A rare handwritten note from Charles Stanley Gifford, who was recently proven to be Marilyn Monroe’s father, is going up for auction.
More than 175 items associated with the Hollywood icon will be headlining the upcoming “Julien’s Auctions and TCM Present: Icons & Idols Hollywood,” which will be held both in person and online next month.
“This card is the only known material artifact that establishes any connection or communication between Gifford and his famous daughter,” read a release. According to the auction house, it is believed the card was hand-delivered by Gifford to Monroe while she was hospitalized.
Scott Fortner, who owns the world’s largest private collection of Monroe’s possessions, said he discovered the card “purely by chance.” The historian and co-host of the “All Things Marilyn” podcast is considered to be an authority on Monroe and assists major auction companies in authenticating and verifying memorabilia.
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“I discovered the card purely by chance while I was preparing Marilyn’s personal archives for auction at Julien’s Auctions,” Fortner told People magazine on Wednesday. “This is the only known documented evidence of a relationship between Monroe and Gifford, which solves the mystery of whether or not she knew or had contact with her biological father.”
Julien’s Auctions estimates that the undated get-well greeting card will be sold for $2,000-$3,000. It’s addressed to the actress in Gifford’s handwriting, and he misspells her name as “Marylyn.”
The card reads, “This cheery little get-well note comes specially to say that lots of thoughts and wishes, too, are with you every day,” with the words “a little prayer too,” and signed in Gifford’s hand, “Stanley Gifford, Red Rock Dairy Farm, Hemet, Calif.”
It has been widely reported that Monroe attempted to contact her father by telephone many times over the years. According to reports, she also visited the town of Hemet in hopes of locating him. Numerous locals have reported “Marilyn Monroe spottings” at the time. It is believed that Gifford didn’t want to allow Monroe into his life out of fear that it would upset his wife and children.
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Monroe’s half-sister Berniece Baker Miracle noted in her book “My Sister Marilyn” that the screen siren confided in her that Gifford had visited her when she was in the hospital on an undisclosed date. Miracle recalled Monroe telling her, “The first time I saw my father, I was lying flat on my back in the hospital. I looked at him and I studied his face and features, and I saw that mother had told me the truth, that he was my father.”
In a statement sent to FOX Business, Julien’s Auctions shared that Gifford delivered the greeting card to Monroe when he visited her during one of her many hospitalizations in Los Angeles.
Earlier this year, scientists performed a DNA test on a strand of Monroe’s hair and a cheek swab from one of Gifford’s great-grandchildren, confirming he was her biological father. The patriarch passed away in 1965, three years after his famous daughter, who died in 1962 at age 36.
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Monroe, who went by Norma Jeane Mortenson, before finding fame, was born to Gladys Pearl Baker and Gifford, her mother’s one-time co-worker. Monroe didn’t have a relationship with her father growing up, which she frequently spoke about.
Other personal Monroe items hitting the auction block include false eyelashes ($800-$1,200), a gold lipstick tube with the Max Factor Hollywood logo ($1,000-$2,000), a single sheet of stationery with a handwritten note ($7,000-$9,000) and a sequined coin wallet ($8,000 – $10,000). A medical file pertaining to cosmetic surgery Monroe had done is expected to fetch up to $30,000, People magazine reported.
Martin Nolan, the executive director for Julien’s Auctions, noted that they worked with Turner Classic Movies (TCM) to curate an extensive collection of personal Monroe memorabilia. The auction will be held on Dec. 17-18.
Monroe’s net worth in 2022 is a reported $10 million. In 2020, she ranked No. 13 on Forbes’ list of highest-paid dead celebrities due to her image and name being used by nearly 100 brands globally.
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“She’s an icon,” Fortner previously told FOX Business. “And I think people relate to her in so many ways today. Some people just enjoy her photos. Others enjoy her films. Some people relate to the personal struggles that she endured throughout her life. What I often find is that people feel a connection to her. There’s a sense of wanting to protect her. I think her appeal is very broad. And it’s not just in the United States – it’s worldwide. I’ve connected with other collectors and fans around the world, so her reach is very extensive and long-lasting. She’s an icon of beauty, for fashion and a legend of the silver screen.”
“What I’m seeing now is that people are very much holding onto their collectibles and memorabilia because it is increasing in value as time goes by,” he shared. “So whenever there is an auction, the number of pieces available can be very limiting. And Marilyn is one of those people whose value doesn’t decrease. She holds value and increases in value. So people aren’t as quick to put up their items for auction. Therefore, the availability is getting harder.”