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Reynolds sells off Hollywood relics

Film star Debbie Reynolds is selling off her collection of memorabilia associated with some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

Reynolds herself is Tinseltown royalty. She was a teenage charmer opposite Gene Kelly in Singin' in the Rain, earned an Oscar nomination for her gutsy character in The Unsinkable Molly Brown and, at 79, is going strong as a nightclub and theatre performer.

On Saturday Reynolds will demonstrate her flair with an auction of film memorabilia she has gathered over four decades and which includes costumes evoking some of filmdom's greatest stars and roles.

Among them: The Marilyn Monroe dress that flirted with a subway gust in The Seven Year Itch, Audrey Hepburn's stunning black-and-white Ascot race scene gown designed by Cecil Beaton for My Fair Lady, and Elizabeth Taylor's pint-sized race togs from National Velvet and towering headdress from Cleopatra.

"I consider myself a fan. I'm a fan who was lucky enough to be among stars, so I collected them," Reynolds said during an auction preview at the Paley Centre for Media.

Profiles in History, the auction house, estimates the nearly 600 items could bring up to 10 million US dollars in the sale that will also be conducted online. More of Reynolds' treasure trove is to be sold in December.

Taylor, who died in March, is among the best-represented stars in Reynolds' collection - an irony, since Reynolds became the victim in one of Hollywood's most famous love triangles when singer Eddie Fisher divorced her for Taylor. The two women eventually appeared to put the past behind them: They co-starred in a 2001 TV movie, These Old Broads, and Taylor ended up contributing to Reynolds' collection.

When a costume worn in Cleopatra by Taylor's late ex-husband Richard Burton came on the market, Reynolds called Taylor for help in buying the expensive item. The pitch: it would be reunited with Taylor's Cleopatra memorabilia.

"I really need it because I have you," Reynolds recalled telling her in a phone call. "So she sent me the money for the costume."

Other pieces up for grabs include costumes worn by Yul Brynner in The King and I, Greta Garbo in Anna Karenina and Marlon Brando in Mutiny on the Bounty, along with props such as a guitar used by Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.

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