John Wayne auction brings in $5.3 million

Oct. 9, 2011 at 6:28 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- An auction of the late actor John Wayne's personal property in Los Angeles brought in $5.3 million, a portion of which will go toward funding cancer research.

More than 700 costumes, scripts, awards and memorabilia were sold to more than 2,600 John Wayne fans during the two-day auction hosted by Heritage Auctions and John Wayne Enterprises, Heritage Auctions said in a release.

Top items in the auction, held Oct. 6-7, included a green wool beret the star wore in the film "The Green Berets," which sold for $179,250, a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for Wayne's role in the film "True Grit," which brought in $143,400 and a cowboy hat Wayne wore in both "Big Jake" and "The Cowboys" that went for $119,500.

"The beret that Wayne wore in 'The Green Berets' shocked the room when it brought the astounding record price for a costume hat of more than $179,000. The hat Duke wore in 'Big Jake' and 'The Cowboys' brought the astronomical amount of $119,500, a record auction price for a costume cowboy hat," said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions. 

"All the items were carefully preserved by Wayne's family for the past 32 years, and that care has certainly paid off. The prices realized show just how beloved John Wayne remains today. They also show that iconic Hollywood memorabilia items continue to sell regardless of the state of the economy."

A portion of the money will be allocated to cancer research through the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Wayne, whose career spanned six decades and more that 170 films, died of cancer in 1979.

"This was all about my father's fans," said Wayne's son Ethan Wayne, president of John Wayne Enterprises. "It was important to our family to give his thousands of admirers the chance to own a piece of my father's legacy. He loved his fans almost as much as his family, and now they will always have something to remember him by."

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