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’s Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction March 30. The award is one of two of Brando’s Golden Globes offered — the second one which was won by the actor for being named World Film Favorite a year later in 1955. For a now unknown reason but 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 — and the piece was not repaired until decades later. It carries a pre-auction estimate of $6,000.
The awards join a headshot 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, expected to bring $1,200, and even his Gucci and Chanel neckties, expected to bring $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 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, expected to bring $600.
Additional collections of rare personally-owned items comes from the estate of Hollywood icon Glenn Ford, including never before offered correspondence such as a handwritten break-up letter from Judy Garland penned in 1963, expected to bring $1,600, a handwritten letter from Rita Hayworth, expected to bring $1,000, and a letter from Charlie Chaplin, expected to fetch $600, among several awards, documents and even a twice-signed, expected to cross the block for $800.
The Ford Collection joins personal property of Walter Matthau, consigned for the first time by the Academy Award-winner’s son, Charlie Matthau. The collection includes an original 1978 drawing of Matthau by celebrity caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, which may bring $1,600, scripts from Grumpy Old Men, expected to bring $1,000, and The Odd Couple II, expected to sail away for $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 life, which are expected to bring $1,000.
“We’re honored to assist the families of Glenn Ford and Walter Matthau to make these treasures available to fans,” Barrett said. “How fun to have something these two extraordinary actors had in their own homes and lived with on a daily basis.”