More iconic Marilyn Monroe costumes up for auction

LOS ANGELES Tue Oct 4, 2011 10:46pm EDT

1 of 2. The green- and black-sequined brief showgirl leotard worn by Marilyn Monroe as the character 'Cherie' in the film 'Bus Stop' is seen in this undated handout picture, released to Reuters on October 4, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Profiles In History/Handout

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A selection of Marilyn Monroe's costumes from films such as "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "Bus Stop" are going up for sale in December, following sales of $22.8 million from an auction held earlier this year in Beverly Hills.

The Debbie Reynolds Collection auction in June far exceeded its initial estimates, and earned a place in the Guinness World Records after selling Monroe's iconic white "Subway Dress" for $5.52 million, making it the world's most expensive dress.

Fans and collectors of Monroe will have another chance of owning costumes worn by the late actress, priced between $150,000 and $300,000 at the Debbie Reynolds Collection Part II auction.

Monroe's provocatively sexy costumes were known for pushing the barrier set by strict film censorship codes. The December auction will feature Monroe's saucy showgirl leotard from the Oscar-nominated 1956 film "Bus Stop," designed by William Travilla, auctioneers Profile in History said on Tuesday.

The screen legend's gowns from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," the 1953 thriller "Niagara," and the 1960 Oscar-nominated comedy "Let's Make Love," will also be up for auction.

Reynolds, 79, began amassing the impressive collection when she was a young actress under contract at MGM. When the studio auctioned off everything except its real estate in 1970, she turned a pastime into what she called an "obsession."

But her dream of displaying her beloved costumes in a museum was dashed several times and she was forced to sell them to pay back creditors.

Monroe's four costumes will be auctioned in Beverly Hills as part of the Debbie Reynolds Collection Part II on December 3.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jill Serjeant)

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