MAY 5th.1960.
My Dear Ben [Shipman]:
    Thanks yours, 4th.inst. with enclosure of cheque.
    Note the roof of the house will be a pastel Green color - am not too particular what color, as the house badly needs a paint job, so we can choose an appropriate color to blend with the roof.
    Note you talked with Neil Rau in regard to the L&H book - I had no intention of discussing this matter with him during his visit next Saturday, especially due to the present circumstances, & frankly I do'nt think its possible to write a Life Story, as we know so little of Babe's early life. Jack McCabe covered every source of information for several years but was unable to trace anything of interest.
    All for now Ben.
    Regards & Best,
                As ever:
Stan Signature


Interesting to note you are fond of music. I have no talent in this field whatsoever.

Stan Laurel

                MAY 10th.'60.
My Dear Pete [Preece]:
    Many thanks for your nice letter,4th.inst. with enclosure of Club Button & Honorary membership Card.
    Needless to tell you I deeply appreciate the kind gesture - my sincere thanks to you all.
    Pleased to know you recd. the pictures OK & I feel very honoured to know that the swordfish picture now hangs in prominence in Head Quarters - only wish I could have sent you the photo of the 258 pounder - if I ever come across it, will do so, it really was a whopper.
    Wish I were able to accept your kind invitation to visit you all & have the pleasure of enjoying a fishing trip with you, nothing would give me greater pleasure I assure you - unfortunately am afraid my traveling days are over & I doubt very much if I shall ever see England again. Anyway, please again convey my thanks to the members & officers of the organization for their kind thought & good wishes.
    Hope sometime you'll have the opportunity to take a trip over here, I would certainly enjoy the pleasure of meeting you again, but I could'nt promise to take you out fishing, but its possible I could arrange some trips for you.
    I think you are over rating my fishing skill Pete - I just happened to be lucky that season - you would have no difficulty competing with me, a handicap would be necessary.
    Interesting to note you are fond of music - what instrument do you play? I have no talent in this field whatsoever, actually I never had much interest in this dept. never did appeal to me.
    I got a big kick out of your term 'Chamber Music', thats very funny - I fully agree with you.!
    Congratulations to the S.A.C. for winning the recent competition against Easthourne - wish you continued success. Lets hope we'll win back the "Friendship Cup", then you can all get bigger Hats.! I note this event takes place Nov. 6th. I shall mark this date on my desk calendar, so will remember to wish you luck.
    All for now Pete. Take care of yourself.
    My kindest regards to you all.
    Cheerio & God Bless.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Signature                 STAN LAUREL.


The only contribution [Hal Roach] made to the success of Laurel and Hardy was to provide a studio and equipment.

Stan Laurel

                MAY 12th.'60.
Dear Earl [Manbeck]:
    I had already seen the article you sent me regarding Hal Roach. The only contribution he made to the success of L&H was to provide a studio & equipment, the money was loaned by Banks, he had nothing to do with the making of the films, even tho' his name appeared on some of them as the Director, he was seldom on the set.
    Anyway, if it makes him feel good to take the credit, let him have fun, it doesn't bother me in the least.
    Note our old films are not running much anymore. I understand they are going to re-issue all our old silents on TV, so probably we'll come back to life again for another year or so. There's a new film out now, similar to "Golden Age of Comedy" called "When Comedy was King" & its very successful, probably this prompted the re-issue on TV. Stan Signature

Letter from Stan Laurel to Marie Hatfield

                MAY 23rd.'60.
Dear Mrs [Marie] Hatfield:
                Thanks yours,18th.inst.
I've recd. several letters recently in regard to "When Comedy Was King" film, also several of the New York critics reviews, they all speak very highly of it & contend its much better than "The Golden Age of Comedy" - I have'nt seen either so I can't offer my opinion on them. This new film is now playing in Hollywood, unfortunately, its too far for me to venture - probably some time in the future it will be shown on TV. I understand Robt. Youngson is already preparing another one to follow, he's certainly making a fortune out of these antiquated films as he has a World-Wide release for them. Its very unfair that we get nothing out of these.
    Note you saw the "New Moon", I remember it well, saw it when it was first released, it was an excellent picture.
    I guess Donald could do with a bath - maybe thats what he's looking for, its a wonder his owners do'nt fix him a big tub of water in the back yard & give him a chance to clean up, he must look a sorry sight, I think its pretty cruel to leave him in this condition, too bad there is'nt a POND NEARBY. (do'nt ask me why I used Capital letters in the last two words - for no reason at all!).
    Yes, we saw the Royal wedding, it was really a grand affair, incidently, May 6th. was our anniversary (our 14th.) I too was a bit disappointed that Maggie married a commoner, anyway, I wish them both a lot of happiness.
    Think thats about all, so bye for now.
    Regards & best to Bob, Mother & self, from us both here.
                As ever:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Notes from the Editor

When Comedy Was King was Robert Youngson’s second feature-length compilation of silent comedy highlights (the first was The Golden Age of Comedy, and covered the years 1914 to 1929. The closing sequence consisted of the 1929 Laurel and Hardy tit-for-tat classic Big Business, virtually in its entirety.

New Moon (1940) was a Nelson Eddie/Jeanette MacDonald film.

Queen Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret, wed Anthony Armstrong Jones at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 1960. The wedding was the very first Royal wedding to be televised, and was watched by over 20 million people.

Chaplin Omission Stirs Filmland Row

Charlie Chaplin

By Rick DuBrow

Noted filmland personalities were angered today by the absence of Charlie Chaplin’s name from Hollywood Blvd.’s new “Walk of Fame.”
    Although they disagreed with his political sympathies, figures like Sam Goldwyn, Mary Pickford, Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton told United Press International the comedian should have his name engraved in the new stretch of pavement with the 1,500 others chosen.
    But Harry Sugarman, president of the Hollywood Improvement Association, said some of the property owners who put up the money needed for the project threatened to withdraw it if forced to honor Chaplin, who has accepted communist honors, criticized this country and is living in Swiss exile.
    “His name is still on the admission list,” said Sugarman, "“but it’s problematical if he’ll get in unless conditions change and people change their minds about his character as far as loyalty to this country is concerned.”
    Replied Goldwyn: “If there’s anybody entitled to be in a motion picture hall of fame, Mr. Chaplin has probably done more than anybody I know. I don’t associate politics with anything like that.”
    The aging comedian is a source of controversy again in Hollywood since the recent publication of the book My Father, Charlie Chaplin by his son, Charlie Chaplin Jr.
    Said Miss Pickford, once “America’s Sweetheart”: “We may disagree heartily with Charlie’s political views, but we make ourselves ridiculous to the rest of the world by ignoring the world's greatest comedian. It’s absurd after what he pioneered for the movies and the mirth he spread.”
    Said Laurel, the skinny half of the old Laurel and Hardy comedy team: “I think his name definitely should be included. It’s wrong. It has nothing to do with his private affairs.”
    Added deadpan comedian Keaton: “He wasn’t a good American, but for the love of Mike, his professional career was so outstanding that it’s hard to take it away from him for his political beliefs. In Hollywood, he belongs. For all we know, Shakespeare might have had some screwy political notions.”
    Even Adolphe Menjou, one of Hollywood’s most rabid anti-communists, came to Chaplin's defense.
    “I think he’s too great to keep his name off despite the fact that he has a hole in his head politically,” said Menjou.
    At the same time, a spokesman for Red Skelton, who has bought Chaplin’s old studio here, said the self-exiled comedian's footprints will be kept intact at the stage entrance “for old time’s sake. We have no plans to undo anything.”

—Oakland Tribune
    May 26, 1960

Stan Watermark