By now it may have occurred to Farrah Fawcett that she should have modeled for her famous 1976 poster in the nude. That way, like Marilyn Monroe's red-satin spread that would grace a thousand calendars, the image's value would have resided solely in the woman -- and not have triggered a ghoulish auction over the clothing worn for the shoot. That such an auction may be imminent is suggested by a Monday press release announcing Fawcett's swimsuit's appraisal by Nate D. Sanders, rare-book collector, purveyor of Hollywood artifacts and movie props and . . . auctioneer.
According to the release, Fawcett herself requested the appraisal, while Mr. Sanders is quoted as saying there are only three Holy Grails of Hollywood memorabilia -- Judy Garland's ruby slippers, John Travolta's white disco suit and, of course, Fawcett's reddish bathing suit.
After citing Sanders' opinion that the suit could fetch between $200,000 and $300,000 (for perspective, Pamela Anderson's red Baywatch swimsuit
recently went on the block for $2,900), the statement mentions the
Charlie's Angels star's dire medical condition: "Fawcett, who was
diagnosed with cancer in 2006, has sold some of her
memorabilia in recent years to raise money for cancer research."
probably safe to say that said "research" might have been for Fawcett's
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own treatment and that the coy talk about her possibly putting the suit
up for bidding is a euphemism for saying she needs more money. In other
words, any auction that may come down the pike could also be
characterized as a pre-estate sale.