Marilyn in the Spotlight at Julien’s Auctions

Over 175 Marilyn-related items will go under the hammer tomorrow, December 17, as part of the Icons and Idols: Hollywood event at Julien’s Auctions. Today I’m looking at a selection of items which pertain to Marilyn’s glittering career (and you can read all my posts on this sale here.)

“A pair of clippings from the Honolulu Star Bulletin reporting on Marilyn Monroe’s 1954 visit to Korea and her performance for the U.S. troops were personally owned by the actress. The headlines read: ‘Marilyn Greets 10,000 Men In Skin-Tight Purple Dress’ and ‘Marilyn Monroe Causes Near-Riot Of Korea Troops.'”

SOLD for $768

“A telegram addressed to Mrs. Joe DiMaggio dated June 25, 1954 from Spyros P. Skouras, president of 20th Century Fox from 1942 to 1962. The telegram reads in part, ‘You know. How much I respect you and of my high regard, whatever I suggested please believe me was meant for your best interest.’ [Marilyn was preparing to film There’s No Business Like Show Business at the time, and a contractual dispute was brewing.]

SOLD for $576

  1. “1990s-era print depicting Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Seven Year Itch (1955), wearing the famous white dress and standing over a subway grate while the air blows up her skirt. Text in the lower right corner reads ‘Bernard of Hollywood,’ verso with black ink Estate credit stamp, signed in black ballpoint ink ‘Susan Bernard,’ executor of her father’s estate. – SOLD for $2,880
  2. “A partial cardboard box printed with the words ‘Scoldy Lox / Glamour Guards’ and stamped with the word ‘Blonde’ once contained hair pins and belonged to Marilyn Monroe. Together with a matchbook from the Hotel St. Regis in New York [where Marilyn stayed while filming the ‘subway scene’ in September 1954.]” – SOLD for $1,600

  1. At top: “A group of seven vintage studio images of Marilyn Monroe from the film Bus Stop (1956). Includes three colour publicity photographs stamped ‘Theatre Poster Exchange’ on verso and four black and white studio images from the film, including one taken by Milton Greene.” – SOLD for $640
  2. (Bottom left): “A vintage black and white publicity photograph taken by Milton Greene, showing Monroe in her role as Cherie in Bus Stop. Notations in pencil on verso.” – SOLD for $1,024
  3. (Bottom right): “A vintage black and white publicity photograph taken by Milton Greene on the set of the film Bus Stop.” – UNSOLD

A small bound group of 31 mimeographed half pages containing Monroe’s dialogue for Bus Stop. Ten of the pages contain notes in Monroe’s hand in pencil. Additional notes in the hand of Paula Strasberg and an administrative hand. A note in Monroe’s hand on the first page next to lines about her character Cherie wanting to be respected and tired of being ‘pawed at and pinched at’ reads ‘Fight with manager/ A.M. H. Cohn middle of dinner party’ clearly references incidents Monroe wished to draw upon from her life in the scene [including studio boss Harry Cohn’s unwanted advances during her 1948 stint at Columbia.] Another note in Monroe’s hand written beneath the line ‘Oh – it’s you!’ reads ‘(Good God it’s you).'”


  1. “A group of five vintage black and white contact sheet prints of Marilyn Monroe, Laurence Olivier, Arthur Miller, Vivien Leigh, and others taken by Milton Greene circa 1956 during the preparation for and filming of The Prince and the Showgirl.” – SOLD for $512
  2. “Two pages torn from a lined spiral-bound notebook, both stained in red ink. The first page contains references to ‘The Sleeping Prince,’ an early production title for The Prince and the Showgirl, dating these writings to 1956. The notes show Monroe becoming her own task master, reminding herself ‘don’t stop myself,’ ‘learn – lines logically,’ ‘I can’t do more than/ one thing at a time/ make map tonight,’ and ‘take my time to think.’ She instructs herself to make a list of tasks and work on exercises, which perhaps explains the cryptic writings on the second page, reading in full, ‘From Ridding partly/ T Nautiousness [sic]/ Place/ personalization (A)/ weariness/ (J)/ (Ar).'” – SOLD for $3,520

“An issue of Florida’s Playtime Magazine dated July 6, 1957 featuring a photo of Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Oliver on the cover was personally owned by Monroe. Copy on the cover reads ‘EXCLUSIVE! / How Marilyn Impressed Me / By Sir Laurence Olivier.’ On page 6 is the article in which Olivier details his experience directing and acting alongside Monroe when the two made the film The Prince and the Showgirl and reads in part: ‘For me it has been an experience, entertaining, stimulating and rewarding in extreme.'”

