like It Hot,” sold at Christie’s in 1999 for $140,000. (The Henrietta, which is no longer given out, was an honorary award handed out in March 1962.)

In 1999, the investment fund manager Martin Zweig paid $1.26 million to buy the dress Ms. Monroe wore when she famously sang “Happy Birthday” to John F. Kennedy at a Democratic fund-raiser at Madison Square Garden.

The dress sold at auction in 2016 for $4.8 million to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, an exhibitor of celebrity and exotic memorabilia. Mr. Zweig, now deceased, is said to have kept the dress in a climate-controlled display case at his home in New York. It is believed to be one of the most expensive celebrity dresses ever sold.

At the auction this weekend, Ms. Monroe’s 1956 black Ford Thunderbird sold for $490,000 and was bought by a museum. Monroe owned the Thunderbird for six years and was photographed driving it in 1956 with her then-husband, the playwright Arthur Miller. (He was the reason she converted to Judaism.) Ms. Monroe gave the car as a gift to the son of her acting coach, Lee Strasberg, months before her death in August 1962.

Because of her pop culture status, anything related to Ms. Monroe is extremely valuable, in part because of her troubled, short life. Born Norma Jeane Mortenson in June 1926, she was married three times, including to the baseball player Joe DiMaggio. She suffered from depression, and her personal life was fodder for the tabloids. She died at 36 from an overdose of sleeping pills.

Still, her profile grew. Andy Warhol immortalized her in a series of paintings during the 1960s, and Elton John memorialized her in the 1973 hit “Candle in the Wind.”



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