RUBBER STAMP - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN
Dear Jennie & Jack [Racey]:
Thanks yours,5th.inst. with enclosed news article regarding Marcel Marceau the French pantomimlst - note you do'nt care much for his type of work - probably you are not familiar with this 'Lost Art', so it does'nt appeal to you.
Marceau is considered all over the World to be the greatest pantomimist of all time & is unequalled in his line - I have great admiration for him & his marvelous talent. I think if you saw him perform in Person on a stage, you would appreciate him a lot more than on the screen & I have seen him in a large theatre cause audiences to stand up & cheer after entertaining them for a solid two hours, alone on an empty stage - no scenery, no orchestra, no Props or setting of any kind - what little music there is, is supplied by a phonograph off stage with some records - anyone who can do this is certainly a genius - its really fantastic & thrilling to see. Anyway, enough's enough.!!
Pleased to hear your help situation is in good shape & things are working out smoothly. Am delighted to know Jack you have started to walk with a cane - sounds like you've improved a great deal - get as much exercise as possible, keep out of that chair as often as you can, it will give you confidence in yourself & soon you will manage to get around without a cane - thats what I did in two weeks time, try once in a while to walk without it, if necessary hang on to the furniture to get around, you'll be surprised how soon you wo'nt need to do that even - try sliding down the Ramp.!!.
No, I did'nt get a new Typewriter yet - hate to part with this somehow, have had it so many years (about 30).
You mention Ed Murrow, did you see his show on Tv last Sunday? One of the guests was an Irish Playwright in Dublin - was terribly drunk & became very insulting - they finally had to cut him off the air, Murrow & the others were very embarrased, it is surprising they let him go on the air being in this condition.
Steve Allen dropped in to see me last Wednesday evening, spent a couple of hours with us - he's very charming - enjoyed meeting him very much.
Well this is about all the current news to date, so Adios mi Amigos. Eda joins in every good wish to you both.
RUBBER STAMP - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN
Steve Allen he came to see me about a week ago. He seems to be a nice sort of guy and I enjoyed meeting him. He’s very affable.
My Dear Earl [Shank, Jr.]:
Strange you should mention Steve Allen - he came to see me about a week ago (Wednesday Evening - 11th.) One of his comics came with him (Louis Nye) & four of his writers - consequently I was unable to discuss anything regarding the L&H series, & the fact that he did'nt bring up the matter, makes me feel that he has dropped the idea entirely - I really think that's the reason he brought so many with him - to avoid my bringing the matter up - otherwise I would have asked him about it. Anyway, am not too disappointed, these things are very prevalent in Show Bus. & I have experienced many 'let downs' to let it bother me in any way.
He seems to be a nice sort of guy & I enjoyed meeting him, he's very affable. I've heard many complaints regarding his new show, even rumors that The 'Plymouth' Sponsorship want to pull out of the deal before the Season ends - I frankly do'nt think his show is as bad as all that - I thought this week's show was good entertainment - its impossible to have a hit comedy show every week, there's bound to be some weak ones occasionally - it awful tough on a comic especially.
Have had no news on the L&H book, so far it has been rejected twice so I guess we just have to keep on submitting it till we find a publisher who likes it - trouble is I think, the publishers do'nt read these scripts, they leave that to the 'Readers' Dept. & I guess they read so many scripts, stories etc. they get dizzy & do'nt know what's good or Bad - anyway we'll just keep our fingers crossed that it will eventually get into the right hands.
No, I did'nt see the article re Mother Seaton, but I hope it will bring Fame to the Town & make it possible for you to find a customer to buy your business. Happy to know the Rx dept. is in full swing - not wishing anybody any harm, but hope it will continue, as am sure the profit side of the books is an important selling point to anybody interested in buying.
That ten acre deal in Phoenix sound wonderful Earl, a very good investment. Walter is a shrewd businesss man & am sure you wo'nt regret taking his advice, you can't go wrong buying acreage at that price, no matter where it is in Arizona - congratulations.
Yes, I knew Vic McLaghlen, met him many times, he was quite a character, a rough-neck at heart, but very likeable - I do'nt think he could have played anthing else but a Tough Guy, he was'nt too good an actor, so everything he did was his natural self - he lived a Tough life - An Army man - Boxer (he fought the famous heavyweight champion once, the late Jack Johnson) & later got into the silent Movie Business - he was really a 'Soldier of Fortune', an interesting personality. Errol Flynn had the same qualities, but more refined & good looking, he had a lot of Scoundrel in him. Flynn was Australian & McLaghlen was English.
No, I do'nt have a Hi-Fi - was never too interested in records - Have heard Patachou tho', she's excellent.
