Marilyn Monroe auction includes letter from mystery father

Even 60 years after her death, Marilyn Monroe’s story is still not fully uncovered.

More than 175 items belonging to the late screen icon will be auctioned, including a letter from her estranged father, Charles Stanley Gifford.

The items will be presented at the Julien’s Auctions and TCM Presents: Icons & Idols Hollywood event, taking place December 17-18 both in-person and online.

The undated greeting card, addressed to Monroe in Gifford’s handwriting, is said to cost between $2,000 and $3,000.

The lot has been called “the only known material artifact establishing a connection or communication between Gifford and his illustrious daughter”.

“This cheerful little recovery note is specifically to say that many thoughts and wishes are also with you each day,” the note read, along with the words “a little prayer too.” It was signed ‘Stanley Gifford, Red Rock Dairy Farm, Hemet, Calif’.

Notably, he misspelled his daughter’s stage name as “Marylyn.”

Julien's Auctions
An undated greeting card from Monroe’s father has surfaced.
Julien’s Auctions

According to a press release, “Some Like It Hot” star Monroe — born Norma Jeane Mortenson, after the man her mother was legally married to at the time of her birth — tried unsuccessfully to reach her father by phone several times over the course of her short life.

The blonde bombshell later visited the town of Hemet, California to find him. It was believed that Monroe’s father did not want to upset his wife and children by allowing the actress to be a part of his life.

The letter was discovered by Marilyn Monroe historian and collector Scott Fortner, who found it “purely by accident” while preparing Monroe’s personal archives for Julien’s auctions.

“This is the only known documented evidence of a relationship between Monroe and Gifford that solves the mystery of whether she knew or had contact with her birth father,” Fortner recently told People.

The How To Marry a Millionaire star’s personal belongings up for sale include her lipstick cases, false eyelashes and other beauty products.

Julien's Auctions
Many of Monroe’s beauty products will be auctioned off next month.
Julien’s Auctions
Julien's Auctions
The screen icon’s false eyelashes sell for $800 to $1,200 each.
Julien’s Auctions

Clothing worn by Monroe will also be auctioned, such as her Mae West-inspired black cellophane-effect gown worn in 1955 during the filming of The Seven Year Itch. It is estimated to fetch between $20,000 and $40,000.

Her 1955 Gucci brown leather address book, which bears a custom ‘MM’ stamp on the front cover, is also presented with a stunning estimate of $50,000 to $70,000. Famous contacts in her catalog included Marlon Brando, acting coach Lee Strasberg, and New York stage director Harold Clurman.

Monroe’s personal checkbook, which dates from July 14 to September 25, 1961, is estimated at $6,000 to $8,000.

And her last Screen Actors Guild membership card, which dates from May 1 to September 1, 1962, probably sells for $5,000 to $7,000.

American actress, singer, model and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe.  (Photo by Frank Povolny/20th Century Fox/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)
More than 175 of the actress’ personal belongings are up for auction at an upcoming sale at Julien’s Auctions.
Corbis via Getty Images

A handwritten dedication from Arthur Miller, Monroe’s third and last husband before her death in 1962, written on a single piece of paper torn from a spiral-bound notebook is estimated at up to $30,000.

The record reads: “This book was written out of courage, the expanded view of life, the awareness of love and beauty that my love, my wife-to-be, my Marilyn gave me. I bless her for this gift, and I am writing it so that she may have from me the only unique thing I can make. I bless her, I owe her the discovery of my soul.” Marilyn Monroe auction includes letter from mystery father

Emma Bowman

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