RUBBER STAMP - 1111 Franklin St., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Babe’s ex-wife started suit against him for back alimony. She claims fifty thousand dollars due her. Can you imagine anybody being so lousy to do such a thing under the conditions? Her attorney ought to be shot.

Stan Laurel

                March 1st.'57.
Dear Betty [Healy]:-
                Thanks yours 26th.inst.
So pleased to know you've got the accident affair all straightened out, & mainly that you are feeling well enough to really get going again, congratulations!
    Your prospects look very encouraging Betty & you sound like you've got your old enthusiasm back, which is wonderful, especially after all the worry & trouble you've been through - I certainly wish you all the luck & success you fully deserve.
    Happy to hear that Wayne is doing so we1l, it looks like your off to a good start now. Please give him my best.
    I think you were very wise to settle the case, even tho' you were entitled to much more, you just can't fight those insurance outfits, you have as much chance of getting a square deal as a snowball has in hell - they're all rackets, just like these loan outfits, same goes for a lot of these attorneys, they'll handle your case & do'nt care if you win or loose as long as they get their fees out or it, & the longer they stall on it, the more they'll get. Anyway, under the circumstances I think you did best to get from under the worry & strain of it all.
    Glad you're happy with your Chevie, sounds like you got a good deal on it, hope it stands up as I imagine you will be doing quite a bit of driving back & forth to Hesperia & around the countryside. They are sure doing a lot or TV advertising on that property - is it really as good as they say? That notary public bus. is a good idea, it will be a little side money for you.
    Sorry to say poor Babe is still confined to bed & does'nt seem to be making any improvement (going on 6 months now) He had a severe stroke last Sept. his right side was paralyzed, plus his speech, & also affected him mentally, he has lapses of understanding at various times, its pitiful, can't even move or talk, he has two male nurses day & night taking care of him, you can imagine the expense of all this, his wife Lucille had to sell the house & they are now living at her Mother's place. I really feel bad about it, a sad situation for them both. On top of all this, Babe's Ex wife started suit against him for back alimony, she claims Fifty Thousand Dollars due her - can you imagine anybody being so lousey to do such a thing under the conditions - pretty rotten is'nt it. Her attorney ought to be shot for countanencing such a despicable action.
    Eda wishes to thank you for your kind expression of Sympathy, pleased to say, she is getting over the shock & adjusting herself to the situation.
    I am feeling pretty good Betty, but am afraid I'll never be in shape to work again. However when I think of Babe, I thank God for being so fortunate - at least I am able to get around quite well & live a normal life, for which I am very very grateful.
    Note your change of name, a lot of people have great faith in numerology, I certainly hope it will be of value to you & be your 1uckynumber. I fully understand the reason in dropping the name of Healey.
    Think thats all for now Betty. Eda joins in every good wish to Wayne & self.
    Good luck & God Bless.
                As ever:-
Stan Signature

Letter from Stan Laurel to Elmer Westover
RUBBER STAMP - 1111 Franklin St., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                March 2nd.'57.
Dear Elmer [Westover]:-
                Thanks yours 25th.ult.
It was indeed nice of you to send cards to Mr. Hardy & am sure he deeply appreciates your kind thought, but due to his sad condition it just is'nt possible to acknowledge & thank you. The reason is unfortunately, the stroke he had last Sept. paralyzed his right side & also affected his speech, so he is still confined to bed unable to move or talk & is under the care of two male nurses day & night - am sure you will fully understand the situation.
    Hope you enjoyed seeing "Sons of the Desert" & "Bonnie Scotland" even tho' they were probably cut short to make time for commercial advertising.
    Thanks for your nice thought in sending some of your recorded music, but frankly, am not too interested in that type of thing, unless you have some old time records of popular songs made during the twenties by well known Stars like Sophie Tucker, Al Jolson & others of that period, I do'nt care much for the present day stuff, in other words, I am strictly nostalgic, my little collection includes the late Harry Lauder, the Two Black Crows, Ted Lewis, Blossom Seeley, Nora Bayes etc. you may not be too familiar with these names, but they bring back some happy memories of yesteryear. I also have some recordings of comedy sketches that Mr. Hardy & I made during our personal appearances in England in '52 & 53. If you have a machine, I should be pleased to send you a copy of one of them, let me know & I'll make one up for you with pleasure.
    All for now Elmer,
    My regards & best.
Stan Laurel Signature                 LAUREL & HARDY.

