Debbie ReynoldsImagine an Indiana Jones who specialized in Hollywood archaeology, exploring the halls of Beverly Hills' Paley Center for Media this week and examining costume after costume from a century's worth of classic movies and muttering, "This stuff belongs in a museum!"

That was Debbie Reynolds' dream for the vast collection of costumes and other Hollywood memorabilia she's amassed over the last 40 years. Instead, her debts mounted while plan after plan for a museum to house her collection fell through. So, instead of building a haven for her collection, she's selling it off piecemeal in a series of auctions, with the first taking place on June 18 followed by another in December.

All this week at the Paley Center, highlights from Reynolds' collection have been on display, including such iconic items as Marilyn Monroe's billowing white dress from the subway-grate scene in 'The Seven-Year Itch,' ruby slippers Judy Garland wore during production of 'The Wizard of Oz,' and Audrey Hepburn's black-and-white gown from the Ascot sequence of 'My Fair Lady.' They're among the nearly 600 items that Hollywood legend Reynolds is putting on the block this weekend -- not just outfits from classic films, but also famous movie props, sketches by movie costume designers, vintage cameras and lights, rare posters (including several from daughter Carrie Fisher's breakthrough film, 'Star Wars'), and other memorabilia. Items range in estimated value from hundreds of dollars to a million or two for the Monroe subway dress.

Read on for Reynolds' thoughts about having to sell off her collection, her long history of acquiring and preserving artifacts from Hollywood history, and a gallery of photos of highlights from the collection, gathered together for the last time.
categories Features, Movies