Marilyn Monroe "subway dress" breaks auction record

LOS ANGELES Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:35pm EDT

The ivory-pleated 'Subway' dress worn by actress Marilyn Monroe from the 1955 film ''The Seven Year Itch'' is shown June 6, 2011 at a preview of actress Debbie Reynold's vast Hollywood costume and prop collection. The collection was acquired over 50 years and is up for auction by Profiles in History in Beverly Hills on June 18. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

The ivory-pleated 'Subway' dress worn by actress Marilyn Monroe from the 1955 film ''The Seven Year Itch'' is shown June 6, 2011 at a preview of actress Debbie Reynold's vast Hollywood costume and prop collection. The collection was acquired over 50 years and is up for auction by Profiles in History in Beverly Hills on June 18.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An auction of actress Debbie Reynolds' Hollywood memorabilia earned $22.8 million over the weekend and included the record-breaking sale of Marilyn Monroe's iconic "subway dress" from 1955 movie "The Seven Year Itch," organizers said on Monday.

The $4.6 million winning bid for Monroe's dress, which billows up with a gust of air as a train rolls by, rose to $5.52 million after taxes and fees were included, and the sum far surpassed pre-sale estimates of $1 million to $2 million.

The dress was among nearly 600 costumes and other memorabilia collected by Reynolds, a singer, dancer and actress who rose to fame during the 1950s and was married to singer Eddie Fisher

"I'm thrilled beyond words. This first auction shows that our great stars were loved by the world," said Reynolds. A second sale of Reynolds' items will take place on December 3.

Auctioneer Profiles in History said the previous costume sales record was held by Audrey Hepburn's iconic little black dress from the 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's," which sold for $923,187.

The auction resulted in several major sales that surpassed that figure. Hepburn's ascot dress from "My Fair Lady" fetched $4.4 million, and Judy Garland's blue cotton dress from "Wizard of Oz" drew $1.09 million.

(Reporting and writing by Mary Slosson; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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