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The Essential Collection
LAUREL & HARDY
THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION

The Magic Behind The Movies
THE MAGIC BEHIND
THE MOVIES
by Randy Skredvedt

Stan and Ollie
STAN AND OLLIE
by SImon Louvish

Laurel & Hardy Vol. 1
LAUREL & HARDY
COLLECTION – VOL. 1

Laurel & Hardy Vol. 2
LAUREL & HARDY
COLLECTION – VOL. 2

From the Forties Forward
FROM THE FORTIES
FORWARD
by Scott MacGillivray

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    Timeline 1952
 

HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Peterborough, England - HANDWRITTEN EXCERPT

                    27-2-52.

Dear Tommy and Dee,
          Glad to tell you the new act went very well.
                    Sincerely-
Stan Signature

NOTE: While abroad on tour, Stan's letters carry the more common continental European dating system of day/month/year, so this letter (as well as those that follow from this time period) dated 27-2-52 was typed on February 27, 1952. —Editor

 

THE CENTRAL HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Glasgow, Scotland - HANDWRITTEN

                    15-3-52.
Harry Condos Esq.
Alhambra, Glasgow

My Dear Harry,
          Just a wee note to let you know how much I enjoyed meeting you yesterday at the Memorial Club. It was indeed a great pleasure Harry & I certainly appreciated your kindness & courtesy & I hope it won't be long before we meet again & I shall have the opportunity to reciprocate.
          The club is delightful & enjoyable, a great credit is due you & all involved for a wonderful thought & gesture which could only be conceived by a Swell Guy.
          Many thanks Harry.
          Continued success always,
                    Sincerely & fraternally,
Stan Laurel Signature
 

GRAND HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Tynemouth, England - HANDWRITTEN

                    Empire Theatre,
                    SUNDERLAND.Co.Durham. ENG.
                    March 27th.'52.
My Dear [Dorathi Bock Pierre]:-
           Thanks for the lovely interesting letter of the 20th.inst.
Think you much have had a week off, to have time to write such a nice long one, especially knowing how very busy you are on the Road.
          I guess you are home by now & enjoying - well deserved rest. After covering 76 Cities I can't understand why you should want a doctor to put you to sleep. Yes, that flying business is really wonderful, but I still prefer to be on Terra Cotta.
          Needless to tell you I am just sick to hear re Jac's wall, that's really awful. I can imagine poor Jac's feelings, after all that hard work he put into it - what a mess, & on top of that, the East Wind dept. to worry about. That weather cut there is really becoming a problem. Am really beginning to think that the Atom Bomb Tests in Nevada have something to do with it, the rains & floods seem to be getting worse each time. I doubt if the Farmers are happy about it, it certainly must do them a lot of damage to their crops etc.
          Have already got a few laughs for you both re our trip, & will save them all till we return to the "Fox & Hounds".
          I note with great interest, all you say about the show Bus situation in Canada & think you hit the nail on the Head. I believe you are perfectly right [Dorathi]. Times & customs have changed since I was there a few years ago & I was looking at the situation as of the early days - I am referring to the Delfont show idea) However, as I told you & Jac in my last, after seeing that particular show in London, it would'nt be any good - even in the old days of Canada.
          Glad to tell you I am still feeling good, the act is going wonderful & so far playing to record Bus. We are very lucky, as the show Bus. is having a hard time just now, & money is tight. So far, we are not going to play in London this trip, as Delfont wants to keep us out of there because he wants us to do a pantomime this Xmas for him at the Savoy Theatre. so do'nt know when we shall be back home. We just had an offer to play the Palace New York, for a run, starting in June or is open to us any time we return to the States. I'm afraid they are going to have a tough time getting attractions there to follow Judy Garland, she was such a smash hit.
          Have to go now, we travel by car from here to Sunderland (20 odd miles) so have to leave early as the first show starts 6-15.
          Hope to hear from you soon again.
                    Love & fond thoughts, as ever:-
Stan Laurel Signature

Dorathi Bock Pierre was a theatrical publicist and dance writer married to Jacques J. Pierre, a theatrical producer. | The Fox and Hounds was a restaurant popular with actors located at 2900 Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. | Judy Garland (1922-1969), most famous for her portrayal of Dorothy in MGM's "The Wizard of Oz" in 1939, played a critically-acclaimed 19-week engagement at New York's Palace Theatre starting in October 1951. —Editor

 

LAUREL AND HARDY FEATURE PRODUCTIONS LETTERHEAD - TYPEWRITTEN

                    Empire Theatre.
                    NOTTINGHAM.HOTEL.
                    April 14th.'52.

