A contract signed by John Steinbeck handing over "The Grapes of Wrath" motion picture rights to Twentieth Century Fox fetched $24,000 at a charity auction Thursday.
It and nearly 160 other contracts and papers signed by stars including Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn were donated by Twentieth Century Fox. The auction netted $267,280 for the Motion Picture & Television Fund, which helps take care of not-so-rich-and-famous actors and directors.
The Steinbeck contract had been expected to sell for $4,000 to $6,000, Swann Auction Galleries said.
The second-largest winning bid was for a typed letter signed by Marilyn Monroe in 1947 shortly after she changed her name from Norma Jeane Baker but before she starred in any films. It sold for $7,000, which was within the estimated price range.
A Yul Brynner contract for his role as the king of Siam in "The King and I" sold for $3,200, in line with its presale estimate.
A Hepburn contract for the 1966 film "How to Steal a Million" sold for $5,400, nearly four times its estimated $1,500.
The buyers were all anonymous, and the sale prices did not include the 20 percent buyer's fee.
Funds from the Fox auction were earmarked for health insurance for uninsured members of the Hollywood community, Swann spokeswoman Rebecca Weiss said.