Beverly Hills, California,
                March 8th, 1934.

Hal Roach Studios, Inc.,
Culver City, California.

    Prior to my notification to you that I was unable to render services for you, and the subsequent notice of suspension which you have given me, I have appeared, at your direction, in a photoplay of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.
    I have been advised that, in connection with the completion of the picture, retakes and added scenes are necessary, which I believe will take one or two days shooting and, in view of the fact that this work has been practically completed, except as above indicated, I feel it my obligation and duty to do my best to appear therein and finish this work, and have so stated to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and, in view of the fact that it involves only the completion of some work to the extent of a day to two of my services, I would not wish to receive any compensation therefor.
    Will you, therefore, grant me permission to complete my work in this picture, in discharge of my duty to finish a production in which I have appeared, with the understanding that no compensation will be paid to me therefor, and without affecting my status by reason of the notice of suspension heretofore given me.
    I shall construe your approval upon the line therefor provided as your permission for me, to so appear, subject to the terms hereof, and I shall very much appreciate such action on your part.
                Yours truly,
Stan Laurel Signature


I know exactly the foolishness of my doings, but my spirit and ambition have been broken and I just don't care anymore. I have tried to keep going and it's too much for me. It is impossible to be funny with a broken heart.

Stan Laurel

                March 26th.'34.
Dear Friend Ethel [Stanley]-
                Please excuse pencil.
    Thanks so much dear for your kind letter. It was awfully sweet of you & I appreciate your kind thoughts. I know exactly the foolishness of my doings - but my spirit & ambition have been broken & I just don't care anymore - I have tried to keep going & its too much for me - it is impossible to be funny with a broken heart & rather than make pictures that wouldn't be good I prefer to finish at the Peak.
    I have no one to blame but myself - I just made a mess of my life & career & hate myself for it - someday I'll probably get over it & make a fresh start - if it isn't too late - but it seems like I never will - However I'm not going to dwell on the subject, as I brood & fret over it so much - at times I think I'll go crazy - again many thanks Ethel for your kindly interest. Trust alls well & happy with you. I will still be coming East - if I do will let you know.
                Kindest regards always!
Stan Laurel Signature
PS - Please destroy this Ethel - This is in confidence. Thanks! SL

Note from the Editor

At the end of 1933, Laurel was divorced from his wife Lois and had a second personal tragedy in the death of his brother Teddy, who died while undergoing minor dental surgery.

Stan Watermark