Dear Irene [Heffernan]:
    Enclosed a few more stamps to add to your collection-
    Again wish you & Jim a very Happy & successful '63. Love bestest from us both here -
                As Ever:
Stan Laurel Signature

Postcard from Stan Laurel to Randy Johnson
POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Sorry delay in wishing you [Randy Johnson] & yours a wonderful New Year, continued good health & a Happy successful 1963.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Sorry delay in wishing you [Charles Mysal] & yours a wonderful New Year, continued good health & a Happy & Prosperous 1963.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Sorry delay in wishing you [Al Burian] a wonderful New Year, Good health & a Happy Prosperous 1963.
                Very sincerely:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Sorry delay in wishing you [Tom Goldrup] & yours a wonderful New Year, lots of good health & a Happy Prosperous 1963.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.


Thanks Irene [Heffernan] for your welcome letter - Pleased to know you enjoyed your trip to Nevada & will have strange tales to tell when we see you again !!!
    Eda joins in love & kind thoughts to Jim & Self,
    Cheerio -
                As ever:
Stan Signature

P.S. enclosed: a few more stamps.


My Dear Friends [Mr & Mrs Short]:
                Thanks your letter 15th.inst.
Note you are now living in Barrington - wish you lots of happiness in your new surroundings - your description of the house sounds quite roomy & comfortable, am sure you will enjoy it when you add the finishing touches & get settle[d] down.
    Remember me kindly to Mr Omiston (Tatler Cinema) when you see him again also Mr Cairn of the Tyne-Tees TV. I remember the little Lad you mention - they soon grow up do'nt they I assume he has finished his schooling & possibly working by now.
    again a happy & prosperous 1963. (from us both here.)
    Good luck & God Bless.                 Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

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

Have no idea whats doing with the cartoon situation. Haven’t seen an inch of the film.

Stan Laurel

Dear Richard [Sloan]:
                Thanks yours, 16th.inst.
Note you did'nt receive the "First Family" tape I returned last Dec.28th. - Think I told you it was shipped as 4th.class mail - evidently the Xmas mail caused the delay - hope by now its arrived - I feel sure it will in due course.
    Thanks for the copy of Films in Review magazine, Have just returned it. via 1st.Class mail - yes I saw this article a couple of years ago - it was a taped interview - had no idea it was intended for publication, the guy posed as a Fan of L&H & made his hobby in collecting tapes of this nature.
    Tom Sullivan's address, is 1402,Manhattan Avenue,Union City.N.J he probably still has the negative of that picture.
    I had a letter from Ron Klugman - he's changed his name to Ron Barry - I suggested he also change his first name to RAZZ.!! [He] asked me for your address, probably you've heard from film by now. Note the M.P. Museum Board are endeavoring to recover the bronze plaque (Roach Studio) for me - wonder why? I have no use for it - have no place to put it -- ?
    I have'nt heard from Larry Harmon for a long time - have no idea whats doing with the Cartoon situation - have'nt seen an inch of the film - last I heard he was trying to get a syndication deal - ?
    Jack McCabe mentioned sometime ago about "Sons of the Desert" project - I frankly was'nt too enthused over the idea so he never mentioned it since. Guess you knew that Jack got married recently. I sincerely hope they will be very happy & successful.
    Thanks for A.B.C. News Bulletin re "Fabulous Era" - will certainly remember to see it - my middle name is nostalgia.
    Have written to Chuck [McCann] a couple of times, had no answer to date - sincerely trust alls well with him.
    Not much else Richard.
    Kindest & best from us both here.
    Cheerio !
                As ever:
Stan Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Thanks Dean [Kaner] your letter, 14th.inst. I too enjoyed talking with you on the phone - appreciate your kind thought - in all the films of L&H, I have no particular favorite. Hope alls well with you & yours during this severe winter you're experiencing - I certainly do'nt envy you.
    Take care - Good luck.
                Sincerely as ever:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Glad to know the Tape finally arrived - NOW PLEASE CALL OFF THE DOGS.!!
    Thanks Richard [Sloan].!
                As ever.
Stan Signature


Regarding my favorite films—frankly, I have no particular choice. There are a few here and there, I guess. Never gave it much thought.

Stan Laurel

Dear Jean Mann:
                Thanks your note recd.this AM.
Pleased to know Howie & yourself enjoyed a Merry Yuletide - again wish you a Happy healthy Prosperous 1963.
    Note you intend to get a 16mm sound projector - an 8mm silent limits your choice of films so am sure you'll get much more pleasure out of it, only sorry you have to forfeit you new living room set you waited so long & patiently for.
    Regarding my favorite films - frankly I have no particular choice, there are a few here & there I guess - never gave it much thought.
    Note you have a tape recorder - am enclosing you a recording of the L&H theme music that was made in London, Eng. in 1932 by the Columbia recording orchestra - thought you like to have this as a souvenir - the Speed is 3-3/4. Hope you'll enjoy listening to it.
    Again my thanks & best wishes to you both.
                Very sincerely:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.


