While Broadway and Hollywood star Celeste Holm has been gone since 2012, her memories live on through her husband Frank Basile, who sat down with Broadway World to discuss the Celeste Holm Collection. This particular selection contains memorabilia from Holm's time on the set of Oklahoma!, Bloomer Girl, and more.
When the interviewer at Broadway World was admiring how massive the collection was, Basile said, "It is! And it's just the tip of the iceberg. It's been a journey, emotionally. Doyle came here and we went through everything and targeted a few things that we though fit this particular auction. I knew that doing this with any other auction house would have meant them coming, taking everything, and going through it wherever they were. There's no way they could have shipped it at and done the justice that Doyle has been able to do by being here in my home. I'm very grateful to them. I hope that we can make this a celebration of her. It's also her birthday [on April 29] and our anniversary- we got married on her birthday. Even since her passing, a group of friends gets together and goes to dinner to celebrate her life. We all knew her and loved her and those are the traditions that I still carry."
When Basile was asked if there are any pieces in this collection that stand out to him, he said, "So many. The Golden Globe... alongside her Academy Award and all of her other awards, we kept right in the middle of our living room on the piano. And even then the piano got to be too small to hold them all [Laughs]. Many of the little knick knacks, like the lipstick holder with the Oscar on it, I love that. That stuff, along with her jewelry and things... Celeste loved every day to sit in front of her beautiful vanity with mirrors folded around her and she loved to just look at her things every day. Just to remember what they all meant to her. It was like a little girl dressing up. She loved to reflect on it and tell me stories."
When asked about the possibility of a second collection later in 2021, Basile said, "Yes. We tried to pick things that were specific to film or her relationship with media, Broadway, etc. There is so much more than they could but in this one auction though, without excluding everyone else who is participating in the auction. So there will definitely be a Phase 2 or I'll be stuck with mostly everything else that's still in my house! [Laughs] These things are a part of my wife's accomplishments. They are things that we cherished together, but it doesn't do any good on my shelf or in a box. I can't wear her costumes!"
Information originally sourced from Broadway World.