LAUREL AND HARDY FEATURE PRODUCTIONS LETTERHEAD - TYPEWRITTEN
Dear Betty [Healy]:-
Enjoyed reading your letter of the 29th./7. It was very interesting to know that it was you that gave Helen Kane her start, I too thought she had a cute style & song delivery. I think I saw her last year on TV on the Sullivan show & got quite a kick out of it, her being fat did'nt seem to hurt any, in fact I think it was a great contrast for her little voice & made a very funny effect, she got a terrific reception on the show. Its really wonderful to be able to see so many of the old timers in action again, even tho' they have aged, the great talent is still there, & still admired.
I saw Gilda Gray on "This Is Your Life" program last week, I never miss this show, you certainly see the heartbreaks behind the footlights & the tragedies in show Bus.
The way you got your TV set is sure a "Pennies From Heaven" story, congratulations! Do'nt ever turn your radio off, you may have some more money coming, to buy your House.!
Sorry to note Betty that you & Wayne are not in the position to get the place you had in mind, & know how disappointed you must be, but am sure if it was at all possible, Wayne would be the first to get it for you. I would'nt blame him for wanting to get clear of debts & payments. I consider it very honourable of him.
Your idea of opening up a leather goods store sounds good, but you have to be careful in picking the right location - has'nt your Brother got a place in Arizona? remember the hand carved guest book he made for me with my name on it? I still have it, it is beautiful work. I think, in the right spot you should do very well, the most important thing is the proper location for any business, especially in an expensive line - how about Las Vegas or Reno? plenty of money in circulation in those kind of places for your type of wares - Laguna or Palm Springs, of course it would be best, if possible, to try & go to the places & thoroughly look over the situation, cost of renting a store etc. However, I am sure you have already had this in mind.
The painting & papering is finished inside the house & the outside is being started tomorrow, what a mess it has been - bedroom, burned part of the wallpaper, telephone, table & carpet etc. I was fast asleep, Eda was in the kitchen & just happened to go to the living room for something & saw the bedroom all lit up, she woke me & in a few minutes we had the fire out, the room was full of smoke - what a night, lucky the place was'nt a total loss with all the fresh paint etc. so we now have to have the bedroom done over again - is'nt that awful. I have insurance on the house & furnishings, so it won't cost anything to have it fixed up again thank goodness.
Enclosed are the programs I promised you, will send the news clippings later, reviews etc. Am also sending you copies of the daily "Variety" & "Reporter" to read about Mae West's opening in Las vegas, it must have been terrific, can you imagine she is now 60 years old! & still looks like a million - its fantastic. I met her in London in '48 at a party after her opening in "Diamond Lil" at the Prince of Wales Theatre, I saw the show too, she was really sensational.
All for now Betty.
Kind thoughts & best to Wayne & self,
Helen Kane (1903–1966) was an American popular singer, best known for her “boop-boop-a-doop” trademark and her signature song, “I Wanna Be Loved By You.” Max Fleischer used Kane as the model for his studio’s most famous creation, Betty Boop.
Gilda Gray (1901-1959) was a dancer in the Ziegfeld Follies, where she created the “Shimmy”—a scandalous dance that set the Twenties on fire. It is curious that Stan talks about never missing This Is Your Life. Just a few short months after he typed this letter, he and Babe would be guests on that program themselves.