Mr & Mrs Short,
16. River View,
BEDLINGTONSTATION
Northumberland.

Dear Mr & Mrs Short:-
           Very many thanks for the lovely Carnations. Your sweet thought is deeply appreciated. It was certainly gracious of you & words cannot express the pleasure we got out of receiving them.
          We too, were delighted to note that you enjoyed our little show at the Empire Newcastle, & hope we shall have the opportunity to entertain such wonderful audiences again in the very near future.
          Again many thanks for your kind expressions.
          With regards & wishes for a very Happy Easter.
                    Sincerely always:-
Stan Laurel Signature
                    LAUREL & HARDY.
 

LAUREL AND HARDY FEATURE PRODUCTIONS LETTERHEAD - TYPEWRITTEN

                    [May, 1952]

H.M.Bishop Esq.,
News Theatre.
High Street,
BIRMINGHAM.

Dear Mr. Bishop,
          Please accept our heartfelt congratulations to the Jacey Cinema Ltd. & Self on the Twenty First Anniversary of the Birmingham News Theatre.
          We wish you many more years of continued success, which you fully deserve for the wonderful service you have afforded your Patrons in the career of "The News Theatre".
          With kind regards & Best wishes always,
                    Sincerely:-
Stan Laurel Signature
                    STAN LAUREL
                    OLIVER HARDY
 

AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO ENCLOSURE - BIRMINGHAM NEWS THEATRE

Laurel and Hardy Autographed Photo

NOTE: Although this publicity photo was given out by Stan in 1952, it pictures Stan and Ollie in costume for “The Driver’s Licence” sketch from 1947. —Editor

 

THE QUEENS HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Birmingham, England - HANDWRITTEN

                    8-5-52.
Dear Frank Graves,
          Thanks for your enquiry. I was born in Ulverston Lancs. but spent several years in North Shields - due to my Dad having several Theatres in the Tyneside section, I also spent a few years in Glasgow Scotland.
          Don't be too hard with your colleague, as I am partly claimed in both latter places.
          If you will kindly send me your Son's name - I shall be pleased to send him an autographed picture of L&H.
          Best wishes always,
                    Sincerely-
Stan Laurel Signature
 

POLYGON HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Southampton, England - HANDWRITTEN

                    15-5-52.
Dear Jock [Weaver],
          Thanks yours 13th inst. Sure nice to hear from you. Funny thing, the "Elizabeth" sailed yesterday & the night before Jack - Le Willows came in to see us at the Theatre, & was as usual "DOING ALRIGHT" 'what a guy!'
          By all means come back stage & see us Tuesday tween shows - we shall be delighted to meet your Mother & Self. All news when we see you.
          Regards & Best,
                    As Ever -
Stan Laurel Signature
 

GRESHAM HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Birmingham, England - HANDWRITTEN EXCERPT

                    6-2-52.

Dear Mr. Bishop,
          At your request I sent you a large photo and letter for inclusion in your souvenir programme a few weeks ago, due to the fact that I went to a deal of bother in sending them, I think a little acknowledgement would be in order. - wont you?
                    Sincerely-
Stan Laurel Signature

NOTE: Stan reverts back to the U.S. system of dating with this letter as well as the next, where 6-2-52 is actually June 2, 1952. —Editor

 

MIDLAND HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Belfast, Ireland - HANDRWITTEN

                    6-9-52.