Note from the Editor

The Two Black Crows was a blackface comedy act popular in the 1920s and ’30s. The duo appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, on radio, comedy records and in film features and shorts.

Blossom Seeley (1886-1974) made a singer who made a series of solo records in the 1920s and was one half of the Vaudeville team of Blossom Seeley and Benny Fields.

Nora Bayes (1880–1928) was a popular American singer, comedienne and actress of the early 20th century. In 1908, she married singer-songwriter Jack Norworth. The two toured together and were credited for collaborating on a number of compositions, including the immensely popular “Shine On, Harvest Moon,” which Oliver Hardy sang in the Laurel and Hardy feature film, The Flying Deuces in 1939.

RUBBER STAMP - 1111 Franklin St., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                March 6th.'57.
Dear George Draper:-
                Thanks yours 4th.inst.
Note you will be able to rent some of our movies at your local camera store - do you have a sound project[or] or are you going to rent that too?.
    Am enclosing you 25 stickers for the membership card & as soon as you send the names I'll forward you that amount of autographed pictures.
    Regarding other fan clubs, the only address I have on hand is a Mr George McRae, 1863 Favard St. Montreal. Canada. the rest are stored away amongst a lot of fan mail & would take me quite a while tot locate them. However, I imagine they all operate in about the same manner as you intend doing, the cost of renting the films is shared amongst the members, plus the cost of refreshments at each others home when the pictures are being run each month, or whatever you decide among yourselves, you make your own rules & regulations agreeable to all concerned.
    Bye now. All the best.
                Sincerely:- Stan Laurel Signature                 Stan Laurel.


They had to put wire netting over the orchestra pit so the musicians wouldn’t get hit with bottles. Even that didn’t stop the gentlemen in the upper boxes from urinating into the pit.

Stan Laurel

                March 7th.'57.
                1111,Franklin Street,
                SANTA MONICA.CALIF.
                U. S. A.

My Dear Vic [Silver]:-
    Thanks yours 26th.ult.from Cyprus
    Enjoyed very much hearing from you again & was surprised that you were back in that area again, especially under the circumstances of this serious Mid-East trouble, you certainly have a lot of courage to take such a hazardous trip as thiss, & being on edge every minute, I'd be scared to death - am afraid I'd feel far from being funny & trying to entertain in that atmosphere, I would much prefer playing to the wolves in WIGAN! or the gallery at the Gaiety in Glasgow in the early old days, where they had to put wire netting over the orchestra pit so the musicians would'nt get hit with bottles etc. even that did'nt stop the Gentlemen in the upper boxes from urinating into the pit - what a joint that was! believe it or not I actually saw that - all this is now referred to as THE GOOD OLD DAYS!!!.
    I think too Vic, your best bet would be to come to Canada first, it would be easier than trying to get into the States, unless of course you could make a quota entry here & would be able to live here permanently. However, if you lived in Canada, you would have no difficulty in working here for certain periods, & could return in between times till you made proper arrangements, to enable you to come in for good. Things must be awful in England & I certainly do'nt blame you for wanting to pull out, conditions must be shocking.
    Glad the "VARIETY" paper arrived. They have an office in London & am sure you would be able to pick up a copy each week, I think you will find the address in the paper you have or you could find it in the phone book. The "BILLBOARD" is a very old publication, but very little demand for it anymore in our phase of the bus. as it covers mostly Circus, Carnival & Fairs etc. The "Variety" is the theatrical Bible now.
    Sorry to say poor Oliver is still in bad shape & not making any improvement, its really pitiful, unable to move or talk. I feel terribly upset about it,but nothing can be done.
    Who ever thought that he would end up like this, its tragic. (going on 6 months now since he got the stroke).
    That bogus manager bus. is shocking - they can't get away with it over here (used to, but no more) there is a law covering that now, anyone producing a show, big or small, has to put up in bond the cost of the show for two weeks, which includes all salaries etc. & when it closes, they have to give evidence of everybody being paid & the bond money is returned. The artistes too are guaranteed their fares back to the starting point if the show has been touring. If the bond is'nt put up, it means a heavy fine &/or Jail.
    No, you can't depend on the V.A.F. doing anthing about this situation, they are just a waste of time - you pay dues but do'nt get any protection whatsoever.
    I do'nt know much about Florida I never played in that State, I understand its a wonderful place to live, but terribly expensive for tourists or visitors, I imagine there are many towns where you could live moderately, the whole population could'nt possibly be in the millionaire class that live in Miami or Palm Springs.
    Cyprus does sound like California climate, we too have snow in the mountains - Big Bear & Arrowhead - quite a winter resort, ski's etc. its a minature Switzerland up there, (about two hours drive from Hollywood). I shall be pleased to drop Tommy Ross a line, will send him a picture too, it will probably brighten up his dull life & occupation, it may not be too dull with all the shooting bus. going on.
    It was sure interesting to read your description of these young terrorists, its certainly a shocking situation to see so many kids in that frame of mind, its incredible - whats the cause of it all?
    By all means keep that letter I sent you re that Northumberland & Durham Society in Calgary. I frankly doubt if you would get much information from them concering show bus. as that location is in the North West & pretty remote from theatrical activity. However, no harm in enquiring, I could be wrong. As far as I know, the best places for you would be Montreal, Toronto or Qubec, they are on the East Coast & much closer to New York where you could be in close contact with agents. Why do'nt you drop a line to the Chamber of Commerce in these Towns, am sure they could give you a lot of information regarding the entertainment activities in theatres, night club etc. also names & addresses of Agencies that might be there. You might even contact the TV & Radio stations - the Canadian Broadcasting Co. (C.B.C.)
    Well, think thats the lot for now Vic. Hope by now you are back home safe & sound & your wife remembered you after being away so much, I imagine she must get very lonesome while you are gone.
    I appreciate very much you kindness & trouble in writing me Vic during your hectic trips, am sure it must be inconvenient in those awful surroundings & being on the GO all the time, but it does give me a lot of pleasure I assure you - again many many thanks.
    Bye Vic. My kindest regards to Mrs Silver & self.
    Good luck & God Bless.
                Sincerely always:-
Stan Signature                 Stan Laurel.

