February 10th.'59.
My Dear Buck [Earl Manbeck]:
    We had some rain a couple of days ago, but you'd never know it, it dries up so quickly with this warmth & Sunshine hope it won't be too long before you are able to enjoy some of this in Arizona.
    Not sure if I told you our tenants moved out of our house Jan. 29th. It came as a sudden surprise as they had told me after their lease expired last June that they wanted to continue for another year I didn't bother to sign them to an extended lease, just took their word for it, which of course was very foolish on my pan. Anyway nothing I could do about it, so have had to have the place partly re-decorated, painting, papering etc.
    They had 3 kids in their family, so you can imagine the condition of the house, it was really in a bad shape, they ruined the back yard & garden, great big holes in the lawn & not a flower bed in sight. It cost me so far two hundred bucks & still lots of things to be done, new screen doors etc. (they were all torn), I guess the place looked so run down they couldn't stand the sight of it themselves. However its pretty well in order again, so am hoping to rent it soon now.
    If theres any kids next time, I'm going to raise the rent.
Stan Signature


                February 10th.'59.
Dear Jack & Jennie [Racey]:
                Thanks your nice letter,2nd.inst.
Was sorry to hear you were'nt able to discard the catheter Jack, but I would'nt try to rush it, let it stay a while longer, its uncomfortable I know & I realise how anxious you are to get rid of it altogether, but its no use taking any chances, these things take time to heal, I would certainly leave that business to the Dr - do'nt you try to get into the Act, its too dangerous.
    The film you mention was "Saps At Sea", pleased to know you got a few laughs out of it, that originally was a full length feature picture but I guess a lot of it was cut out in the Tv showing.
    Yes, I saw the Russian troupe of dancers on the Ed Sullivan show, they are really wonderful, I saw it when Sullivan had it on the first time a few months ago, Eda went to see the performance when they appeared at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
    on Tv they only showed a portion of the show, so she saw the whole thing, the colors of the costumes were magnificent, she was very thrilled & excited about it. She had hoped to go back stage to talk with some of the dancers, but the management would'nt permit anyone to meet the artistes, they were closely guarded & not allowed to talk to anyone, either at the theatre or the hotel.
    No, I'm not from Back East - I was born in England, came to this Country in 191O in a show with Charlie Chaplin - I was his understudy, we were room mates for a couple of years & were very close friends, he left the show in 1913 to join the Mack Sennett Studio & have only seen him a couple of times since.
    Do'nt blame you for wanting to move to Florida & get away from that terrible weather, do'nt think I could take much of that after living so long in California.
    Well, think thats about all for now. Take care of yourself Jack & God speed your recovery.
    Eda Joins in kind thoughts & every good wish to you both.
    Good luck & God Bless.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Signature

Letter from Stan Laurel to Marie Hatfield

I heard that a Laurel and Hardy impersonation was done on ‘The Jack Paar Show’ recently—sorry I missed that one as I generally watch that program every night.

Stan Laurel

                February 12th.'59.
Dear Mrs [Marie] Hatfield:
    Thank you for the nice Valentine card - very kind & thoughtful of you as always, & much appreciated.
    Our tenants moved out of our house Jan.29th., so we have been busy getting the place fixed up again, there were 3 young children in that family so you [can] imagine what a mess the house was in, the walls & woodwork had to be repainted & the kitchen nook papered etc. The back yard & garden was badly neglected, the lawn near ruined, a very discouraging sight.
    Anyway, its back in shape again inside the house, but it will take some time to get the yard in decent shape again. If there are any kids in the next group, I'm certainly going to raise the rent to cover the cost of any further damage to the property.
    Sorry to tell you Mrs L. has been a bit under the weather, she had just get over a Flu attack & then got an infection on her thumb, I think its called s 'Felon', she finally had to have it lanced & is just starting to heal again - these things are terribly painful & of course its difficult to handle any work - hope our troubles are over for a while.
    We had quite a rain for a couple of days, which was very welcome, sure needed it, its cleared up again, so bright & Sunny again today.
    I heard that a L&H impersonation was done on the Jack Paar show recently - sorry I missed that one as I generally watch that program every night.
    Mrs L. joins in kindest regards to Bob, self & Mother & again thanks far your nice thought.
    Bye & God Bless.
Stan Laurel Signature                 Stan Laurel.

Note from the Editor

Jack Parr (1918-2004) was an American radio and television talk show host. Paar was the original host of The Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962; after 1959 it was known as The Jack Paar Show. In 1959, it became one of the very first, if not the first, regularly scheduled videotaped programs in color.


