Letter from Stan Laurel to Marie Hatfield
OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                March 1st.'59.
Dear Mrs. [Marie] Hatfield:
                Thanks yours of Feb.24th.
I got a big kick out or your experience at the Stamp show, that character must have locked very funny wearing those special magnifying glasses,I can just picture him bouncing his head to adjust them - he sounds like a 'YES' man, probably worked for the late C.B. DeMille. It reminds me of a story about a guy in Down Town L.A. he was standing on the street & was yelling at the top of his voice, 'NO, dammit NO, NO! No! I tell you NO, he kept on repeating this & a crowd gathered, the Cop came over & said 'Whats going on here'!, the guy said, 'I'm sorry officer, but you see I'm one of C.B. DeMille's assistants & its my Day OFF' !!.
    Wish I'd known Bob was a stamp collector, I get quite a few from Abroad, & could have sent them to him. Anyway will save them for him in the future - enclosed are same that may be of some use, I generally get some from Ghana, B.W.A., France ,Italy, Germany, & the Netherlands, had one last week from Poland, also Switzerland. I was never interested in stamp collecting, so have always given them away.
    Well, all for now.
    Regards & best to you all.
                As ever:
Stan Laurel Signature                 Stan Laurel.

NO LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Dear Booth [Colman]:
    Our friends, the Lundy's were over last night to play some cards & brought the enclosed clipping for you - I think you had already shown this to me, but thought you'd like to have it anyway to hang over your 'Oscar', for the best nonchalant performance of the year (without a muff.)
    Hope your still keeping busy & alls well & happy.
    Love & best from us both here.
                As ever:
Stan Signature

Note from the Editor

The newspaper clipping Stan included with this letter pictured actress Rosalind Russell planting a kiss on actor Booth Colman’s cheek with the caption: “Another picture nominated for the best picture award is Warner Bros.’ Auntie Mame, starring Rosalind Russell. The actress...also won best actress nomination for performance.”

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

                March 9th.'59.
Dear Betty [Healy]:
                Thanks yours,4th.inst.
Glad to know you arrived home safely after your hectic & exciting trip.
    I was happy when I read the Boy had been found & especially that nothing serious had happened to him, he was certainly very fortunate. I think it would be wise for his parents to move out of that neighborhood as soon as possible, its certainly no place to raise kids with all those screwy characters around.
    Was surprised at the cheap rates at the Mission Village, the cottage you described sounds wonderful, nothing wrong with that.
    I sure got a kick out of Wayne not wanting to be photographed, he probably did'nt realise he was the 'Man of the Hour', I shall look forward to seeing the picture also your article, I imagine this incident was quite a news item up there & caused great excitement for a couple of days, especially Wayne being connected with the story. I guess he is well known around there for many years.
    I do'nt recall the Stan Holbrook you mention, but the name sounds familiar - was he an actor at Roach's?.
    Note the dogs could'nt stand the 'High Living' at the Poodle Motel.! guess they were glad to get back home again.
    Thanks for your Friends phone number, thats good to know in case I want to contact you at any time (I'll keep it in my book).
    Hope Wayne has landed another job by now & wo'nt have to rely on that unemployment cheque for long.
    All for now, Betty. Eda joins in all the best to you both.
    Good luck & God Bless.
                As ever:
Stan =Signature

Note from the Editor

Stan Holbrook is an actor, known for The West Point Story (1950), Starlift (1951) and The Wild Blue Yonder (1951).

Letter from Stan Laurel to Marie and Rickey

                March 9th.'59.
Dear Marie & Rickey:
                Thanks your nice letter,2nd.inst.
Sorry to tell you I have'nt heard the recording yet. I was hoping to play the records a couple of weeks ago, but here's what happened. As I told you, I had put my radio & phonograph recorder in storage when I moved from the house - some friends were keeping it for me in their home & I naturally thought it would be taken good care of, but much to my surprise when I had it brought over here, nothing would work, both the radio & phonograph were dead. Its an old machine, but it was in perfect condition at the time I sent it over to them, so I can't figure how they could do go much damage to it. Its a Wilcox-Gay Console model, so I thought it would be best to have it repaired at their factory as it probably required new parts etc. but I found out this firm has gone out of business. I then called several other outfits, but none would take the job - they were more interested in selling me a new machine, said it would cost as much to fix this one up & they were'nt sure of being able to do that on account of special parts needed - well, thats the situation, I can't afford a new one so will just have to wait till I find someone to run the records for me.
    Please tell the boys not to worry about my liking their performance, am sure they did a swell job & I know I shall enjoy it & get a kick out of it.
    Thanks for the picture of 'Orphan Annie', its sure cute, I imagine the boys get a lot of fun out of it.
    Our tenants moved out of our house in January, they bought home out in the Valley, so it was quite unexpected. However, we had to have the place re-decorated as they had let the house run down badly. Fortunately it is rented again, this family [is] from Washington.D.C. He is a missile expert & works for the Hughes Aircraft Co. here, so I think they are pretty reliable & will take better care of the place - they have a grown up Son & daughter, so wo'nt be so destructive as the other 3 young kids.
    I only hope the expert wo'nt start experimenting & blow up the joint - the house will be orbiting the Moon & I'll have to go up in a rocket to collect the rent.!!.
    Everything here is as usual, so not much news to tell you.
    Eda joins in love & best to you all, trust alls well & Happy & business good.
    Bye now. Good luck & God Bless.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Signature


That Stereo sound must be very interesting. Have never had the opportunity of listening to it. It’s amazing the new discoveries that are being made.