RUBBER STAMP - 1111 Franklin St., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                March 9th.'57.
Dear Elmer [Westover]:-
                Thanks yours 6th.inst.
I will send you a recording of one of our little sketches later on, you see I require another machine to make the copy, & my friend who loans me his recorder, is on a business trip back East, so I have to wait until he returns. I frankly don't know how long he'll be away as he just left early this week. Anyway, I'll ship one to you as soon as I possibly can.
    Do you have a recording Machine? mine is a Webcor, model 2110 (portable) Its a very good machine but its too heavy to carry around on account of having two motors. Note you are a classical fan. I have a reel of symphony music that you might like, if you would care to have it I shall be pleased to send it on to you, its a very fine recording, conducted by Leonard Skorkin. there are numbers in it by Haydn, Grieg, Borodin, Smetana & Tschaikowsky, which should be right down your alley.
    Bye Elmer, regards & best.
                Sincerely:- Stan Laurel Signature

RUBBER STAMP - 1111 Franklin St., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                March 18th.'57.
Dear Betty [Healy]:-
                Thanks yours 13th.inst.
Glad to know you got through your first exam OK, am sure by the time you have your next one, you will be lots more familiar with the situation & it won't be so difficult. It does seem a nuisance to have to go through all this, but I think it worthwhile to gain that definite knowledge & have legitimate credentials, it will give you a great deal of confidence.
    Next time you are in Town give me a call (EXbrook 4-1397.) & if you have time to drop by here, Eda would enjoy the pleasure of meeting you. If its too far out for you give me a call anyway.
    Thats nice to be associated with someone you knew previously & were guests at your ranch, thats certainly a coincidence - wonderful you met them again, am sure they will be a great help in getting you started, thats very fortunate & encouraging.
    Re the Irish Castle property. I think you will find the name of the present owner in the brochure I sent you. I don't recall his name right now, but I do know he is living at the Castle address. However if you can't find it, I'll look through my files & try & locate his name for you & also send yo his correspondence on the matter. I am under the impression there was an agent in London mentioned in the brochure, but I don't think its exclusive - otherwise I don't think the owner would have approached me a couple of times, once when I was in Dublin & again here.
    Its a wonderful buy for Fifteen Thousand (including all the historical antique furniture) & the owner intimated he would take less for it, a cash deal of course. I think too all the Ghosts go with the joint, & a couple of Leprechauns!! wouldn't Ted have gone for this?
    Well, all for now Betty, wish you opts of good luck, hope this venture will be the stepping stone to a happy & successful future. Eda joins in all the best to Wayne & self.
    Bye & God Bless.
                Sincerely always:- Stan Signature

