Gentlemen prefer blondes - new Marilyn Monroe expo appears in UK


Marilyn Monroe memorabilia retains a deep fascination for collectors all round the world due to her original blonde bombshell image, association with President Kennedy and tragically early death.

Previously her bathrobe has sold for $120,000, a home movie apparently showing her smoking cannabis sold for $165,250 and the figure-hugging dress she wore to sing Happy Birthday to JFK brought a staggering $1.27m.

Now a collection of her personal effects, believed to be the greatest in the world, is to go on show as an exhibition barely more than a stone's throw from where Paul Fraser Collectibles is centred, at the American Museum in Britain at Bath.

Marilyn performs with Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

David Gainsborough Roberts built up his collection over the past two decades, and it includes a wide variety of items from the immediately glamorous to apparently mundane pieces which the star treasured.

For example there is a ring of mediocre value which was given to Monroe by her mother Gladys, whom Marilyn saw only for a limited amount of time during her childhood as Gladys was mentally unstable and spent time in a mental health ward.

There is also a bronze dancing figure which Monroe played with when living in an orphanage during that time, and a photograph of her mother as a smiling teenager.

More glamorous items include: The red sequined gown she wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), the green show costume Marilyn wore in Bus Stop (1956) - a performance which won her a Golden Globe - and the iconic cocktail dress from Some Like It Hot (1959) in which Marilyn crooned 'I'm Through With Love'.

There is even the pink 'wiggle' dress from Niagara (1952) - Marilyn's first major role that established her 'blonde bombshell' image.

The exhibition opens on March 12 and is expected to come to London.

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