Stan Laurel

                March 9th.'59.
Dear Earl [Manbeck]:
    I agree with you the prices are pretty high for these films, way too much for home viewing. That film that 'Babe' was in, 'Sea Dogs Tail', was before He & I teamed up, he only made one or two films without me during our career, one with John Wayne & one with Harry Langdon.
    I really don't know exactly what they pay the background people (Extras) now, I guess they get a regular scale salary, not less than $10 a day (they have a union) if they wear Tux or Tails they get more & they are too paid extra if they have to speak a line, I believe some of them make as high as $50 a day sometimes more - it depends on how much they have to do.
    The food they eat, is regular food if they are sitting close to the camera, the rest eat sandwiches etc. the drink of course is anything but liquor many times Coca-Cola, watered down to the color of whiskey.
    We had the house re-decorated & cleaned up, & am pleased to tell you we now have new tenants, they are from Washington D.C. He is a missile expert for the Hughes Aircraft Co. so l think will be pretty reliable. We were fortunate to get the house rented so quickly especially having raised the price $50. it was only listed three days before a deal was made for one year's lease. This family have a Son 15 & a daughter 9, so they are past the destructive age & won't cause much damage, am sure thankful for that. Fixing up the place cost me around $300. Thats the reason I raised the rent to protect any further expense.
    That Stereo sound must be very interesting, have never had the opportunity of listening to it, its amazing the new discoveries that are being made something new every day.
Stan Signature

Note from the Editor

The film Oliver Hardy made with John Wayne was The Fighting Kentuckian (1949). The film he made with Harry Langdon was Zenobia (1939).

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                March 11th.'59.
Dear Jack & Jennie [Racey]:
    Thanks yours, Feb.28th. with enclosure of clipping article on Cathy Browne - very interesting indeed. She is quite attractive, hope I shall have the opportunity to see her on TV sometime.
    We are having another Hot Spell again, around '90. today, its really amazing at this time of the year, hope it does'nt last too long, we need rain badly.
    No, I do'nt recall that "Sitting on the Moon" song, that would have been a terrific number for Ben Turpin to sing.! (remember how cross-eyed he was.)
    Glad to know the weather is clearing up for you, am sure some sunshine will be welcome.
    Hope you are making good improvement Jack & keeping in good spirit - make effort to be UP & around as much as possible, being in bed is very weakening, you need all that exercise you can possible get.
    Trust you got through using the catheter by now & alls well in that Dept. I was glad when I got rid of mine - it looked so 'Un-Dressy'.!! I know I would'nt have passed muster with Adolphe Menjou.!
    Eda joins in every good wish to you both.
    By now. God Bless.
                As ever:
Stan Signature
P.S. Am returning the news clipping, thought you might like to keep it.

Note from the Editor

Kathie Browne (1930-2003) was an American film and television actress who appeared in various television shows in the 1960s-70s including Perry Mason, Gunsmoke and Star Trek.

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                March 20th.'59.
Dear Mrs. Campbell:
    Thanks yours 17th.inst. with enclosure of new article. Pleased to know that Saturday afternoon (26th.) is convenient for you, it wo'nt be necessary for you to call, we shall expect you at around 2PM.
    I enjoyed seeing the picture of your Daughter, she's very attractive & certainly looks very much like you - I did'nt realise you had a daughter that age, you evidently married quite young.
    The weather back there sounds awful, do'nt think I could take much of that.
    Well, all news when we see you.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 Stan Laurel.


It is sad to see the Music Halls disappearing. Things have certainly changed in the last few years. We are fortunate that we have the memories of those happy days and were part of them.

