Chimpanzee outfit from Planet Of The Apes is set to fetch £5,000 at auction

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Chimpanzee outfit from Planet Of The Apes is set to fetch £5,000 at auction

A Chimpanzee costume worn by Oscar-winning actress Kim Hunter in the original Planet of the Apes film series has been put up for auction.The outfit is

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A Chimpanzee costume worn by Oscar-winning actress Kim Hunter in the original Planet of the Apes film series has been put up for auction.

The outfit is for sale with auctioneers Ewbanks, of Woking, Surrey, who are expecting offers of up to £5,000.

The costume is believed to date to around 1968 when the hit science fiction film series was first released with Hunter as female lead Dr Zira.

Fewer than 20 similar costumes were made for the entire season and only a handful remain in existence with this one, which currently belongs to a collector, still in remarkable original condition.  

A Chimpanzee costume worn by Oscar winning actress Kim Hunter in the original Planet of the Apes series has been put up for auction

A Chimpanzee costume worn by Oscar winning actress Kim Hunter in the original Planet of the Apes series has been put up for auction

The Planet of the Apes costume comprises of a tunic with inner cuffs extending beyond sleeves, an elasticated skirt and five-toed boots.

It comes with a realistic custom-made female ape mannequin with a silicon head which even includes hand-punched hair and glass eyes.

Hunter won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Stella Kowalski in the 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire.

By the time Planet of the Apes came around she was a household name despite a period of being blacklisted from film and television in the 1950s amid suspicions of Communism in Hollywood. 

It comes with a realistic custom-made female ape mannequin with a silicon head which even includes hand-punched hair and glass eyes

It comes with a realistic custom-made female ape mannequin with a silicon head which even includes hand-punched hair and glass eyes

The costume is believed to date to around 1968 when the hit science fiction film series was first released with Hunter as female lead Dr Zira

The costume is believed to date to around 1968 when the hit science fiction film series was first released with Hunter as female lead Dr Zira

Ewbanks are also selling a rare rifle that was used in the production.

The modified M1 Carbine is painted in a wood effect with a leather strap and is 35 inches long.

It is being offered from the same collection as the suit and has an estimate of £6,000.

Both are expected to be sold to collectors in the US.

Fewer than 20 similar costumes were made for the entire season and only a handful remain in existence (Kim Hunter pictured during make up)

Fewer than 20 similar costumes were made for the entire season and only a handful remain in existence (Kim Hunter pictured during make up)

By the time Planet of the Apes came around Kim (in character in 1968 far right) was a household name

By the time Planet of the Apes came around Kim (in character in 1968 far right) was a household name

Alistair McCrea, from Ewbanks, said: ‘There is always a market for items relating to the early Planet of the Apes films, especially in America.

‘We have sold a few similar things in the past and would expect these to be sold and sent back over there.

‘These probably would have featured in the first two films, which were released very closely together, meaning props were reused.

‘They are in pretty good condition, with just a few signs of ageing, and we’re expecting them to do very well.’

The sale is set to take place on Thursday.

Kim Hunter’s award-winning career

Kim Hunter, who was born in Detroit, US, in 1922, first joined a small theatre group at age 17 before making her stage debut in Penny Wise. 

Her first film role came in 1943 with The Seventh Victim before shooting to fame in the 1946 British fantasy film A Matter of Life and Death.

The rising star soon took up the role of Stella Kowalski in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire in 1947.

She went on to recreate the character for the 1951 version which saw her win both the Academy and Golden Globe awards for Best Supporting Actress.   

Her first film role came in 1943 with The Seventh Victim before shooting to fame in the 1946 British fantasy film A Matter of Life and Death (above)

Her first film role came in 1943 with The Seventh Victim before shooting to fame in the 1946 British fantasy film A Matter of Life and Death (above)

Hunter had been blacklisted from film and television in the 1950s after being branded as a ‘communist sympathiser’ because she had helped sponsor a world peace symposium in 1949 and because some considered 1943 film Tender Comrade pro-Soviet.

But in 1962 she gave testimony in the New York Supreme Court that helped clear her own name as well as that of several other actors.

She went on to take up the role of chimpanzee psychiatrist Dr Zira in three Planet of the Apes movies in 1968, 1970, and 1971. 

The acclaimed actress died in New York City in September 2002 of a heart attack at the age of 79.

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