Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The American Pickers Collector Who Owned Early Photos Of Marilyn Monroe

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz happened upon a very interesting find for fans of old Hollywood while working on an "American Pickers" episode in 2019. On a trip through the East Coast, Wolfe and Fritz headed to the home of someone who kept items from his family's history dating back at least five generations. The collector, Brad, compared having all of these things to having a historical society for his family in his own home. Brad called in the pickers to help him downsize his immense collection, but prior to selling off some of his family's items, he showed the antique hunters two pictures his father kept featuring an iconic screen starlet.

According to Brad, his father was a camera operator in Hollywood and worked on a movie with the legendary Marilyn Monroe. He said that she didn't get a screen credit on the film because it was before she became the superstar she is known as today. Brad's father kept a lot of pictures in the house from his days in Hollywood and two of these pictures featured him with Monroe. One picture featured them dancing together, while another was set at a table where Monroe mimed feeding Brad's father some food. Fritz made a comment that if he were in that picture, he'd have it blown up to poster size to hang it in his house.

While these photos were amazing for the "Pickers" crew to see, they weren't the only treasures they found in Brad's collection.

The antique dealers also found a teddy bear from the 1920s on the treasure hunt

The "American Pickers," Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, didn't come away with much when digging through Brad's extensive family collection, but what they did find was valuable. One item that caught Fritz's eye was a teddy bear from a bygone era.

They determined that it was a Steiff Teddy Bear from the 1920s. It was in rough shape, as it was nearly 100 years old and clearly very used. It was missing its Steiff logo and an eye, and it was worn with tears and holes. Fritz told Brad that if the bear was in mint condition, it would fetch thousands of dollars. However, sitting in the condition it was in, it was worth $325 to $400. Brad let the item go for $200. That seemed to be the golden item that the pickers came away with from this treasure hunt.

While Wolfe and Fritz didn't come away with much from this trip, they still got to see original photographs from Hollywood's Golden Era from someone's personal collection. Marilyn Monroe remains one of the most talked-about stars from that time, and getting to hear from someone with a familial connection to her is a distinct treasure of its own.