Auctions | March 11, 2013

Marlon Brando Memorabilia at Heritage Auctions

DALLAS — Marlon Brando’s 1954 ‘Best Actor’ Golden Globe award for his performance in On the Waterfront is expected to bring $10,000+ to highlight a never-before-offered selection of his personal property in Heritage Auction’s March 30 Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature® Auction.


The award is one of two of Brando’s Golden Globes offered — the second was won by the actor for being named World Film Favorite a year later in 1955. For a now unknown reason, though in a classic Brando-esque move, he threw this second award against the wall at his home, breaking off the top female statuette and scratching the placard — the piece was not repaired until decades later and still carries evidence of its damage at Brando’s hands. It carries a pre-auction estimate of $6,000+.

The awards join a rare glamor shot signed shortly after Norma Jean Baker changed her name to Marilyn Monroe, expected to fetch $8,000+, and highlights a large selection of Monroe photographs and autographs, including a trove of never-before-seen snapshots, estimated to bring $4,000+.


Brando’s Golden Globe awards were gifted to his longtime personal assistant, who kept a number of personal items the actor gave her, ranging from his costume worn in The Ugly American, expected to bring $1,600+, to an oil painting created by Stanley Kubrick’s wife Christiane (estimate: $1,200+) and a selection of his Gucci and Chanel neckties, which carry a pre-auction estimate of $600+.


“For having such an incredible impact on American film, very few personally-owned items of Marlon Brando’s ever come to market, which makes this auction a rare opportunity to have something the man himself touched,” said Margaret Barrett, Director of Entertainment & Music Memorabilia at Heritage. “We’re not sure what made Brando throw his 1955 Golden Globe against the wall, but the move wasn’t out of character for him. He was passionate about everything he did and to have the chance to bid on and win something he deemed important is rather exciting.”


That passion is well documented in Brando’s own file copy of the letter he wrote rejecting his 1973 Academy Award for his role in The Godfather. Brando famously boycotted the ceremony and instead sent Sacheen Littlefeather to read a statement the two drafted objecting to the depiction of American Indians in film and on television. The letter is expected to bring $600+.


The auction also features a Native American decorative canteen, monogramed ‘MB’ and gifted to Brando during a visit to the Window Rock, Ariz., reservation in the 1970s, which could bring more than $600+.


Additional collections of rare personally-owned items comes from the estate of Glenn Ford, including the actor’s never-before-offered correspondence, such as a handwritten break-up letter from Judy Garland penned in 1963 (estimate: $1,600+), a handwritten letter from Rita Hayworth (estimate: $1,000+) and a letter from Charlie Chaplin (estimate: $600+), among several awards, documents - even a twice-signed passport expected to bring $800+ when it crosses the block.


The Ford Collection joins personal property of Walter Matthau, consigned for the first time by the Academy Award-winner’s son, Charlie. The collection includes an original 1978 drawing of Matthau by celebrity caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, which may bring $1,600+, and scripts from Grumpy Old Men (estimate: 1,000+) and The Odd Couple II (estimate: $800+). Along with Hollywood mementos, a number of Matthau’s personal items are offered as well, such as a selection of Gucci suitcases, expected to bring $1,200+, and a lot of four hats he wore in various films - as well as in his everyday life - that that are expected to bring $1,000+.


Further highlights include but are not limited to:


Stan Laurel’s personally-owned collection of scripts: Estimate $10,000+


Cast- and crew-signed memento from The Day the Earth Stood Still: Estimate $500+


A prop dining room chair from Titanic: Estimate $1,200+


A facial mold use by Richard Herd to play the character L’Kor on Star Trek: The Next Generation: Estimate $2,000+


Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and 750,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit


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