                February 14th.'59.
Dear Booth [Colman]:
    Enclosed picture item out of 'Daily Variety' Feb.9th. in case you had'nt seen it.
    Can't figure the reason for this, it could be an art painting for sale, but no mention is made of it in the paper.
    Also enclosed is a news clip about a football pool winner in England, am glad the old guy won it instead of someone that did'nt need it - a nice 'Break' for him on a 35¢ investment, Tax free too.
    How's things with you Booth? hope you're keeping busy & everythings OK.
    We had the house fixed up - painting etc. looks in good shape again ,so ready for rental again. Have listed it with a couple of real estate agents - hope we find a new tenant soon.
    Love & best from us both here.
                As ever:
Stan Signature

Newspaper Clipping Enclosure

Percy Barstow, a London flophouse inmate with $1.40 to last him a week, learned last night he’d won £14,045 ($42,126) on a football pool. Barstow is 62, jobless, racked with pleurisy and worried by heart trouble. He had staked .35 cents of the $7 a week he draws from government relief on forecasting the results of Britain’s weekend football matches. And he came up a winner. The ex-bricklayer won’t get his winnings until Saturday, so last night he celebrated with a 14-cent meat pie dinner. Barstow will go to New Zealand to look up an old friend. “I will allow myself £15 ($42) a week and let the bank dole it out to me,” he said. “I reckon it will last me just about right.”


                February 14th.'59
Dear 'Babe' [London]:
    Thank you dear for the nice Valentine card & note. Delighted to know the film turned out OK, will certainly look forward to the premiere, I'll get Otto K. Olsen to bring down his LIGHTS to the front of the hotel for the occasion, we'll make it a formal opening, I'll have seats placed in the Park across the Street in front of the place for the crowds on your arrival - will have news reels too out there, so get your speech prepared for interviews.!.
    We got the house fixed up again & have listed it with a couple of real estate agents, so hope it have it rented soon now.
    Eda joins in love & best, trust alls well & Happy with you.
    Bye Babe.
    Good luck & God Bless,
                As ever:
Stan Signature


                February 17th.'59.
Dear Betty [Healy]:
    Thanks yours, 12th.inst. Am pleased to tell you we have new tenants moving into the house tomorrow (18th.) - certainly fortunate we rented again so soon & especially that we raised the price $50. So it turned out the other people did us a favor by leaving. These new tenants are from Washington, D.C. & have a Son 15 & a daughter 9. He is an engineer in the Missile field & is connected with the Hughes Aircraft Co. his name is Thos. D. Hanscome. They brought all their furniture from back East, so I guess they intend to stay for a while - they signed a year's lease on our place. It was sure a relief to me when the real estate called & gave me the good news (the agent). He sure had worked fast, we only listed it with him last Wednesday (11th). he showed the house to the woman on Friday, her husband arrived Saturday from Washington then went over to look at it & Monday they closed the deal, so the agent made a quick $300. (each party paid 5% commission). Interesting to note you know Lena Basquette so well, I saw her last on one of the Quiz Shows, about a couple of years ago I guess, she mentioned she was raising Great Danes - I forget how she made out on the show, whether she won anything or not. Yes I imagine Daphne Pollard's husband must have been in his 70's & I think she is in her 60's, she was in the business for many many years, she was a child Star in the Pollard Juvenile Opera Co. in Australia & toured the world. I remember you did'nt care too much of her personally, but you did make a wonderful combination in the picture - great contrast. I too saw that Russian girl on the Paar show, she had a very pleasing personality - her name was Luba 'Something'? can't think of her last name. Glad to know Wayne finally got his money from Sacramento, you'd think they would have sent it that way in the first place & would have saved all that unnecessary Red tape routine, this is one of the causes of our high taxes. Note your Brother has taken interest in writing, sounds like he's off to a good start having two articles already published, this should be very encouraging for him & give him a lot of inspiration to develop his new found talent, wish him lots of success in this venture. Pleased you are soon to get your phone connected, thats awful to be without one, it really isolates you. Think thats about all for now Betty. Eda joins in love & best to Wayne & Self - take care of yourself & keep well. Bye & God Bless.
                As ever:
Stan Laurel Signature
P.S. Have had no word on the Allen deal as yet - Shipman wrote him but has had no reply to date, so do'nt know whats going on.

Note from the Editor

Lina Basquette (1907–1994) was an American actress who started working in motion pictures around age 9 in 1916. She married Sam Warner of Warner Brothers nine years later. (Warner is considered The Father of Talking Pictures.) She was a mother at 19 and a widow at 20. Sam died of a brain abcess complicated by pneumonia. Basquette was a breeder of the Great Dane for more than twenty years. Her kennel, Honey Hollow, was located just outside of Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Betty Healy shared the screen with Daphne Pollard as well as Stan and Babe in Our Relations (1936). Betty played Mrs. Betty Laurel, while Daphne played Mrs. Daphne Hardy.

