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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Debbie Reynolds Auctions Off Personal Memorabilia Collection

You very likely know that Debbie Reynolds is an actress and entertainer who can rightly be called a living legend. She is well known for acting in films (“Singin’ in the Rain”), on television (“Will & Grace”) and performing a one woman variety act (“Debbie!”). With an energy that is legendary Ms. Reynolds is undoubtedly one of the hardest working women in show business of any generation. What you probably don’t know is that Debbie Reynolds has the most extensive private collection of movie memorabilia of anyone, anywhere. In fact, Ms. Reynolds’ collection is so vast and impressive that it will be the sole content of an upcoming auction hosted by Profiles in History.

For many decades Ms. Reynolds has been an avid collector of rare and coveted movie items such as a pair of well-known ruby slippers and a dress worn by a certain sex symbol while standing over a subway grate. In fact, most of her collection consists of iconic wardrobe items worn by the very famous in their most identifiable roles. Her intention over the years was to create a museum where the public could go and enjoy these items, and although there have been times when her collection has been on display, she has not been able to maintain a permanent home for her dream. Now she has decided to auction off the items individually in an event that is likely to bring a lot of excitement to the collecting world.

Let me just tell you that I have seen the complete catalogue (which is half an inch thick and over 300 pages long!), and the items up for bidding rage from vintage cameras, to prop cars, to W.C. Fields notated scripts, to wardrobe worn by the likes of Valentino, Katharine Hepburn, Douglas Fairbanks, to Harpo Marx’s top hat complete with blonde curly wig intact. Every time I turned a page I gasped at the sight of another unique item only a true Hollywood insider could ever obtain. Everything from items used behind the scenes such as set lights to unusual props and rare original movie posters. To see what I’m talking about go to the Profiles in History website where you can download a catalogue or order one by mail. I encourage getting a hard copy as the catalogue itself is a beautiful item any movie memorabilia nut would love to have.

The auction itself is to be held at The Paley Center for Media, 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, June 18th at 12:00 PM (PDT). If you can’t make it to the auction itself I highly recommend you make it to one of the public preview dates which start this weekend, June 4th and 5th from Noon to 5PM. Other preview dates include June 8th thru June 12th, Noon to 5PM, and June 15th thru June 17th Noon to 5PM. But even if you don’t think you’ll be bidding I encourage you to check it out any way. Many items are priced quite reasonably and surprisingly low. Of course, it doesn’t mean the item will sell for that price, but it certainly makes it seem attainable.

I went to one of these auctions last fall and it was one of the most exciting thrills to see an item you know and cherish come up for auction and have a bidding war happen right in front of you. There were bids in the room, bids on the phone and bids coming from the internet fast and furious for one of Willy Wonka’s last remaining Golden Tickets. When the final bid was confirmed I felt like I had won the Golden Ticket. I can only imagine what’s going to happen when a Marilyn Monroe dress or a headdress worn by Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra lands on the block. I don’t know which item will sell for more, but can’t wait to see the calamity. And I’m pretty sure it’s going to be an exhausting day.

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