Posing for a photograph during the filming of The Seven Year Itch, the dress and image of Marilyn Monroe have now been described as an icon of film history. The dress was designed by William Travallia, alongside the famous white dress, Travallia designed outfits for eight other films for Monroe. The dress features Monroe and her co-star Thom Ewell leaving the 52nd street theatre, with Monroe stepping onto a gate above the subway. The billowing dress and Monroes exposed legs have been named as an iconic image of the 20th Century. The dress was kept by Travilla until his death in 1990 where it was then added to Debbie Reynolds’s private collection of Hollywood memorabilia. The dress was then sold for £5.6 million at auction after being estimated to be worth 1-2 million. Marilyn Monroe became known for playing the comedic ‘Blonde Bombshell’ character. She also became emblematic of the 1950s and 60s sexual revolution, featuring in numerous films, she has been voted sixth greatest female screen legend of the Golden Age of Hollywood by the American Film Institute.
Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jean Mortenson in Los Angeles, June 1, 1926. She grew up in foster homes and orphanages until she married at age 16. Monroe was working in a factory during World War II when she started working as a pin-up model before gaining a deal with 20th Century Fox. While her initial contract was short-lived, she went on to gain major roles in several comedic films by Fox.
A heavily publicized private life during her marriage to retired baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller led to Monroe struggling with both addiction and mood disorders. August 4, 1962, Monroe died due to an overdose, while this has been ruled a probable suicide there have been a number of conspiracy theories following her death.