Russian Lubov Orlova (1902-1975) was Stalin’s favorite actress and a Soviet sex symbol.


My Dear Ben [Shipman]:
    Herewith please find enclosed the Lease & Cheque for the Franklin St. house. This amount covers the rent for the 1st & last Month also a deposit of $50.00 against damage, which is returnable if the property is left in reasonable good order.
    Due to the Tenants cheque being drawn on a Washington.D.C. bank Mr Beazell (the Agent) issued his personal cheque, but requested me to hold it a few days till the other came through.
    Thanks Ben.
    Regards & Best,
                As ever:
Stan Signature


                February 18, 1959

Benjamin W. Shipman
Suite 511,
Pacific Mutual Building
Los Angeles 14, California


    Second year premium
    Comprehensive Personal Liability Policy:
                Stan Laurel
                111 Franklin St.
                Santa Monica, Calif.

                PAID FEB. 24th.'59.
                (CHEQUE 83.)
Stan Laurel Signature

RUBBER STAMP - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                February 20th.'59.
Dear Mrs [Marie] Hatfield:
    Just a line to thank you for the nice card you sent to Mrs Laurel (Eda), she appreciated very much your kind thought - pleased to tell you she is feeling much better again.
    She would have written you personally, but being Russian its difficult for her to write in English, so she hopes you will understand & pardon her inability.
    Happy to say, we have new tenants in our house, a family from Washington.D.C. He is a missile scientist for the Hughes Aircraft Co. - I hope he does'nt start experimenting & blow up the joint.!! thats all I'd need right now. If you hear a big explosion sometime, you'll know what it is.!
    All for now. Kindest regards to you all from us both here.
                As ever:
Stan Laurel Signature                 Stan Laurel.


Charlie was uneducated so it was difficult for him to write to anyone personally, otherwise am sure he would have done as we were always very good friends.

Stan Laurel

                February 21st.'59.
Dear Jack & Jennie [Racey]:
                Thanks yours,16th.inst.
Sorry to hear Jack you have been having some bad days, I know Just what you mean & understand how little things can disturb you, such as your male nurse not showing up when you expected him, it makes you feel neglected & nobody cares, which reacts on your nervous system & causes you to become over emotional - over little incidents that normally you would pay no attention to. I've gone through this experience Jack, & through taking this attitude I realised later I was hurting myself & was delaying my progress a great deal - I finally got wise to myself & stopped worrying over minor disappointments & took a humorous aspect on my misfortune & believe me it worked wonders. No matter what happens Jack look at the funny side of it, laughter is a great cure for any ailment.
    Glad to know you both got a few laughs out of the cement bowl gag in "Our Relations" wish you could have seen the original length of that film, five reels of it are missing on Tv, so its hard to tell what its all about, especially that in it we played dual roles.
    No unfortunately we have no financial interest in any of the L&H films shown on Tv. We were under long term contracts & no provision was made for the showing on Tv, due to the fact Tv was unheard of at that time, consequently we were not able to protect ourselves in this new medium - too bad, I would now be sitting on 'Easy Street'. Hal Roach sold out his interest before the advent of Tv, so he too receives nothing from them. Of course he made a few million on them before he sold out, so he did'nt do so bad.
    That was certainly nice & thoughtful of your neighbors to clear the ice a snow away for you, a very kind gesture.
    Regarding my not seeing or hearing from Chaplin much after he Joined Mack Sennett, I of course remained in vaudeville & was touring the Country, a very seldom came to Hollywood, so natural never got to see him for a few years, & I could understand why he dlid'nt answer my occasional letters - Charlie was un-educated so it was difficult for him to write to anyone personally, otherwise am sure he would have done as we were always very good friends.
    Eda was a singer, she studied opera under a well known Italian Tutor in China, she came over here to try & make a career for herself in opera, but due to her not being able to speak much English it was very difficult to make contact with the right people, so she was forced to play in Night Clubs around the Country as a Russian singer, she learned to sing Russian songs in English so she managed to get along pretty good - I met her In a Nifght Club in Hollywood & after our marriage, she decided to give up her thoughts or a career & has'nt sung since. She had a lovely voice & I wanted her to continue, but she preferred to quit singing entirely.
    We are having a nice rain now, its sure freshened things up a lot after that long hot summer we had.
    Pleased to tell you we have new tenants in our house, they moved in last Wednesday, they are fron Washington.D.C. He is a missile expert for the Hughes Aircraft Co - I hope he does'nt start experimenting in the house, he's liable to blow up the joint, if you hear a big explosion sometime, you'll know what it is.!
    Next thing you know my house will be orbiting around the moon.!!
    Think thats all for now - take care of yourselves, especially you Jack, do'nt let anything upset you.
    Eda joins in every good wish to you both.
    Good luck & God Bless:
                As ever:
Stan Signature                 Stan Laurel.