Dear Mr. Bishop,
          Pleased to note you rec'd. photo etc. Ok. Regards and best wishes.
                    Sincerely-
Stan Laurel Signature

NOTE: This letter dated 6-9-52 was sent on June 9, 1952. —Editor

 

MIDLAND HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Belfast, Ireland - HANDRWITTEN

                    24-6-52.

Dear Mr. & Mrs. [Louis & Marie] Rea -
          Congratulations on your first anniversary & our sincere wishes for many many more plus health, wealth and happiness.
          Good luck & God Bless.
                    Yours as ever -
Stan Laurel Signature

NOTE: This unique letter was signed "Laurel & Hardy" in rare fashion by Stan for both he and his partner. —Editor

 

THE PALACE HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Southend-On-Sea, Essex - HANDWRITTEN

                    Aug. 5th. '52.

Dear Stan [Anniston],
          Thanks yours 2nd.inst.
Note re looking for a house business. Can imagine how difficult it is these days to find what you want at a reasonable price - however hope you come across one soon & get settled down again.
          Had three shows here (Monday 4th) Band call 10 am so in theatre all day & night - glad that's over. Pleased to note you are on day work - that night dept. is killing.
          Have sent photo to your friend's son Clive - should have it by now.
          Wheather here cold - wind & rain, so not too pleasant - but of course good for bus. (Big theatre here - seats 3,000.)
          All for now Stan - Eda joins in love & best to Evelyn & self.
                    As Ever-
Stan Laurel Signature
 

CHESFORD GRANGE HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Kenilworth, Warwickshire - HANDWRITTEN

                    9-8-52.
                    Hippodrome.
                    Coventry
Dear Stan [Anniston],
          Thanks yours 7th.inst.
Note your thoughts re script & trust your expectations will be fully realised. Glad you recd. pictures OK. Had a very nice letter from "Granny." Please convey my thanks to her. Am sending you Photo under seperate cover tomorrow.
All for now & lots of luck & every good wish for Friday to Jack & self.
          Love & best to Evelyn from all.
                    As ever-
Stan Laurel Signature
 

CHESFORD GRANGE HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Kenilworth, Warwickshire - HANDWRITTEN

                    August 16th.'52.
Dear Alan Evans,
          Sorry I didn't receive your letter of the 13th until the 15th, so was unable to let you know that we would have been pleased to have had you visit us back stage - However, we hope you enjoyed the show.
          With regards & best wishes to yourself, Dad, Mother & Sister.
                    Sincerely always,
Stan Laurel Signature
                    Laurel & Hardy
 

PRINCE OF WALES HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Southport, England - HANDWRITTEN

                    Aug. 19th.'52.
Dear Stan [Anniston]:-
          Sorry delay in sending this photo - Had busy week in Coventry & had forgotten about it. Think its a good picture of you. Opened here last night to big bo. looks like we shall have another good week. Had a letter from Jack - told me you were going to rehearse more gags etc. Hope you had success & enjoyed being back in Harness again. We sail back to the States again Oct 8th "Queen Elizebeth" so only have six more weeks to play. Really hate to leave, but have to on account of Tax situation - Understand if we don't return here till Oct 1953 - we can stay a whole year. So all being well, we intend to do that - except if we don't get tied up in TV. Anyway a good rest won't do me any harm & will give me plenty of time to prepare another act.
          All for now Stan - Love & best from us all to Evelyn & self -
                    As ever:
Stan Laurel Signature
 

BURFORD BRIDGE HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Boxhill, Nr. Dorking, Surrey - HANDWRITTEN

                    Aug. 29th.'52.
Dear Ed [Patterson]:-
          Thanks yours 20th.inst. yes, I recd. yours at Southfort - Have been very busy hence delay in reply. We are leaving Oct. 5th "Elizabeth" so plenty of work attached getting affairs straightened out - Plus our Shows to do. Will write you fully later.
          Mr Hardy has given me three pairs shoes to send you (size 12) which I will forward next week from Bristol.
          All for now Ed. Trust alls well.
          Much haste.
                    As ever:
Stan Laurel Signature
 

