Debbie Reynolds gave Hollywood Foreign Press members a guided tour of some of the 5,000 props, costumes and sets from Hollywood’s Golden Age which she has collected over the past 50 years.
The collection, on show at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, is going up for auction because the 79-year-old actress is unable to find a permanent home for it.
She had the collection briefly on display at the Las Vegas hotel and casino she owned in the 1980s and despite losing the hotel along with a small fortune and having to declare bankruptcy she managed to hold on to the memorabilia.
Until recently she hoped it would be housed in a purpose-built museum near Dollywood in Tennessee but the property developer went bankrupt and the project never materialised.
“I’m very sad the collection isn’t in a museum,” she said, “but I’ve spent literally millions of dollars just on protecting it and taking care of it and now I’m sick and tired of it and feel I must call it a day.”
The star of such classic films as Singing In The Rain and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Reynolds acquired many of the costumes, props and sets when she bought the MGM collection in 1970, but she continued to add to it.
Among the items are props and costumes from My Fair Lady, Cleopatra, The King and I, Rita Hayworth‘s dress from Salome, Harpo Marx’s hat and wig and the famous pleated dress worn by Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch,
The 600 items for sale in the first auction are expected to bring in between $4 million and $6 million.
Text by John Hiscock / Photographs by Theo Kingma
|14th June 2011,|