On the eve of the Bendigo Art Gallery’s ‘Twentieth Century Fox Presents Marilyn Monroe’ grand opening (March 5), Greg Schreiner talks to ABC Australia about his enduring love for Marilyn.
“Greg Schreiner first began collecting Marilyn Monroe memorabilia as a child when he fell in love with the actress.
‘I’ve never gotten over that, and in my opinion she was the world’s greatest Hollywood movie star,’ he said.
But it was not until he moved to Los Angeles in 1979 that he started getting serious about his collection, when items were available at reasonable prices.
‘I bought up whatever I could,’ he said.
He now has one of the largest collections of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia in the world.
His collection includes furniture, autographs, bank cheques, costume sketches and gowns, of which 12 are on display in the exhibition.
The item that started it all was Mr Schreiner’s first purchase he bought at auction — a red dress Monroe wore to the premiere of the film, Monkey Business.
‘It just totally changed my life,’ Mr Schreiner said.
‘After I owned that item I couldn’t stop buying, so I continued and continued and continued until the point I couldn’t afford Marilyn.’
Mr Schreiner’s adoration of the actress doesn’t just end in his collection; he is also the president and founding member of the long-running fan club — Marilyn Remembered.
Since 1982 he has arranged and facilitated an annual Marilyn Monroe memorial service held at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, the site of the actress’s crypt.
As president of the fan club he has been lucky to meet many people who knew the actress.
‘I feel like even though I never actually knew her in person I know her anyway, through all these people and their stories,’ Mr Schreiner said.”