Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe’s ‘Happy Birth­day, Mr. Pres­i­dent’ Dress To Be Auc­tioned

The Star (St. Lucia) - - INTERNATIONAL -

The dress worn by Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe when she sang Happy Birth­day to US Pres­i­dent John F Kennedy is to be auc­tioned in Novem­ber.

The Jean Louis-de­signed out­fit, which is cov­ered with se­quins, is ex­pected to fetch at least $2 mil­lion.

It matched her skin tone and was re­port­edly so tight that she had to be sewn into it.

This gave the im­pres­sion that she was naked af­ter she shed her fur coat to sing to the pres­i­dent at the Demo­cratic Party fundraiser on 19 May, 1962.

The per­for­mance at New York’s Madi­son Square Gar­den was ac­tu­ally 10 days be­fore the pres­i­dent’s 45th birth­day.

Mon­roe, who starred in films such as ‘Gen­tle­men Pre­fer Blon­des’, died of a drug over­dose less than three months later.

Mr Kennedy was as­sas­si­nated the fol­low­ing year.

Fund man­ager Martin Zweig bought the dress in 1999 for $1.26m, keep­ing it mounted on a man­nequin and in a cli­mate-con­trolled dis­play case.

He saw the pur­chase as an in­vest­ment but he died in 2013.

Dar­ren Julien, pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bev­erly Hills-based Julien’s Auc­tions, said: “It’s like the equiv­a­lent of a Monet, just be­cause of its his­toric sig­nif­i­cance and its con­nec­tion to one of the most im­por­tant ac­tresses of our time.”

He added that the dress had been “im­mac­u­lately pre­served”.

The dress, along with hun­dreds of other items from Mon­roe’s life, will be auc­tioned be­tween 17 and 19 Novem­ber.

Be­fore it is sold, how­ever, the dress will travel out­side the US for the first time - to the Mu­seum of Style Icons in New­bridge, Ire­land, where it will be dis­played from 29 Oc­to­ber un­til 6 Novem­ber.

The dress worn by Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe to sing ‘Happy Birth­day, Mr. Pres­i­dent’ is up for auc­tion.

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