Seeing Hollywood actress Mia Farrow in the news this week - although in unfortunate circumstances, testifying in Sierra Leona against Liberian ex-warlord Charles Taylor - got me thinking about the legendary women who've graced the silver screen over the years.
Behind every great man... Marilyn
As the old saying goes: behind every great man is a great woman. But these women were often more than a match for their male co-stars.
Indeed, put Marilyn Monroe in a room with Tony Curtis, or even President John F Kennedy, and she could steal the scene entirely.
Even better, behind every great female Hollywood icon is a great untapped collectibles niche....
For instance, you'll notice that most of autographs in the industry's PFC40 Autographs Index are male - with Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and, of course, Madonna, each holding their own.
Clearly, the memorabilia of these three icons rarely fails to grab the attentions' of willing buyers. But there are many other great - and sometimes overlooked - investment opportunities out there.
As you read on, I'll show you a few examples...
The 1930s... Judy Garland (1922-1969)
Garland is best remembered for her role as Dorothy in 1939's The Wizard of Oz, in which she famously sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow. But her personal problems were exploited by film executives who plied her with drugs, ultimately resulting an accidental overdose.
Needless to say, The Wizard of Oz today remains one of the best-loved films of all time. Collector Adele Morris owns Britain's largest collection of Wizard of Oz memorabilia, which includes a £400,000 pair of ruby slippers!
The 1940s... Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982)
Of all the bars in all the world, she had to walk into Humphrey Bogart's... But Swedish actress Bergman was also a three-time Academy Award Winner in her own right, and was ranked as the fourth greatest female star of American cinema of all time by the American Film Institute.
Nevertheless, she remains best-remembered for starring alongside Bogart in the 1942 World War Two drama, Casablanca. Memorabilia from the film includes this head-and-shoulders, black and white landscape photo which offers both a superb memento and appreciable investment.
The 1950s... Brigitte Bardot (b. 1934)
Bardot moved from ballet into acting in 1952 and, after appearing in 16 films, became world-famous after appearing in the controversial And God Created Woman. Her career including some 80 song recordings, 48 films and fashion modelling... and she was once apparently 'turned down' by John Lennon!
Today, Bardot is still regarded as a - if not the - definitive 1950s siren - making the above photograph, showing the actress in an unusual pose, legs and arms crossed, very collectible indeed...
The 1960s... Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962)
I don't even need to explain this one... Half a century later, Monroe's image is still ubiquitous in pop culture. This is thanks to her string of iconic performances (on and off screen) and also the efforts of a certain Andy Warhol...
Warhol's portraits of Monroe are among her, and his, most famous images. An original portrait can sell for millions - making this original lithograph, signed by the artist and priced at far less, even more of a must-see.
The 1970s... Olivia Newton-John (b. 1948)
Olivia Newton-John impressed audiences globally with her starring role as Sandy opposite John Travolta in 1978's Grease, but she also continued a successful Emmy-winning career as a singer afterwards.
While the actress today dedicates herself to philanthropy - including battling to save rainforests and campaigning for breast cancer awareness - karaoke bars across the world are still filled with the sound of people trying to impersonate her. (You can learn more about investing in her autograph here.)
The 1980s... Goldie Hawn (b. 1945)
An American actress, film director, producer, and occasional singer... Also, aged 39, she posed for the cover of Playboy's January 1985 issue which led to it becoming one of their highest-selling issues.
Hawn's career had its share of iconic moments in the 1970s, but also continued strongly in 1980s films like Private Benjamin, Bird on a Wire with Mel Gibson and a TV special appearance with Judy Garland's daughter, Liza Minnelli, which was nominated for four Emmys.
The 1990s... Cameron Diaz (b. 1972)
It's incredible to think Judy Garland lived her whole lifetime before Diaz was even born... Still, from her beginnings as a model, Diaz became a screen sex symbol in films like The Mask with Jim Carrey, and later proved herself as talented serious and comedic actress.
Having worked with some of the greatest directors, including Martin Scorsese in Gangs of New York, her story and success continues... (You can find out more about her memorabilia here)
The 2000s... Sandra Bullock (b. 1964)
The day before Bullock collected her Oscar Best Actress award for 2009's the Blind Side, she attended Hollywood's famous Razzies ceremony which is dedicated to the year's worst films. There she collected the Worst Actress gong for her role in a much lesser-known film: All About Steve.
Really, how many actresses have done that before?
None - and Bullock remains the only actress to has received these 'Best' and 'Worst' accolades in the same year (let alone the same week). What's more, this talented and ballsy actress is definitely one to watch as a collectible investment...
And with generations of new actresses breaking into the Hollywood mainstream, there are likely to be many more collectible investment opportunities for you in years to come...
For now, best of luck and happy collecting!
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