Stan Laurel

                March 21st.'59.
Dear Freddie [Karno Jr.]:
                Thanks yours 16th.inst.
Nice to hear from you again & to know alls well & Happy with you.
    I was surprised to know that you had a grown up Step Son - you had never mentioned it before. Thats nice that he's able to help you in the concession business during your busy hours - interesting to note he is a Bank Clerk. You should produce "Moses & Son" & give him a job in that bank.! How old is he Fred?.
    Sorry to hear Olive was down with the Flu, glad to know she's OK again, you were fortunate you missed that deal.
    I was kidding about the Hi-Fi Cement Mixer Idea, so nothing to explain about it or define. Note you will be opening your new season at Easter - wish you lots of success Fred, trust it will prove very profitable for you this year, & hope too you will have continued good weather which is a very important factor in that line.
    I remember very well the incident you mention of my first meeting your Dad - you sure have a good memory - this happened at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow, I think in 1909, he was producing a Panto, featuring two comics 'Burley & Burley', Harry Morgan was stage manager. The first part of the story you tell is wrong. I first met Morgan (the rehearsal was in full swing). He read my letter, then took me over to meet your Dad - after he read the letter he got up & took me by the hand & tip-toed with me behind some Flats leaning against the wall - he did'nt want the people to know what he was going to ask me & before he asked me, he looked out again from back of the scenery to be sure no one was listening - it scared the hell out of me, he was so mysterious - He finally said 'How much do you want'? I blurted out loud £2.a week. he put his finger to his lips & said Sh! do'nt let anybody know - then he said 'Can you take the NAP'?' & made a pass at me - I did'nt know what he was talking about & stood there confused. He took me by the hand again & tip-toed me among all the people over to Morgan & whispered in his ear. Everybody was wondering what had happened & were all staring at me, trying to figure out who this stupid looking guy was.! Morgan then came over to me & said you leave for Manchester tonight to join the troupe at the Hippodrome Hulme - I'll notify the Manager right away (Frank O'Neil). Needless to tell you how happy I was.
    Yes, it is sad to see the Music Halls disappearing - things have certainly changed in the last few years - its hard to realise, but we are fortunate that we have the memories of those happy days & were part of them.
    Jack Goldie dropped in to see me a couple of weeks ago, he's past 70 now & looks wonderful, he has'nt changed a bit in his ways, just as crazy as ever & very active. He's working around here in small night clubs occasionally (kind or semi-retired) he's still doing the same act, whistling & singing. We had a wonderful time reminiscing, we talked of you of course, he still carries around the snapshots taken of us all on that 1911 trip to the Coast, he really treasures them.
    Well, all for now Freddie. Take care of yourself.
    Mrs L. joins in every good wish to Olive, Self & Step Son.
    Good luck & God Bless,
                As ever:
Stan Signature

Note from the Editor

Frederick John Westcott (1866-1941), best known by the stage name Fred Karno, was a theatre impresario of the British music hall. Among the young comedians who worked for him were Charlie Chaplin and Arthur Jefferson, who would later adopt the name of Stan Laurel. His son, Fred Karno Jr. had uncredited roles in a number of films including Chaplin’s The Gold Rush in 1925.

Stan’s reference to “taking the nap” means “taking a stage slap across the face.” Charlie Chaplin mentioned “taking the nap” in his autobiography when talking about comedian Harry Weldon in the Karno sketch “The Football Match” saying, “In the show he [Weldon] had to slap and knock me about quite a bit. This was called ‘taking the nap,’ that is, he would pretend to hit me in the face, but someone would slap their hands in the wings to give it a realistic effect.”

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                March 25th.'59.
Dear Earl [Shank, Jr.]:
    Delighted to hear the wonderful news - Mrs. L joins in heartiest congratulations to you both. Sounds like you were hoping for a boy, but I'm sure you're not too disappointed. I know 'Kathy' will be very welcome & will bring you lots of happiness & Joy in your life.
    She sure is a heavy Baby - nearly 9lbs. She's certainly off to a good start.
    I imagine you are busy handing out Cigars.!
    Again every good wish to you all.
    Good luck & God Bless.
                As ever:
Stan Signature

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                March 27th.'59.
Dear Mrs. [Marie] Hatfield:
                Thank you for the nice card.
Appreciated your kind thought & remembrance. We too trust you will enjoy a very happy Easter.
    Enclosed are some more stamps which may be of interest to Bob - he probably has these in his collection, but they may have some trading value.
    I have several times meant to ask you if it was possible for Bob to get me one of those Postal Information books. Its a kind of a guide book that covers Postal regulations for all over the World - rates & general information etc. I would certainly like to buy one, but I doubt if they are on sale to the public. I have tried to get one at several stationery stores, but understand they are not available, so I thought maybe Bob being in the Service might be able to help me - if they are restricted, do'nt bother with it, I shall fully understand.
    Again our thanks & best wishes to you all.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 Stan Laurel.


                March 30th.'59.
Dear Mr. [Steve] Sampson:
    Thanks yours, 27th.inst. also your phone call this AM. Enjoyed talking with you.
    Regarding the 'Devil's Brother' film, Hal Roach sold out all rights to the L&H comedies, but I believe M.G.M. retained the rights to this particular picture & have full control of it - how this came about I frankly do'nt know. However, there is a possibility you can obtain a 16mm print from a Bob Chatterton,1610,Promenade,Santa Monica.Calif. (Phone. Exbrook 36079.) he is a film dealer & I think will be able to help you. He visited me here one night several months ago & ran 'Devil's Brother' for me (16mm). Am not sure if he owned this print or not or whether he borrowed it for the occasion, but am sure if you drop him a line, he will be happy to give you the necessary information - I understand, he does a lot of trading & has quite a supply of old films. Incidently, the print he ran for me was in very good condition even tho' its evidently a 'Bootleg' copy.
    Re "Utopia" film (it was titled "Atoll K" in France). I am giving you the address again to be sure you got it right, on the phone. Mr.Henry Deutchmeister,Franco-London Films, Champs Elysee,Paris,France.
    Shall look forward to the pleasure of meeting you during your next trip South.
    My regards & best wishes.
Stan Laurel Signature                 Stan Laurel.

Stan Watermark