The third and final Debbie Reynolds' auction has just concluded, earning the entertainer just a little over $2 million. The auction was held at her dance studio by the auction house Profiles in History on May 18, 2014, in North Hollywood, Calif. Getting top bids were several vintage movie cameras, a collection of tuxedos owned by the members of the Hollywood rat pack, Orson Welles fur coat and a piano once owned by Elvis Presley.
Many young girls dream to become a movie star and Debbie Reynolds was the star they looked to for inspiration. She become a contract player at MGM during their golden days of filmmaking and become just that - a movie star when she was still a teenager. This hard working thespian can sing, act and dance and she continued to work as the studios lost their contracts with actors and as the landscape in Hollywood changed. She married, had two children, and married a few times again. Her selections of husbands, by her own admission, were not the best. But this incredibly lady didn't let anything get her down.
As the studios suffered from the changes in Hollywood they threw away important historical Hollywood memorabilia. Who was there to say something about it? You guessed it, it was Debbie Reynolds. She took what little hard-earned money she could and started to build a collection. She went to auctions and bought more.
Eventually, it was hard to deny that Debbie needed and wanted to launch the first Hollywood museum to show off the items that had become iconic to film lovers. There were many tries, a small museum in Las Vegas and a museum effort that eventually went into receivership. The collateral for the final museum project were all the items Debbie lovingly collected, stored and preserved.
Debbie paid back what was due towards the museum well within her first two other successful auctions. Her first auction in June of 2011 stunned the memorabilia world by grossing $18.6 million. The auction included many iconic items including a pair of ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz." Her second auction was held in December of 2011 and she raised an additional $3 million, with the largest single purchase being a movie camera from the film "Star Wars."
This final auction is the remainder of Debbie's collection, except for one piece she kept just for herself, which is the statue from "Maltese Falcon." This auction didn't have the million dollar bids, but it revealed even more the massive collection that Debbie held dear. Fans of the movies watch the auction via the internet from around the world, wishing they could afford a piece of Hollywood history and few of them just may have been able to make that wish come true.
Family of the Academy Award-winning actress Loretta Young released this statement to me, "We're pleased and interested to see items connected to Loretta Young being auctioned. Over the last 2 years (since launching her Centennial celebrations) her popularity and prices for her items have been on the rise." This statement provides clarity that Debbie's vision for Hollywood's most treasured items are important not just to film stars and their family, but they have a long reaching affect. And ultimately proving that this little lady was right about preserving Hollywood's historical items.
See below for a list of the top winners at Debbie Reynolds' final auction.