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Marilyn Monroe Stamp Goes On Sale

June 1, 1995

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (AP) _ With a touch of Hollywood pizzazz, the U.S. Postal Service today joined the Marilyn Monroe nostalgia industry by issuing a 32-stamp bearing the image of the movie bombshell.

An unveiling ceremony attended by Monroe’s co-stars was held at Universal Studios, coinciding with what would have been her 69th birthday.

In a packed theater, U.S. Postmaster Marvin Runyon stepped back to reveal a floor-to-ceiling version of the stamp as Monroe’s voice cooed ``I Wanna Be Loved By You.″

``In every poster, picture and production, she cast a spell,″ Runyon said. The new stamp, whose design was made public earlier, depicts Monroe, who died in 1962, at the height of her glamour, striking a sultry, slightly over-the-shoulder pose. She wears a glittery gold gown against a deep blue background.

The lettering of her name is a fascimile of her signature. At the corners of the stamps, the perforations in the paper _ normally round _ are star-shaped.

The stamp, the first in what is to be a series on ``Legends of Hollywood,″ was designed by artist Michael Deas.

Among those on hand were Monroe co-stars Eli Wallach, Don Murray, Hope Lange and Zsa Zsa Gabor. Wallach said he imagined Monroe was looking down on the scene and remarking: ``God, they’ve given me a stamp. Men have been stamping on me all my life, and now I’ll get a chance to stamp on them.″

While the main ceremonies surrounding the Monroe issue were here, other cities got into the act as well.

In Oklahoma City, postal workers dressed in outfits from the ’50s. They had a standup cutout of Monroe, a juke box playing old songs. They gave away popcorn as they sold the stamps.

In Long Beach, stamp collectors Yuji Otani of Japan and B.H. Lim of Hong Kong paid a combined $6,400 for the first 20,000 Marilyn stamps issued there.

The Postal Service has said it would print 400 million of the Marilyn stamps, which are the latest in a series honoring pop culture icons such as Elvis Presley, Babe Ruth, Bing Crosby and Buster Keaton.

Monroe was born Norma Jean Baker on June 1, 1926. She was the star of such films as ``Some Like It Hot,″ ``The Seven-Year Itch″ and ``Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.″

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