19/06/2011 21:48 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Marilyn Monroe's Billowing Dress Sells For $4.6 Million

Marilyn Monroe's gust-of-wind dress sells for $4.6 million. Photo: PA

The dress that created one of the world's most iconic images has sold for $4.6 million (£2.8 million) at auction.

Marilyn Monroe's dress from the Seven Year Itch, famous for its run-in with a gust of wind from the subway, was expected to sell for less than $2 million, eventually going for more than twice that.

Anonymous bidders for the dress were rumoured to have included chat show queen Oprah Winfrey.

The billowing frock was just one of a host of movie memorabilia owned by actress and mum of Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, that went under the hammer at the Profiles in History auction house in Beverly Hills.

The red-sequinned showgirl gown and a feathered hat Monroe wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes sold for $1.47 million (£908,000), while Judy Garland's dress from The Wizard of Oz went for $1,119,000 (£690,000) and her ruby red slippers for $627,000 (£387,000.)

Debbie's private collection was one of the biggest of its type in the world, and included 3,500 costumes worn by the likes of Greta Garbo, Elizabeth Taylor, Charlton Heston and Marlon Brando.

According to the Telegraph, the auction marked the end of a dream for Miss Reynolds who was forced to sell the Hollywood treasures when they became too much of a financial burden to maintain.

Her memorabilia museum in Las Vegas closed and she had planned to relocate it to Tennessee but her son, Todd Fisher, said the project had to file for bankruptcy protection and the collection had be sold to satisfy creditors.

Debbie said: "I wanted to build a museum for the public, which I was never able to raise the money for. That's why you are seeing this auction.

"I think it's sad, but I think it's the only way it can happen. It's the only way I can save it. I can't maintain it any more."