Your mention of tripe and onions, really made me hungry.

Stan Laurel

                February 28th.'59.
Dear Ivy Stoetzer:
                Thanks your nice letter 20th.inst.
Was sorry to know you are unable to visit California, I too am disappointed. That was terrible your friend having that accident, must have been very painful, do'nt blame her for uttering a few oaths.
    Was sorry too to hear about your Angina attack - hope it's not serious, you really should have a check up, even tho' you are feeling better.
    Note you are going to take a trip back home for six weeks, am sure you are thrilled & excited about that, especially not having seen your folks in 20 years, that should be quite a happy re-union for you all. I got a kick out of your husband practicing the Lancashire dialect - I'd love to have a tape recording of that routine. I know you will have a wonderful time over there, but I guess you will see many changes from the days you remember - no doubt you will be visiting Blackpool, that should bring back many happy memories to you. If you do happen to be in Ulverston, I have a distant relative there, we have corresponded for many years, her name is Nellie Bushby, she runs a dress shop on Market Street under the name of 'Penny's'. I know she would be delighted to meet you if you have the time to drop in, & give her my love.
    I certainly do'nt envy the cold weather you are having up there, must be pretty miserable - we've had little rain this year so far, so our summer continues warm & sunny, its a wonderful climate to live in.
    What a marvelous character your uncle Bill was, the diet routine is a classic, don't think I've read anything so funny, you tell it so beautifully & with such finesse, described so vividly. A shame you do'nt take advantage of the great talent you possess, you have a natural gift Ivy.
    Yes, I used to wear the black ribbed stockings & the garter & knickerbockers & the school bag on my back with straps over the shoulders & the school cap with initials on the front - my bag contained a sandwich & an apple & of curse a marble bag.! more imprtant than books.
    That's a cute idea to make Lamps out of your clogs for ornaments, they would look very effective & quite novel.
    Your mention of Tripe & Onions, really made me hungry...
    Bye & God Bless.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature

Stan Laurel Was The Greatest

By Cleveland Amory

Chuck McCann, the “hi guy” of the Right Guard commercial and the funny “househusband” of the otherwise not so funny All That Glitters TV show, all his life has had one idol—the late beloved Stan Laurel.
    “I feel I started with him when I was a baby,” Mr. McCann said. “I feel I owe a lot to Ernie Kovacs. I loved him. But to me, Laurel and Hardy will always be the greatest comedy team ever. Stan, who, remember, wrote and directed everything they did, was to me the greatest comic talent who ever lived.”
    The rotund McCann, we noted, was digging into a large breakfast—not caring a whit for poor miserable us and our no breakfast diet. We looked, we told him sternly, more like Oliver Hardy. “Yes,” he smiled, helping himself to more sausages. “I’m doing a lot of commercials now. In commercials, they want you to look happy.”
    We smiled grimly. “My father was a musician and arranger at the old Roxy,” McCann confirmed. “I met all the stars but Stan was always my idol. As a kid I laughed at one thing in those films but as I grew up I saw a lot of other things in them. Now I have almost all of his films. No matter how often I see them, I still find something new to love—and to laugh at, too.”
    McCann’s first meeting with Laurel, after years of correspondence with him, was a memorable one. “I came into his apartment in Santa Monica,” he said. “He was out in a deck chair on the veranda, which looked out over the whole ocean. It was late in the afternoon. He was all in black. He limped toward me with his arms out-stretched.
    “‘Chuck, my lad,’ he said, ‘so good to see you,’ and then he threw his arms around me.
    “We talked for four hours. I remember his wife, who had been away, came in and said ‘God, Stan, it’s pitch dark in here. What are you doing to our guest?’
    “I remember so well him saying, ‘Chuck, if you want to be a juggler, be a juggler. If you want to be a tap dancer, be a tap dancer. But if you want to be a comedian, don’t try to do all things.’”
    Laurel and Hardy were playing then—and still are playing today—all over the world. Their appeal is universal. McCann told us that during the Second World War they were loved equally by Churchill, Roosevelt and Hitler. Mussolini was crazy about them.
    “When I was with Laurel,” McCann said, “the mail seemed about equal—from all over, and he would answer every piece personally. Even after his stroke, he’d type every answer—by hunt and peck. All of us who loved him offered to hire him a secretary, but he wouldn’t do it.
    “I remember the last time I saw him,” McCann said quietly. “It was at the hospital. A nurse brought in six bags full of mail. He turned to me. ‘Oh my God, Chuck,’ he said. ‘What am I going to do?’”

—Los Angeles Times
    August 22, 1977

Stan Watermark