Postcard from Stan Laurel to Marie Hatfield
Chesterfield Church Postcard

Dear Mr [Bob] & Mrs [Marie] Hatfield:-
    Thanks your nice card from San Francisco, glad you enjoyed the visit & appreciate your kind remembrance. This is a picture of me when I visited Chesterfield, England in '54. While Mr Hardy was getting ready to take it, I went into the saloon. (on the left) Was he mad when he developed it! & found out I was'nt there.
    Bye & best wishes.
Stan Laurel Signature

RUBBER STAMP - 1111 Franklin St., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                March 28th.'57.
Dear George Draper:-
                Thanks for your card of the 25th.inst.
Pleased to note you contacted Mr McRae of Montreal, Canada. Sorry I am unable to give you much information re the L&H book as I have no idea as to when it will be completed - or published. However, as soon as it is ready & available, I'll certainly let you know, but it will be quite a while yet I'm sure. I hope Mr McRae was able to give you some help re the running of your club - I shall be interested to know how you are progressing with it from time to time. Have you started yet or still preparing? I imagine it takes some time to get things ready & organized & a lot of work too.
    Bye George, good luck & all the best.
Stan Laurel Signature                 Sincerely:-

P.S. Mr Mcrae tells me he is naming his outfit, the "Laurel & Hardy Social Club." He thought it sounded better than Fan Club. He figured it was more dignified. What do you think?

RUBBER STAMP - 1111 Franklin St., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

On ‘Wooden Soldiers’ film...too bad it wasn’t made in color. The sets looked beautiful to the eye.

Stan Laurel

                March 29th.'57.
Dear Earl [Shank Jr.]:-
                Thanks your nice letter 24th.inst.
It was very interesting to read your comments on "Wooden Soldiers" - too bad it was'nt made in color - the sets looked beautiful to the eye, it had color of the rainbow like a story book picture effect, but being shot on black & white film, it lost a lot of glamour & turned out very disappointing. I think Virginia Karns married a wealthy doctor & retired. I do'nt know what became of Felix Knight, he certainly had a wonderful voice but unfortunately he was a very poor actor, could'nt read lines & was very awkward in appearance. He sang a number in another picture with us "Bohemian Girl", no part, just one of the gypsies, after that I never heard of [or] saw him again. The "Soldiers" was his very first film, someone found him working in a garage, Roach gave him an audition with some others for the part & was carried away with his voice & did'nt stop to think about the guy's acting experience, so we had quite a time trying to teach him to troupe. There was also a girl who played Mary Mary All Contrary - a minor bit, you probably did'nt even notice her, well, she today is Marie Wilson who did a dumb blonde series on TV & also plays a great deal with Ken Murray!. Hope I'm wrong, but I believe Florence Roberts died a couple of years or so ago which reminds me, this picture was originally titled "Babes In Toyland." It was a revised version of Victor Herbert's musical show which was produced fifty odd years ago in which Florence Roberts played Bo Peep & here in this she played the old lady that lived in a shoe - funny how things happen is'nt it. Yes, the elves were made up of kids & a couple of midgets. Do'nt know what happened to Henry Kleinbach. The Co-Director I regret to say, Gus Miens (or Meins) later indicted for molesting little boys & committed suicide - shocking was'nt it for his wife & 17 year old son - what a tragedy!
    Yes I recd. the copy of "Natural History" with the article on 'Marineland', its certainly interesting. I have'nt been to see it yet. the aquarium is'nt far from here so hope to go one of these days, they ran some film on it a while back on TV which I saw, its an amazing sight. I have'nt seen Disneyland either, understand its a fantastic place & always crowded with tourists I believe its quite expensive to go especially for a whole family to spend a day there.
    For some reason I could never get interested in Baseball or Football sports, it has no appeal to me, I only like English Soccer games, fishing & Boxing bouts, the latter I never miss on TV, but fishing is my greatest thrill & enjoyment - deep sea especially, Tuna & Swordfish.
    Besides English speaking Countries, we played in France, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden & Holland. The only ones that did'nt understand our language very well, were France & Sweden, the others were OK for us. Of course we resorted to doing more pantomime than in Gt. Britain.
    Yes, my parents were both in the theatrical profession, my Dad was the author & producer of several comedy-dramatic shows & also controlled 8 or 9 theatres in the North of England & one in Glasgow Scotland (the famous old Metropole Theatre, which is still running). The family name was Jefferson, (Arthur Jefferson) my Mother was well known as a dramatic Actress - Madge Metcalfe, she starred in his shows & he played the comedy character roles, but after he acquired the theatre they retired from acting & only appeared occasionally. My Mother died at the age of 49 & my Dad at 94.
    I was born in Ulverston, Lancashire. Eng. I was too young to remember the date! anyway that was 67 years ago. Due to being brought up in such a hectic atmosphere, my schooling was sadly neglected on account of my family constantly on the move & having so much business to attend to, they sent me to various boarding schools etc. but of course I was more interested in theatricals than education & consequently never knew or cared what grade I was in, the only thing I knew was - how many week to vacation time! How often have I regretted this. Anyway, they say, theres a fool born every minute - I guess I was one of them!.
    In 1952 I returned to my home Town Ulverston - just for a quick visit & was given a Royal welcome by the Town officials & Citizens, I was presented with my birth certificate on the balcony of the Town hall in front of all the inhabitants, then a parade headed by the Mayor & taken to the home where I was born, even to the room, they treated me like I was a hero, needless to tell you I broke down & shed a few tears. I was then taken to a beautiful Golf Club for a lunch in my honor by the Dignitaries of the Town, then another parade to the outskirts when I left - must have looked like I was being run out of Town!!.
    Sorry to say poor Babe (Hardy) is still in bad shape, does'nt seem to be making any improvement at all, its pitiful to see him so helpless.
    Pleased to hear your charming daughter is coming along fine, I fully understand the difficulty in getting photos made, I went through the same routine with mine, I think you have more success getting their picture at home, the photo studio surroundings tend to frighten them a bit.
    Am enclosing a clipping a Mr Manbeck sent me from Des Moines, Iowa - thought you might like to read it, he was out here a couple of months ago to visit some of the studios & I had the pleasure of meeting him, he came to see me here at home for a few hours. He had previously called me long distance from Des Moines to make an appointment & again on his return. He is an ardent fan of L&H & has quite a collection of our old films in his library - is'nt his little theatre fantastic? can you imagine Wide Screen Cinemascope & everything, really amazing! it makes the regular studio projection rooms look like comfort stations, he really has gone all out for his hobby. (please return this clipping Earl at your convenience) I certainly got a kick out of this & am sure you will, being a home movie enthusiast. He is a very nice person & I sure enjoyed meeting & chatting with him. I think he was out here to try & find some very old films to add to his collection, he asked me if I knew where he could locate some silent films of myself before I was with Hardy. Those were made about 1917, so I had'nt the slightest idea.
    Well, all for now Earl. pleased to say Mrs Laurel is getting over the shock re her Brother & beginning to adjust herself, she wishes me to thank you for your kind remembrance.
    Bye now, good luck & God Bless.
                Sincerely always:-
Stan Laurel Signature                 Stan Laurel.