Dear Howie [Mann]:
    Thanks your very nice letter - Glad to know you're enjoying the old L&H films - appreciate your kind sentiments.
    I never had the pleasure of seeing Chuck McCann's program - have met him once & we correspond occasionally, he's a very nice person & has certainly re-juvenated L&H films & introduced them to the younger generation with great ingenuity & finesse.
    I guess by now you recd. the tape recording I mailed last week - thought you & Jean would get a kick out of the "Cuckoo" theme music & would find the old time English Music Hall artistes interesting.
    Again my kindest regards to you both.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

The Legend Grows!

By Ray Atherton

Today, nearly five years after Stan Laurel’s passing, and twelve years since rotund Oliver Hardy died, and more than seventeen years since the pair’s last film entry, the legion of Laurel and Hardy fans continues to grow. This phenomena may most easily be explained by the fact that third generation admirers of Stan and Ollie are being exposed to the team’s films presented on television. Their fascination with the boys is as their fathers and grandfathers was during the late twenties through the forties.
    Although Stan Laurel remained rather leery of Laurel and Hardy telecasts (the films were generally mercilessly re-edited) he owes a lot to them. Viewers seeing the old classics would ask, “Whatever became of Laurel and Hardy?” Such was the question posed to one of Chicago’s various letters to the editor column. One local paper noted that Stan was retired and lived quietly in Santa Monica. The paper also quoted Stan’s home address.
    I had recently finished John McCabe’s Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy and I leapt at the chance to ask Mr. Laurel a few questions regarding matters on which McCabe only touched lightly.
    In an early letter to Mr. Laurel, I asked him to explain the phonetic system used in making early foreign versions of their films, and to quote a few titles done in this matter. Soon a letter arrived in which Mr. Laurel explained, “The foreign language was NOT DUBBED IN.
    “We first made the film in ENGLISH - after this was previewed and final editing was completed - we then called in four interpreters, FRENCH, SPANISH, GERMAN, and ITALIAN who translated the script and engaged a different cast for each version, excepting of course L&H and principal characters such as Jimmy Finlayson, etc.
    “The interpreter read each scene to us word by word and we wrote it on a blackboard as it sounded to us (phonetic system). These boards were placed in back of each of us (out of camera range) so we had no difficulty in speaking the lines in every language. In early days of making foreign versions in sound, the technique of ‘DUBBING’ wasn't conceived - it soon became a specialized job and our method naturally was discarded.
    “We made five versions of THE LAUREL AND HARDY MURDER CASE, NIGHT OWLS, CHICKENS COME HOME, RATS, BE BIG, COME CLEAN, BELOW ZERO, PARDON US, and a few others I don’t recall the titles.”
    In ensuing letters Stan expressed doubt that the proposed film on the career of Laurel and Hardy (which was to feature Chuck McCann and Dick Van Dyke) would ever materialize, noted that their appearance on the This is Your Life program was “definitely a big surprise,” and asked whatever became of Walter Long.
    In one of my last letters, I mentioned that Hal Roach, Sr., had been a featured guest on one of the late night talk shows. Roach told an anecdote concerning the filming of Big Business—the film in which Finlayson’s home is practically leveled by the pair.
    Roach claimed the house used in the classic comedy was rented from a studio employee who was leaving on vacation. Of course, he was to be compensated for the damage done to his home. Roach went on to say that the cast and crew arrived at and destroyed the wrong house. In reference to this Stan wrote, “The anecdote Hal Roach, Sr., told on the Les Crane show, was definitely not true - the chap who owned the house - was employed at the studio and worked on he film with us.” Apparently Roach has little regard for what a film historian would record as being fact.
    The last piece of correspondence I received was a postcard which arrived February 23, 1965, the day Stan passed away. This concerned a statement published in a Blackhawk Film bulletin of the day which announced the release of the Laurel and Hardy sound film titled Unaccustomed As We Are in an 8mm silent version.
    In part, the Blackhawk announcement read, “Here is the original silent version of this 1929 Laurel and Hardy comedy, one of the few from the transitional period between the silent era and the era of sound. As a result, subtitles are more frequent and more wordy than the silents of just a year before—some separate shooting—as done to the silent versions that make them different from a title version of a sound film that might be edited today.
    Regarding this statement, Stan wrote, “Re the film UNACCUSTOMED AS WE ARE, this was our first SOUND film - there was never a silent version made, or any silent films made after this by us. It doesn't make sense - why should we make one with sound and one without - if a silent version - was required, simply take off the sound track and replace the titles.”
    It was while re-reading these letters that it occurred to me that quite a bit of film history which might otherwise be lost to film buffs is contained therein. It is my hope that others who might have had contact with Mr. Laurel (and I’m sure there are many readers of Classic Film Collector who have exchanged letters with Stan) might share those letters in similar articles.

—Classic Film Collector
    Winter 1970)

Stan Watermark