Marilyn Monroe’s 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' Dress Sells for $4.8 Million
One of the most iconic dresses in history sold on Thursday for $4.8 million at an auction in Los Angeles.
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The sheer, nude-hued dress Marilyn Monroe wore for her breathy performance of "Happy Birthday" at a 1962 gala for then-U.S. President John F. Kennedy in New York City’s Madison Square Garden was purchased by Ripley’s Believe it or Not at Beverly Hills-based Julien’s Auctions.
"Marilyn Monroe singing 'Happy Birthday Mr. President' is certainly one of the most famous impromptu performances in American history," said Darren Julien, the president and CEO of Julien’s Auctions, which specializes in entertainment memorabilia.
The Huffington Post also reports that the Jean Louis-designed dress was so tight that Monroe had to be sewn into it, creating the illusion that the blonde bombshell was naked and covered in sparkling crystals. Her performance marked Kennedy’s 45th birthday. (He would be assassinated the following year, and Monroe herself died of a drug overdose less than three months later.)
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According to Julien’s Auctions, the dress was previously owned by late fund manager Martin Zweig, who purchased it at a Christie's auction in 1999 for $1.26 million. He reportedly saw the famous dress as an investment, prompting him to keep it "in a climate-controlled display case mounted on a mannequin." The garment is also one of many items from Monroe’s life currently being offered by Julian’s Auctions during a three-day auction, which ends on Saturday.
The Hollywood sex symbol would have been 90 today.
See the titillating "Happy Birthday" performance for yourself below, and don’t forget to scroll down to check out the dress today: