Marilyn Monroe’s figure-hugging gown becomes top seller at auction: She’s ‘still turning heads to this day’

Julien's Auctions and Turner Classic Movies teamed up for an auction that featured the late star's personal items

Marilyn Monroe is still very much in demand nearly 60 years after her death at age 36.

A figure-hugging embellished gown worn by the late Hollywood star in her 1954 film "There’s No Business Like Show Business" was a top-selling item at an auction hosted by Julien’s Auctions and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The costume, designed by William Travilla, had a winning bid of $218,750, which was well over its estimate of $80,000.

A pair of sequin embellished leotard costumes worn by Monroe and her co-star Jane Russell in the 1953 film "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" also had a final winning bid of $102,400.

Other Monroe memorabilia that sold included: a sheet of Monroe's personal notes from her acting classes with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York ($18,750); a pair of beige heels ($11,520); a pair of earrings used in promotional photos for 1953’s "How to Marry a Millionaire" ($81,250); a 19th century-style bodice worn for a 1956 Jack Cardiff photo session ($25,600); a black velvet studio evening gown from 1950’s "The Fireball" ($43,750); a custom-made pale pink silk blouse worn in 1960’s "Let's Make Love" ($37,500); and more.


Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe singing Irving Berlin's 'After You Get What You Want, You Don't Want It' for 'There's No Business Like Show Business.' (Getty Images / Getty Images)

"We at TCM know how essential classic film remains to fans, and this auction proved the desire to own a piece of history is stronger than ever," Pola Changnon, general manager of TCM, told FOX Business on Wednesday. "Marilyn Monroe is still turning heads to this day, with several artifacts that she wore fetching more than $500,000. This was a thrilling start to TCM’s partnership with Julien’s Auctions."

The auction, titled "Hollywood Legends," lasted for four days and took place in Beverly Hills, California, and online. It was originally announced in May.

Monroe has been making headlines in 2022.

Earlier this year, Andy Warhol’s "Shot Sage Blue Marilyn" sold for a cool $195 million, making the iconic portrait the most expensive work by a U.S. artist ever sold at auction. It’s also the most expensive piece from the 20th century ever auctioned, according to Christie’s auction house in New York, where the sale took place.


Marilyn Monroe dresses auction

Marilyn Monroe's dresses from 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes' and 'There's No Business Like Show Business.' (Julien's Auctions)

Christie’s said an unnamed buyer made the purchase. When the auction was announced earlier this year, Christie's estimated it could go for up to $200 million.

For the annual Met Gala held on the first Monday of May, Kim Kardashian wore the same nude dress Monroe rocked as she sang "Happy Birthday" to President John F. Kennedy in 1962. That dress was sold at auction in 2016 to Ripley’s Believe It or Not for nearly $5 million.

In late April, Netflix released a new documentary, "The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes," about the circumstances surrounding her death in 1962.

Ana de Armas is also playing a fictionalized version of Monroe for a Netflix film titled "Blonde," which earned an NC-17 rating. The trailer debuted in June and the movie is set to premiere Sept. 23.


Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe, seen here in ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,' died in 1962 at age 36. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.