I understand Jackie Gleason is doing a Broadway Show 'Take Me Along' its a smash hit, a musical version of "Ah, Wilderness", they say he's terrific in it & is predicted for a long run. I think he was wise to get out of TV, he's much better off doing a show - not so much strain.
TV. is a great responsibility on a comic & is killing work doing a new show every week - I know I'd be a nervous wreck.
Carney has done several TV appearances, but unfortunately has been mis-caste playing straight roles - he seems lost without Gleason.
I just started on the Geriplex vitamins you sent me, so as soon as I finish these I would like you to send me the others you suggested & in the meantime let me know the cost - postage etc. so I can mail you a cheque when I'm ready for them.
Pleased to note the Babies are both well - Thanks for the kind invitation to visit your Ten Acre Ranch - am afraid Mrs Eccles would be stuck with the cooking dept. Mrs L. is evidently in Jean's class when it comes to that Bar-B-Que routine.
All for now Earl - kindest & best to you all from us both here.
Take care of yourself.
Victor McLaglen (1886-1959) was an English boxer and World War I veteran who became a film actor. McLaglen won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1935 for his role in The Informer.
Take Me Along opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre on October 22, 1959 and closed on December 17, 1960 after 448 performances.
OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN
An old married couple decided to celebrate their 40th honeymoon in bed. She said to the old man who was already in bed, ‘Can you wait honey till I take my stockings off?’ He said, ‘Hell, I could wait til you knit a pair!’
Dear Phillip [Nesbit]:-
Thanks yours, recd, this AM.
I spent a few days there, in '41 - the occasion was a movie 'Good Will' trip & was represented by all the Stars of that time in Hollywood - had lunch at the American Embassy.
Note your gag repertoire is low, so here's one for you: An old married couple decided to celebrate their 40th honeymoon in bed. She said to the old man who was already in bed 'Can you wait honey till I take my stockings off? He said; 'Hell, I could wait til you knit a pair.'!!!
Bye Phil. Take care of yourself.
Best from us both here.
RUBBER STAMP - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN EXCERPT
I still receive a great deal of fan mail from all corners of the Earth. It’s really incredible.
My Dear Jock [Weaver]:
Enjoyed so much hearing from you again & glad to know alls well & Happy with you & your dear Mother. Note that Jeffrey Blyth's article quoted me as not feeling too good - maybe I was'nt up to par the day he visited me but on the whole I'm getting along fine - I never was in the Health & Strength dept. so maybe its my old age that makes me look sick. Even at my best,I was never any Oil Painting.
When I mentioned that I could'nt understand the reason for L&H's popularity - I mean't in the terms of time it's amazing to me that after 30 odd years, our films are still in public favour - I do'nt know of any other comics who have lasted so, long & have become a legend all over the World.
I still receive a great deal of Fan Mail from all corners of the Earth its really incredible.
Mrs L. was'nt here during the time of Jeffrey Blyth's visit, so I imagine thats why he made no mention of her in the article - incidently she is in pretty good health & taking wonderful care of me.
Pleased to know Jackie Alderson Is doing well - please convey my regards & best. I had a letter from Jimmy Murphy a few months ago, sorry to say he's not doing so well - his last job was with the Head of the 'Pepsicola Co.' A Mr Steele, who married Joan Crawford, Jimmy was kind of a valet & traveled with them Abroad etc. but as you probably know, Steele died, so since then, Jimmy has been having a pretty rough time of it - he does have some sort of a job however & is making a living, but not up to the standard he has been accustomed to these last few years - poor Jimmy, am sure he misses that life of luxury & ease.
We moved from Malibu address in June of '58. & now have a nice Apartment facing the Santa Monica Bay - like it very much indeed being in Town is much more convenient, close to shopping center etc, Malibu was nice, but too far out & very lonesome at times, especially not being alble to get any television reception in that area.
Weather here is stili quite hot - between 80 & 90 today, its been a long hot summer, so need rain badly.
Think thats all for now Jock - trust alls well & happy with you. Mrs L. joins in wishing your Mother & Self a very Merry good luck.
Thanks again for your kind letter & gracious sentiments.
Bye now & God Bless.
Jeffrey Blyth (1926-2013) was a foreign correspondent for The London Daily Mail. His article—which embarrassed Stan immensely—suggested the comic was nearly destitute and “almost a forgotten man.”
RUBBER STAMP - 849 OCEAN AVE., SANTA MONICA, CA - TYPEWRITTEN
Dear Marie & Rickey [Capra]:
So sorry to hear of your health condition Marie, you must take good care of yourself - especially that low blood pressure, I imagine the Dr. has given you the necessary Instructions to avoid any trouble - fortunately you had it checked in time - hope too he can do something for that Gland situation, being too fat is bad for the heart - try not to be so active till you get some of that weight off.