SOLD for $640

“Two telegrams from British journalist Donald Zec of the Daily Mirror, both regarding days and times where he could get together with Marilyn. Together with a carbon copy noting her response: ‘By all means. I am a woman of her word. Please phone Eldorado 5-2325. Delighted to see you.'”

SOLD for $625

  1. “A 34-page soft cover booklet from the Italian Cultural Institute. This booklet commemorates the opening of the new home of the organization, located at 686 Park Avenue, New York, in 1959. Monroe likely acquired this item onsite at the Institute on May 13, 1959, when she received the David di Donatello Award.” – SOLD for $1,152
  2. “A group of 11 slides of Marilyn and Arthur Miller, from May 13, 1959, at the Italian Consulate on Park Avenue, where she attended a ceremony to receive the David di Donatello Award, the equivalent of the Academy Award, for her work in The Prince and the Showgirl.” – SOLD for $1,152

  1. “A telegram dated January 31, 1959, from publicists Pat Newcomb and Warren Cowan. The telegram reads in part, ‘You must have heard the roars of laughter even on East 57th Street. Everything about the picture rates superlatives, especially your performance and the way you looked.’ The telegram was sent after the senders had seen a preview of Monroe’s latest film, Some Like it Hot.” – SOLD for $1,280
  2. “An original movie advertisement sheet promoting Some Like it Hot.” – SOLD for $768

“A release date calendar for Some Like It Hot (1959), personally owned by Marilyn Monroe. The cover page, featuring a photo of Marilyn in costume playing a ukulele reads: ‘The New Marilyn Monroe Calendar, Very Hot For March,’ an allusion to the famous 1951 nude calendar which helped establish Monroe as the premiere sex symbol of her era. The calendar features four pages, each with a photo of Monroe and announcing March 18 as the comedy’s release date. The back page features the film’s poster.”

SOLD for $5,120

  1. Marilyn’s personally owned paperback edition of the screenplay for Some Like It Hot (Signet Books, 1959) by Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond, featuring eight pages of photographs from the film.” – SOLD for $1,600
  2. A March 3, 1959 telegram to the star from KMPC radio host Johnny Grant (who later became known as ‘the Honorary Mayor of Hollywood.’ The telegram reads, ‘Think you have a hit in “I Wanna be Loved by You.” We’re spinning it around the clock here at KMPC. Best Wishes, Johnny Grant.'” – SOLD for $512

“An April 14, 1959 telegram to the star advising that a beige dress had been located and sent to Monroe, after a stay at the Ambassador East Hotel. Also included, a carbon copy response of a letter of appreciation sent to Dan Sullivan, the hotel’s assistant manager, with a signature line for Monroe’s secretary. [This probably refers to the dress Marilyn wore to a ladies’ luncheon while promoting Some Like It Hot in Chicago.]”

SOLD for $512

“A September 9, 1959, telegram to Marilyn Monroe advising of details of a luncheon at the 20th Century-Fox studio café in honor of Nikita Khrushchev, President of the Soviet Union. The message reads, in part, ‘Chairman Khrushchev’s itinerary during his stay in the United States as President Eisenhower’s guest brings him to Los Angeles on Saturday September nineteenth. Stop. As desired by our government a luncheon will be held for him that day at twelve thirty PM.’ Page two reads, ‘I would like to invite you to attend.’ The telegram is from Eric Johnston, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, President of the Motion Picture Association of America, and an appointed official in the Truman and Eisenhower administrations.”

SOLD for $1,600

“A telegram from choreographer Jack Cole, dated February 4, 1960. The telegram is addressed to Monroe at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and reads, ‘The universe sparkles with miracles but none among them shines like you. Remember that when you go to sleep tonight. Tomorrow will be fun. There is no other way. All my love, Jack Cole.’ This telegram was likely sent the day before they started working together on Let’s Make Love.”

