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Forgive me, but I’ve just returned from the ’70s on a cloud of Paco Rabanne with the results of last week’s auction of “Charlie’s Angels” actress Farrah Fawcett’s memorabilia. As Charlie would say, “Gather ’round, angels. We’ve got a case to discuss.”
I was curious to learn the financial fate of Fawcett’s American Express Platinum card, which was one of 50 lots put up for bid at Heritage Auctions in Dallas by her nephew, Greg Walls.
Turns out, the platinum girl’s platinum card, signed in blue ink on the reverse and set to expire in November 2010, 15 months after her death from cancer at age 62, sold for $2,125. Not bad, considering it lacked any image of the Speedo-clad poster girl of choice for teenage boy dens of the day.
By contrast, whole collections of her non-image-bearing membership cards ranged from $275 for her American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and Actors’ Equity cards up to $1,250 for her Screen Actors Guild cards from 1994 to 2009.
But add a photo of Fawcett in that signature blizzard-o’-blonde ‘do and watch the price pop. Her U.S. passport, issued in 1980 under her married name Farrah Fawcett-Majors, while not approaching husband Lee’s “Six Million Dollar Man” territory, did fetch a handsome $17,500. Even her mundane California driver’s license, issued in 2009 to a disheveled, caught-on-camera-looking F. Leni Fawcett, sold for $4,531.25.
Sometimes, that ubiquitous blinding smile may have worked against her estate. A signed 8-by-10 glossy of Farrah’s iconic red bathing suit poster, for instance, tapped out at $106. Which I can understand, since she signed her name to more than a few of those back then.
Judging by the winning bids, the big Angel investors were after hardware, not soft goods. Gowns and shoe collections sold for around $3,000, her bathing suits (though not the red Speedo) fetched between $3,000 and $6,000 each, and her signed 1980 divorce papers from Majors went for $418.25. Even a signed “Charlie’s Angels” contract sold for a mere $156.
But the high bid went to hardware: Fawcett’s 1977 People’s Choice Award sold for $20,625.
My strangest lot of the day award? That would be “The Fawcett,” a 1977 necklace designed by Gadwar of Beverly Hills that depicts a gold faucet with a drip at the lip. If you saw one of those in a disco, you saw a thousand. Actually no, you didn’t. The winning bid was $456.
The real high-stakes contest over Fawcett memorabilia is just underway in Los Angeles between the University of Texas and Fawcett’s last leading man, actor Ryan O’Neal, over ownership of an Andy Warhol portrait of Fawcett, estimated to be worth $30 million.
Which, come to think of it, would have looked fabulous on a credit card.
Earlier story: Farrah Fawcett credit card seeks Angel investor