Saturday, November 2, in Beverly Hills, CA collectors, bidders and fans of the four-time Grammy award-winning singer and pop culture icon, Olivia Newton John bought her personal collection.
The sale of two of the most iconic items worn by one of the best-selling musical artists of all time were seen in her star making role as Sandy, in the blockbuster musical film–Grease. In the film’s finale number of “You’re the One that I Want,” Sandy (Newton-John) surprises Danny (John Travolta) with her transformation to a sexy greaser girl wearing a black leather jacket and pair of figure hugging black shiny high waisted pants that were so tight that Newton-John had to be sewn into them. The ensemble struck “Greased Lightning” today on the auction stage with the jacket selling for an astounding $243,200 and the pants selling for $162,500 for a combined total of $405,700. 100% of the proceeds from the Grease jacket and pants will benefit the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre with a portion of all of the items sold benefiting the Centre as well.
Grease was the word among other top auction highlights that included: a one-sheet advance Grease film poster signed by Newton-John, John Travolta as well as other cast members, the director Randal Kleiser and producer/ songwriter John Farrar that sold for a stunning $64,000, sixty four times its original estimate of $1,000; a custom “Pink Ladies” jacket presented to Newton-John by the cast and crew of Grease (estimate: $2,000-$4,000) that sold for $50,000, twenty-five times its original estimate of $2,000; a fourth-draft script for Grease, dated June 9, 1977 with handwritten notes and front cover signed by Newton-John and John Travolta that sold for $35,200; handwritten lyrics for the song “You’re the One That I Want,” written by John Farrar, signed by Newton-John, John Travolta and Farrar and Newton-John’s personal Grease memorabilia collection both sold for $12,500 each; her custom made 1950s inspired petal pink lace gown worn to the 1978 premiere of Grease at The Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles that sold for $18,750 (estimate: $3,000-$5,000); her tan leather dance shoes worn by the star while rehearsing the dance numbers for Grease that sold for $11,250 and more.
Other auction highlights included: a “Physical” ensemble consisting of a white ribbed velvet and gold lamé long top and a pair of short shorts worn by the singer on the October 2, 1981 episode of The Merv Griffin Show (NBC, 1962-1986) sold for an incredible $31,250, over thirty times its original estimate of $1,000; handwritten lyrics to “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” written and donated by John Farrar that sold for an astounding $28,125, twenty-eight times its original estimate of $1,000; a custom-made embellished black mini dress designed by Fleur Thiemeyer, the designer behind Newton-John’s image in the 1970s and 1980s, and worn by the singer during her 1982 Physical Tour that sold for $28,125; a 1983 American Music Award presented to Newton-John for Favorite Female Vocalist Pop that sold for $22,400, well over its original estimate of $2,000; Ken Done’s “Sydney Sunday,” oil on canvas painting that sold for $44,800; Newton-John’s wedding ensemble when she married actor Matt Lattanzi in December 1984 that sold for $15,625; a custom-made copper color suit woven with a gold lamé and worn by Olivia Newton-John while performing with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and her band live at the Sydney Opera House that sold for $10,240; her Kimball baby grand piano that sold for $10,000; a magenta Thai silk Fleur Thiemeyer designed dress worn by the pop diva on her 1982 Physical Tour that sold for $11,520 (estimate: $1,000-$2,000); a cherry red embellished Fleur Thiemeyer gown worn by Newton-John while performing at the Royal Charity Concert held in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in aid of handicapped persons on May 27, 1980, at the Sydney Opera House that sold for $11,250; a pair of Missoni harem pants worn by Olivia Newton-John while singing the title song in Xanadu (Universal, 1980) that sold for $19,200; a pair of custom-made cream thigh-high suede western boots worn by Olivia Newton-John in the film Xanadu that sold for $16,000, eight times its original estimate of $2,000; an Olivia Newton-John signed record collection that sold for $12,800; a custom-made embellished white chiffon gown worn by Newton-John while performing a medley of songs with Andy Gibb and ABBA on her television special Olivia (ABC, 1978) that sold for $21,875, twenty one times its original estimate of $1,000; an RIAA-certified “platinum” record award commemorating the sale of more than one million copies of her MCA records album Totally Hot which sold for $11,250; her ensemble worn as a presenter in 1978 at the 50th Annual Academy Awards that sold for $10,240; a 1979 People’s Choice Awards trophy presented to Newton-John for Favorite Motion Picture Actress that sold for $11,520 and more.
Hollywood screen legend, Marilyn Monroe, outfits from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There’s No Business Like Show Business and River of No Return – as well as her signature style black cocktail dress likely worn to the 1958 press conference for her blockbuster film, Some Like It Hot also sold well.
The siren’s show stopping ensemble worn in Irving Berlin’s There’s No Business Like Show Business made heads turn once again when the gavel came down at the hammer price of $280,000. Worn by the star as “Vicky Parker” during the saucy “Heat Wave” song and dance number, the three-piece costume designed by master couturier, William Travilla, consists of a daring black silk bandeau sequined top with a hot pink and black silk sequined scarf that drapes over the left shoulder; a black floral print, decorated floor-length skirt lined with six layers of hot pink silk ruffles, accompanied by a black silk bikini-style bottom brief; and a classic, white over-sized straw hat. A design sketch of the costume in gouache and pencil signed by Travilla also sold for $11,520 (estimate $3,000-$5,000).
Monroe’s stunning floor length, red silk, long sleeved sequined dress worn in her role as Lorelei Lee in the 1953 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (20th Century Fox) opposite Jane Russell sold for an astounding $250,000. The iconic costume together with the matching dramatic red headdress was originally estimated at $60,000-$80,000. Her co-star Jane Russell’s costume, a near replica red silk, long sleeved sequined floor length dress with deep V neckline also sold for $43,750.
The bright yellow silk, floor-length period gown worn by Monroe as “Kay Weston” in the final scene of the 1954 drama, River of No Return (20th Century Fox), co-starring Robert Mitchum, sold for $175,000 (estimate at $60,000-$80,000). Monroe’s black silk crepe, knee-length, short capped sleeved Henri Bendel cocktail dress with a plunging V neck and back, appearing to be the same dress she wore at the July 1958 press conference for her film, Some Like It Hot (estimate: $20,000 – $40,000) sold for $100,000.
Other auction highlights included: an Italian-style carved wood ornate corner chair used by the star in her final photo shoot in July 1962 with Life magazine that sold for $81,250,
ten times it original estimate of $8,000; a mint green jersey silk Emilio Pucci skirt and top ensemble that sold for $46,875, well over its original estimate of $6,000; a brown and olive green striped couch used in her psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Greenson’s office during the time he treated the star that sold for $11,250, well over its estimate of $1,000; a black with blue satin bows bathing suit labeled “Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer / M. Monroe” that sold for $11,250; a crème-colored umbrella with a wooden hook handle used by the star then-called Norma Jeane in 1949 when Andre De Dienes took photographs of her at Jones Beach and at Tobay Beach on Long Island in New York that sold for $21,875, seven times over its original estimate of $3,000; a black silk jersey fabric with a gold and black “lace” print bathing suit worn by Monroe in the 1951 film, Let’s Make It Legal (20th Century Fox) that sold for $37,500 (estimate: $10,000 – $20,000) and more. The collection consisting of 115 of her most glamourous and personal items were sold at no reserve.