SOLD for $1,152

“A 1961 telegram from songwriter Jimmy Van Heusen, who cowrote ‘Specialization’ and ‘Let’s Make Love’ for the 1960 film Let’s Make Love. The telegram reads simply, ‘Happy birthday and love, Jimmy Van Heusen.'”

SOLD for $1,280

(1) “A front cover of Far East Film News magazine featuring the poster for Let’s Make Love beneath a headline that reads: ‘Dedicated to the NEW Monroe Doctrine!‘ The cover was personally owned by Marilyn Monroe and is dated November 1960.” – SOLD for $896

(2) Telegrams sent by Marilyn and George Cukor, who directed her in Let’s Make Love (1960) and the unfinished Something’s Got to Give (1962.)

A one-page telegram from Cukor to Monroe, addressed to Mrs. Arthur Miller at the Mapes Hotel in Reno, reading…

‘Dearest Marilyn, I have been trying to get you on the telephone so I could tell you how touched I was by your wire and how grateful I am. Am leaving for Europe next Monday but come forrest [sic] fires come anything, I will get you on the telephone. All my love, George.” [The Let’s Make Love premiere, due to take place in Reno on August 21, 1960, was ultimately cancelled due to the forest fires mentioned by Cukor.]

Together with a two-page file copy telegram from Marilyn Monroe to George Cukor, addressed to Cukor’s private residence in Los Angeles, reading…

‘Dear George, I would have called but I didn’t know how to explain to you how I blame myself but never you. If there is [undecipherable due to being crossed out] out of my mind. Please understand. My love to Sash. My next weekend off I will do any painting cleaning brushing you need around the house. I can also dust. Also I am sending you something but it’s late in leaving. I beg you to understand. Dear Evelyn sends her best. We’re both city types. Love, Amanda Marilyn.’

[This was probably sent during the troubled production of Something’s Got to Give (1962), regarding Monroe’s frequent absences from the set due to illness. She calls herself ‘Amanda Marilyn’ after Amanda, her character in Let’s Make Love. Her reference to ‘Evelyn’ is likely regarding Evelyn Moriarty, her stand-in.]”


Two invoices from makeup artist Marie Irvine. Both invoices are dated September 16, 1960. One reads ‘Special make-up at N.Y. apartment, July 17, 1960;’ the other reads ’12 Leichner eyeshade [sic]’ sent to Reno, Nevada. [This may refer to Irvine’s services during hair, make-up and wardrobe tests for The Misfits.]”


“A soundtrack album for The Misfits (1961) that was personally owned by Marilyn Monroe. The score was composed by Alex North. The second side of the LP features other soundtrack themes.”

SOLD for $7,680

“A Something’s Got To Give mimeographed screenplay by Nunnally Johnson, 149 pages, blue cover dated March 29, 1962 reading ‘Final Confidential For Planning Purposes Only.’ The script, marked final, also dated March 29, 1962, contains notations in Monroe’s hand throughout in pencil and green ink on 18 pages. Some of the notations are from Monroe’s work with a Swedish dialect coach.

In addition to these notations, two typed pages of Monroe’s dialogue are bound between pages 107 and 108 of the mimeographed script. These two pages contain Monroe’s dialogue from one of the few scenes captured on film, with her extensive pencil notations. Raw footage of Monroe performing with Tippy the cocker spaniel and the children in this scene exists, and Monroe’s notations are evident in the footage. The top of the page reads ‘Real Thought/ Mental Relaxation/ substitute children – B & J if necessary/ feeling – place the pain where it is not in the brow.’ B & J likely refers to Arthur Miller’s children Bobby and Jane. Another notation next to one of Monroe’s lines of dialogue reads simply ‘Mona Lisa,’ which does in fact mirror the expression she uses when delivering this line. Even the exaggerated ‘Ahhhhh—‘ that Monroe does at the beginning of each take in the raw footage is written on the page in her hand, reading in full, ‘Ahhh–Look for the light.?’

The notations throughout the script also include notes in an unidentified hand criticizing certain points of the story, including ‘Too Harsh,’ ‘Naggy,’ ‘Dull’ and many other comments. Overall, the notations in both the script and on the dialogue pages used by Monroe to film the scene with the children and Tippy the dog tell the story of a tedious script writing and editing process. Her dialogue notations are a revealing window into her process in performing some of the last scenes she ever recorded on film.”

SOLD for $12,800