One pastry shop made a big cake for us with our faces designed on it.

Stan Laurel


My Dear Booth [Colman]-
    Thanks for your letter (Sept. 26.) always enjoy hearing from you. First, congratulations re the Warner Picture, am sincerely happy to hear about it & my full wishes for success in which Eda joins. Lots of good luck Booth. Yes, it is too bad. Pictures were made of our arrival in Cobh, but, as I told you it was an impromptu affair & a complete surprise to us all - as we first saw the crowds all yelling etc. - we hadn't the slightest idea what it was all about till someone on board of the Tender told us to listen to the Cathedral Bells - Then came dawn! There may have been pictures taken by individuals - There was a news photographer on the Dock when we got off - but of course all he did was in the close ups - half of them never think to photograph the crowd - only the attraction. Had we known, we could have arranged to have it properly covered - it's a shame - but just one of those things. We had dozens of letters & notes handed to us - invitations to homes etc. One pastry shop made a Big cake for us with our faces designed on it & welcome etc. but of course didn't go anywhere - Just impossible to move - was glad to get into the car & away - reminded us of our Glasgow reception in 32! & Rome in '50. at times. It's terrifying - just a mass of humanity. It's wonderful, but a terrible ordeal.
    Am glad Lucille Ball is cleared, but as they say - had it been anyone else it would never have been forgiven. Look at the Chaplin case - they threw him out without evidence.
    The act is taking good shape - now rehearsing with cast. We are doing a matinee benefit on Oct. 11th here for the Red Cross, so will soon find out all we want to know. Going to be a heavy week - Rehearsing - Dress rehearsals for Pictures to be made - on Thursday 8th. we do a Radio Broadcast - matinee Sunday - then sail for Eng. 12th. going direct to London - doing a TV. interview there for B.B.C. Saturday night (17th) Henry Hall's Program "Face The Music." Then travel (18TH.) to Northampton & open 19th. Will be glad when settled down. Imagine "The Robe" will of sensational Bus. all over & as you say, will motivate a lot of Production.
    Hope Beria isn't one of our pigeons! Will keep my eye on 'em! Eda not feeling too good - think she will soon get over it - in bed & keeping warm. Weather very nice here - all around fog & slight rain - all for now Booth - will drop you a line from London & let you know how we did at the matinee.
    Eda sends love & joins in every good wishes.
    Bye & Bless-
                As ever-
Stan Signature

Note from the Editor

When Lucille Ball registered to vote in 1936, she listed her party affiliation as Communist. On September 4, 1953, Ball met privately with United States House of Representatives’ Special Committee on Un-American Activities investigator William A. Wheeler in Hollywood. She stated that she had registered to vote as a Communist in 1936 at her socialist grandfather’s insistence. She stated she “at no time intended to vote as a Communist.

The Robe was a 1953 20th Century Fox film that tells the story of a Roman military tribune who commands the unit that crucifies Jesus. It starred Richard Burton, Jean Simmons and Victor Mature.

Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria (1899-1953) was chief of the Soviet security and secret police under Joseph Stalin during World War II. Upon Stalin’s death in March 1953, Beria was promoted to First Deputy Premier.


Dear Mr. [Fred] Jeffery,
    Pleased to hear you recd. the photo & trust you will be able to see us at Tinsbury Park Empire - week of Nov. 9th.
    Thanks for your kind thoughts re sending me the book - "Remembering Fred Karno" but I already have a copy in my library at home. However appreciate your nice suggestion.
    With kind regards, & best wishes -
                Sincerely -
Stan Laurel Signature

Jimmy Finlayson of Old Keystone Kop Fame Dies

James Finlayson

Jimmy Finlayson, one of the original Keystone Kops of the Mack Sennett slapstick comedy days, was found dead yesterday at his Hollywood home, 1966 N. Beachwood Drive.
    The body of the 68-year-old Scottish comedian was discovered by his old friend, English Actress Stephanie Insall.
    Finlayson had been in the habit of breakfasting with the actress for the past 20 years. When he didn't appear as usual at her home, 6959 Franklin Ave., she went to investigate.
    The veteran actor was an International success between the world wars, appearing on the Broadway and London stages, starring for Sennett and Hal Roach comedies, and surviving the change from silent films to talkies in the early 1930s.
    Born In Falkirk, Scotland, he was apprenticed to his father’s Iron foundry. But he rebelled at a business career because acting was in his blood, and ran away from home.
    In 1912 he came to America as a juvenile player in a Scottish comedy that played Broadway for 13 months—“Bunty Pulls the Strings.” With him came younger brother Bob, now a Hollywood camera technician.
    The infant film industry was making its first strides to greatness when the actor stopped here on tour in 1916 and decided to stay.
    He was under contract for three years to Sennett, appearing as one of the zany Keystone Kops and playing opposite Ben Turpin. Then came a four-year contract with Roach, followed by freelancing.
    He also appeared in many of the early Laurel and Hardy comedies as the mustached heavy who was the butt of their escapades. In recent years these short-reelers were brought to life again by television.
    Through the years he worked for leading studios like MGM, 20th Century-Fox and RKO.
    Illness ended his career a decade ago and he went into retirement, living quietly by himself and occasionally showing up for reunions with filmland’s old-timers.

—Los Angeles Times
    (October 10, 1953)

James H. Finlayson of ‘Keystone Kops’

James Henderson Finlayson, the “villain” in the “Keystone Kops” movies of the silent screen era, was found dead in bed today, apparently of a heart attack.
    A fixture In Mack Sennett and Hal Roach pie-throwing comedies of Hollywood’s early days, Mr. Finlayson in later years became a character player in films. In recent years he had appeared in movie and television shorts.
    Mr. Finlayson appeared with Jack Mulhall and Dorothy Mackaill in the comedy films “Lady Be Good,” “Ladies’ Night in a Turkish Bath,” and “Two Weeks Off,” in 1928. In 1928 he was featured with Miss Mackaill, Louise Fazenda, and others in “Hard to Get,” and with Aileen Pringle in “Wall Street.” During the Thirties his companions in screen fun were Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel, among others. With Laurel and Hardy he was in “Pack Up Your Troubles,” (1932); “The Devil's Brother,” (1933); “Our Relations,” (1936); “Way Out West,” (1937), and “Blockheads,” (1938).

—The New York Times
    (October 10, 1953)

Stan Watermark