Note you only eat one Big meal a day - do'nt think this is good for you, its too much all at one time & hard to digest before you go to bed - anyway maybe this trouble will be a warning to you.
Glad you got a kick out of the Peon story - am sedning you another one, I know Rickey will get a laugh out of this one.
Hope by now you have found a guitar player with a car, I can imagine its difficult to get around much without one, altho' the Parking situation is pretty bad in N.Y. Transportation these days is a problem, which ever way you figure - does'nt the subway run to Union City?
Pleased to hear the boys are doing well in school - I guess they've grown quite a bit now - please convey our love & best to them.
Steve Allen dropped in to see me last week, enjoyed meeting him very much.
Think thats about all for now. Love & kind thoughts to you all. Wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.
Good luck & God Bless.
A drunken guest who was staying at a swank Las Vegas hotel was requested to leave immediately for urinating in the swimming pool. When he recd. the notice, he stormed down to the managers office, banged his fist on the desk - 'Whats the big idea picking on me? everybody else around here does it.!!' The Manager: 'That we tolerate Sir, BUT NOT FROM THE DIVING BOARD.!!!'
OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN
The last Laurel and Hardy film was made in France, titled ‘Utopia.’ Sorry to say it was the worst we ever made.
Dear Glenn Laxton:
Thanks yours, 23rd.inst.
Nice to hear from you again & to know alls well with you. Note you have a Tape recorder - what make is it? Mine is a 'Wollensak'. Am sure you will get a lot of pleasure out of it. I get a lot of fun out of mine recording Candid Conversations when several people visit me at one time & during card games sometimes — I hide the 'Mike' from view, & before they leave I play it back for them & they sure get a big kick out of it, its amazing how funny these conversations are under these conditions.
The last L&H film was made in France, titled 'UTOPIA', sorry to say it was the worst we ever made. We had a lot of trouble on that one, due to language barrier — sickness etc. I was in hospital for eight weeks during the film, had a serious operation, dropped in weight from 170lbs. to 114. never thought I'd manage to finish the picture, it was really a nightmare for me.
Regarding another picture of L&H - I should be pleased to send you another pose, different to what you have, but unfortunately, the rest are all stored away & it would be too difficult for me to locate them, if I ever have occasion to go to the Store-house, I shall with pleasure send you one. When I moved into the Apt. I did'nt have room for all of my belongings, consequently they're all packed away.
However I do have a personal picture of L&H. taken a few years ago, so maybe you'd like to have one (enclosed).
The John Wayne film you saw recently in which Hardy was in, was made in '48. (released in '49.) We had just returned from a European tour & Mr Wayne being a good friend of Hardy requested him to appear alone in this film, so of course I had no objection as I badly needed a rest. After this film we both returned to Great Britain again. Incidently I never did see this film.
Yes, Jimmy Finlayson was older than Hardy & I, I think about 8 years — we both were very fond of Jimmy — a great comic.
Thanks for your Thanksgiving wishes - hope you too had a happy time.
Weather here still very Hot - tween 80 and 90 today, so not much Xmas spirit in evidence, except for decorated streets & stores - I imagine its quite different back there, must be pretty cold now I guess.
All for now Glen. Mrs L. joins in every good wish.
Take care of yourself.
Very Sincerely always:
Today’s foremost pantomime artist is here to pay homage to some or the great names who created the golden age of comedy.
“I want very much to see Mack Sennett” said Frenchman Marcel Marceau, “I would like to meet Buster Keaton and to pay a visit to my old friend, Stan Laurel. They are great men who lifted pantomime to a fine art. I owe a great deal to them.”
Marceau, world famous as the non talking, white-faced clown, whose supple body can enact almost any human situation, came here for Dinah Shore’s TV salute to France. A wry-faced man with a fright-wig hairdo, he paused to reflect on the sorrows and hopes for pantomime.
“It was a great, great art in the silent films of Hollywood,” he said. “I am sorry that it has virtually disappeared with talking films. And yet, there is still some good pantomime.”
I mentioned what a leading American comic had told me recently: that pantomime is dead in comedy today because audiences need the added punch or the spoken word.
“I do not think that is so,” Marceau replied, “Audiences still like pantomime—if they can get it.
“The trouble is that there is no training ground for pantomimists in this country, It is like the ballet: if you do not have schools to train young dancers, you will have no ballet.”
Marceau is doing what he can to promote his art. Several months a year, he operates a school for tyros in Paris. His last class was 80 pupils, including many Americans. He had to turn away more than double that number.
November 7, 1959