Winter Premier Auction 2021

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/3/2021

Perhaps no movie star in Hollywood overcame as hard an upbringing and reached such heights as Marilyn Monroe. Born Norma Jeane Mortenson in 1926, she was raised by her mother Gladys in and around Los Angeles.  Gladys struggled with severe depression and mental issues, eventually being hospitalized in 1934 with paranoid schizophrenia. She would spend much of the rest of her life institutionalized while her daughter was made a ward of the state. This began an unstable time in the young girl’s life, switching residences often and during which she was sexually assaulted on several different occasions by adults whose care she was entrusted to. This solitary, vagabond childhood created a yearning for family that would remain a constant throughout her adult life. She married a neighbor boy at age 16, but the life of a housewife did not appeal to the teenager, who had dreams of becoming an actress. She began modeling in the mid-1940s, which eventually led to a film contract with 20th Century-Fox in 1946. There she learned the craft of acting and appeared as an extra in several films. 20th Century-Fox declined to renew her contract, but she was quickly signed by Columbia Pictures. At this point Norma Jeane’s hair was dyed platinum blonde and the iconic persona of Marilyn Monroe was born.

It is at this critical juncture in the life of Hollywood’s greatest starlet that this letter dates to. The recipient was Berniece Miracle, Monroe’s half-sister from her mother’s first marriage. Monroe had learned of Berniece’s existence when she was 12, but the two had only met after she was an adult. That yearning for family is evident not just in the relationship she would have with the sister she did not know she had, but also in the content of this letter. Dated February 6, 1948, the blue ballpoint letter is on a sheet of “Marilyn” stationary and is addressed to “My Dearest Sister.” Monroe begins with an apology, “...I've started at least a dozen letters to you dear but something always seems to come up to keep me from finishing them...I almost took a trip to Fla. but I've just signed a new contract and can't get away right now.” Monroe is referencing her knew Columbia contract which would not be official until March, but must have been under negotiation when this letter was written. Where many children would be critical of a mother whose health problems cast her adrift at a young age, this letter shows quite the opposite, telling her sister, “I haven't heard from Mother nor do I write her, in fact all I know is that she is somewhere in Oregon, where - I have no idea. She and I can't seem to be very close due to no one's fault. I wish it could be different but some day I hope to be able to help her out a little, right now it's rather difficult for me, contract or no contract. But everything is coming along wonderfully so I've nothing to complain about really.” Monroe ends the letter with a desire to keep in touch and is signed, “Lovingly, Norma Jeanne.” She then added a funny postscript: “Has "Dangerous Years" played down there yet. I'm in it but for heaven's sakes don't blink your eyes you might miss me in it.”

This touching letter is accompanied by its original mailing envelope addressed by Monroe with the reverse printed with Monroe's address as 11348 Nebraska Ave., West Los Angeles, California. The street name was then crossed out and Monroe printed “1711 N. Stanley” in blue ink. The pages of the letter show overall toning from age with the expected horizontal folds from mailing, and the envelope shows wear from mailing and has been torn open at the top upon receipt. A unique look into the closely guarded personal life of Marilyn Monroe just as she was poised to become the most desired actress the world had ever seen.
Accompanied by full Letters of Authenticity from PSA/DNA and Beckett Authentication Services

Estimate: $50,000+

This lot has a Reserve Price that has not been met.
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Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $15,000
Final prices include buyers premium.:
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Saturday, April 3, 2021.
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