Marilyn Monroe's Happy Birthday dress sells for $4.8m

The infamous dress Marilyn Monroe wore to sing Happy Birthday Mr President to JFK has sold for $4.8m at Julien's Auctions.

The lot just dipped below the movie memorabilia record of $5.6m, set for the white "subway" dress Monroe wore in The Seven Year Itch.

Monroe dress
The dress drew gasps from the crowd

It's grown 8.5% per annum since its last sale in 1999, when it realised $1.2m.

Marilyn gave the sultry rendition at Kennedy's birthday fundraiser at Madison Square Garden in May 1962.

Although she was only actually onstage for around two minutes, her performance that night has gone down in history.

Marilyn had promised the organisers of the event that she would dress modestly.

But the dress was actually more or less see through and was so tight she had to be sewn into it (underwear was out of the question).

This would be her last major public appearance. Three months later she'd be found dead at her home in Hollywood.

As auction house president Darren Julien put it: "Marilyn Monroe singing 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' is certainly one of the most famous impromptu performances in American history.

"That rendition has lived on for decades as one of the most remarkable events in her career and certainly one of the most storied tales in popular culture history ��� a moment in time squarely at the center of the 1960s, Hollywood and Camelot�Ǫ

"This dress, this story, this momentous occasion represents a defining moment in history."

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