To put it a way he may have liked, it was boffo.
Artifacts belonging to Robert Evans, the actor, producer, and eventual head of Paramount Studios who died last year at the age of 89, went up for bid on Saturday, bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars. Many items sold for well above the estimated prices according to a press release from Julien’s Auctions. One can (and absolute should) leaf through the catalogue for a view at what might be the quintessential Hollywood life of the 1970s.
Much of the windfall came from specific movies produced under Evans’s purview. One of his bigger triumphs was the film Chinatown, and his Best Picture Golden Globe statue sold for $83,200, 27 times the estimate, A copy of the script autographed by Robert Towne went for $40,625.
Scripts to other Evans productions, The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, fetched $42,240, and telegrams between the studio head and Francis Ford Coppola sold for $38,400. (Note to today’s producers: print out your emails, your grandkids may need cash!)
Paramount under Evans is considered a high point in the era known as New Hollywood, so it isn’t surprising that someone spent big to own the nameplate from his Paramount office door. (It sold for $22,400.)
Evans collected many fine art photography prints, especially by Helmut Newton. “In Robert’s Garden” (which some might describe as slightly NSFW) from 1991 hung in Evans’s bedroom, and featured the inscription “for my friend Robert Evans.” It sold for $237,500.
Evans was married seven times. His third wife, Ali McGraw, starred in the box office phenomenon Love Story produced by Paramount in 1970. She won the Golden Globe for Best Actress, but also won the since-cancelled World Film Favorite Golden Globe for the role. Somehow this ended up with Evans, and it now has a new owner, who purchased it for $22,400.
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