Accidental Celebrity Drug Overdoses Equal High Auction Prices

Celeb drug overdose auctionhero IIHIH

It’s all in the timing, as they say.

Julien’s Auction House of Beverly Hills just held their ‘summer sale’ on Friday June 26 and Saturday, June 27, 2009 at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Given that the auction sale was hot on the heels of the news of MJ’s passing, it’s no surprise that the King of Pop’s items went for some serious coin.

Michael’s death, now suspected but not confirmed of being the result of a fatal mix of prescription drugs, has reinvigorated interest in two other Hollywood legends whose untimely passings were also caused by accidental prescription drug overdoses; Elvis and Marilyn.

Not surprisingly, the highlights (which means the items that went for the most money) went to these three deceased Hollywood legends. Clearly, premature death is a good thing for auction houses.

The most paid for item in the auction was Marilyn Monroe’s short white terry cloth hooded bathrobe she wore during a beach photo shoot with photographer George Barris. Supposedly, it was the last item she ever wore and that garnered the highest winning bid at $120,000.00 USD.

above: Marilyn sporting the bathrobe that fetched $120,000.00

The Julien’s 2009 Summer Sale included over 900 unique items from legendary Hollywood celebrities and productions – with approximately 150 items from the personal and professional life of Marilyn Monroe and items from the collection of Elvis’ personal physician Dr. George Nichopoulos. Also offered for sale were a collection of never before auctioned wardrobe books and test photographs from early MGM productions and items from the estate of Ann Miller.

Below are the images of the top selling items from the auction catalog for Michael, Elvis and Marilyn, along with the final selling prices.


The 4 items of Michael Jackson’s that fetched the highest prices:

above: Michael Jackson’s Victory Tour Costume Shirt sold for $52,500.00

above: a signed Jackson Five record album went for $34,560.00

Michael Jackson’s own original drawing and painting shown above went for $20,480.00 and $25,000.00 respectively.


Below are the items of Elvis’ from the auction that received the highest bids.

Above: Elvis’ Gifted TCB diamond and gold necklace was the item of the King of Rock n Roll’s that went for the most at $117,000.

above: the concert shirt worn by Elvis went for $38,750.00

above: Elvis’ gold and diamond ring set with a large lapis stone went for $33,750

above: The Doctor’s bag belonging to Elvis’ personal physician, Dr. George Nichopoulos sold for$16,000.00

Also, just because it’s bizarre and macabre, I had to show you that although they did not fetch the highest prices, each of his prescription bottles shown below sold for over $1,000.00:


It’s no surprise that Marilyn Monroe’s items still generate great interest and sales given the public’s continued fascination with the breathy starlet. Her items actually made the most money for the auction house whose total haul from the sale was $2,146,744.95

above: the most paid for item in the auction was the above bathrobe of Marilyn’s at $120,000.00

above: Marilyn’s fur stole, in which she was often seen fetched $69,000.00

above: Marilyn’s necklace shown above fetched $63,000.00

above: her prompt book for the film The Misfits went for $36, 250.00

above: Miss Monroe’s black and white checkered pants (shown above on her in a photo with her then husband, Joe DiMaggio) went for $33,280.00

above: the signed photo of Marilyn on an elephant sold for $19,200.00

above: Marilyn’s umbrella, seen in the photos by Andre de Dienes, went for $16,640.00

Apparently dying prematurely of a prescription drug overdose means good business for auction sales.

There were many other items in the double digits but these were the ‘highlights’. Special thanks to Julien’s for all the photos and the info. Julien’s makes it easy to bid on their auctions- you can do so online, by proxy, on the phone or in person. To learn more about their auctions, go here.