Note from the Editor

Virginia Karns (1907–1990) was a singer and character actor at the Hal Roach Studios in the early 1930s, best known from the opening scene of the Laurel and Hardy musical comedy Babes in Toyland (1934), in which she portrayed Mother Goose.

Felix Knight (1916-1998) had the role of Tom-Tom, the Piper's Son in Babes In Toyland. Felix also appeared with Laurel and Hardy several years later—as Stan recalled—as a gypsy singer in The Bohemian Girl.

Katherine Elisabeth ‘Marie’ Wilson (1916–1972), was an American radio, film, and television actress, appearing most notably in My Friend Irma with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin in 1949.

Florence Roberts (1861–1940) played the Widow Peep in Babes In Toyland.

Henry Brandon, born Heinrich von Kleinbach (1912–1990) portrayed “Silas Barnaby,” the evil character, in Babes in Toyland. He was also the nasty opera manager who signed Alfalfa to an unbreakable contract singing “The Barber of Seville” in the Little Rascals/Our Gang short Our Gang Follies of 1938.

Gus Meins (1893-1940) was a German-American film director, best known for directing “Our Gang” comedies. On August 1, 1940, Meins was arrested on charges that he had molested three boys, ages 10 to 15. He swore his innocence but told his wife and son that the case would ruin him, regardless of the outcome. That night he drove into the hills above La Crescenta, attached a rubber hose to the exhaust pipe of his car and asphyxiated himself. The news shocked Hollywood, where Meins was known as one of the kindest men in the movie business. Asked for his opinion about Meins, Hal Roach later said, “He was a very good director for the Gang, and he always did a very good job.”

Stan Watermark