A 60-year-old clipping of hair that reportedly belonged to Marilyn Monroe is available for sale, Fox News has learned Monday.
TMZ first reported the lock of hair — approximately 35 strands worth — is from the collection of Kenneth Battelle, a hairstylist to the stars who worked with the blonde bombshell from 1958 until her death in 1962 at age 36.
Moments in Time President Gary Zimet told Fox News the mane comes in a specially designed glass with a framed photo of the movie star. It’s presented in a flat paper box with Battelle’s customized calling card under the lid. The prized package is dated 14th June 1959.
Battelle allegedly had several pieces of Monroe’s hair, which he gave as gifts to his closest friends.
Zimet said he received Monroe’s hair from a colleague who received it directly from Battelle. Zimet added the star’s hair is available for $16,500.
Battelle passed away in 2013 at age 86. According to the New York Times, he is recognized as the first celebrity hairdresser whose list of clients included Lee Radziwill, Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn, just to name him few. Lucille Ball even once called him “God.”
The newspaper added when John F. Kennedy became president, Battelle worked closely with first lady Jackie Kennedy, whose brunette tresses would become sought after. When Monroe’s hair was falling out from over bleaching and over perming in 1958, she reached out to Battelle, who “restored its soft luster.” And whenever Monroe was visiting New York City, she made sure to visit his posh Manhattan beauty parlor.
Not only did Battelle accompanied Monroe for the Chicago premiere of 1959’s “Some Like It Hot,” but he also made himself accessible when she was released from Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in 1961.
“Marilyn was very vulnerable – the kindest, sweetest, most generous person I’ve ever known, period,” Battelle told Vanity Fair in 2003. “And I don’t mean generous with gifts. I mean generosity of spirit. That’s why she was slapped down all the time, always getting hurt.
“Anyway, I went to help her make her exit from the hospital. She simply told me, ‘I want to look good.’ When she came outside, I was absolutely staggered by the way her fans behaved. It was as if they owned her – as if she belonged to them. But Marilyn had that ability to make her movie audiences believe she would leap out of the screen and sit on their laps.”
Battelle also groomed her for Kennedy’s birthday celebration in 1962 at Madison Square Garden where she famously sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.” Monroe was reportedly Kennedy’s lover at the time.
Battelle shared that he was forbidden from being backstage with Monroe.
“She said she was fearful of publicity,” recalled Battelle. “I don’t really know what she had in mind, but since I was doing both Marilyn and Mrs. Kennedy at the same time I imagine it was about that.”
Vanity Fair added the last time Battelle worked with Monroe was in June 1962 when she posed for Bert Stern just five weeks before her death.