GRAND HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Bristol, England - HANDWRITTEN

                    Sept. 5th.'52.
My Dear Evelyn [Anniston]-
          I was shocked to hear the news re Stan - it certainly must have been a trying time for you - especially to suffer during the throes of moving to your new house, I sincerely hope the operation was fully successful & by now he is well on the way to recovery & will soon be safely back home in your good care.
          We are leaving here Oct.8th - sailing back to the States on the "Queen Elizabeth." I am sorry to go - but I need a good rest after nine months of steady traveling. However, expect to be back again next year. I will drop a line to Stan to Halifax.
          Eda sends her love & every good wish - Trust you will soon be settled down again & all well once more.
          Kind thoughts always Evelyn,
                    As ever:
Stan Laurel Signature
 

NO LETTERHEAD - Theatre Royal, Portsmouth - HANDWRITTEN

                    Sept. 8th.'52.
My Dear Stan [Anniston]-
          Needless to tell you how very sorry I am to hear about your operation - and can fully sympathise - having my own experience of those things. I hope by now you are feeling easier & will have a speedy recovery. Evelyn wrote & told me about it & naturally very upset anyway it's over with - which, at least is a relief to your mind & you can look forward to getting back into good shape again, & enjoy your new house.
          We leave here October 8th for the States - so not much time left now - the weeks just seem to fly. All for now Stan.
          All here join in every good wish.
          Kind thoughts always,
                    As ever:
Stan Laurel Signature
 

ROYAL BEACH HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Southsea, England - HANDWRITTEN

                    9-8-52.
Dear Mrs Willies,
          Thanks for your kind invitation to lunch or tea, sorry it is not possible due to one or two previous engagements, plus our shows and preparing to leave for the states Oct.8th. We appreciate your kind thoughts and trust you will fully understand. If you would like to come and see the show one evening please let me know what venue and I will arrange for a couple of seats for you and have the pleasure of meeting you.
          Every good wish always.
                    Sincerely-
Stan Laurel Signature

NOTE: This letter dated 9-8-52 was sent on September 8, 1952. —Editor

 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - HANDWRITTEN

                    Oct.27th.'52.
Dear Lorri & Jeanette-
          Just a line - had lovely crossing on "Elizabeth" & arrived home (17th.inst.)
          Sure glad to be back for a good rest & the warm weather. Want to thank you again for the beautiful picture - came through OK undamaged - am hanging it in the living room & will remain a happy memory of our pleasant tour with you. It certainly was a pleasure to meet & work with you all & we miss you & the laughs we used to have together. However, it's a small world & possible we will meet again.
          Eda joins in kind thoughts & every good wish for continued success - Trust alls well & happy with you. Anytime you feel like it - shall always be pleased to hear from you.
          Bye now & God bless.
                    As ever-
Stan Laurel Signature
 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - HANDWRITTEN EXCERPT

                    Oct.28th.'52.

I understand Chaplin's Picture was a terrific success - heard thru correspondence - not much about it in the press here.
                    As ever-
Stan Laurel Signature

NOTE: Chaplin's "Limelight" was released in 1952. —Editor

 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - HANDWRITTEN

                    Oct.28th.'52.
Dear Ed [Patterson]-
          Thanks for your nice letter of the 6th, recd. appreciate your kind thoughts. Had a wonderful crossing over on the "Elizabeth" - smooth sea all the way. Stayed overnight in New York & headed home the 17th inst. Good to be back for a rest in the warm climate.
          Billy Reeves didn't pass on till about 1933. Alf Reeves (his Brother) was our Co. manager & then was Chaplin's manager when he went into films. Alf also passed on a few years back.
          My Dad Arthur Jefferson passed on in 1949, at the age of 95. I saw him last during my trip to England in '47. I understand Chaplin's picture was a terrific success - heard thru correspondence - not much about it on the film here.
          Mr. Hardy sends his best to you & is happy to know you are enjoying the shoes. All for now Ed.
          Every good wish always.
                    As ever-
Stan Laurel Signature
 

PHOTOGRAPHED ON BOARD R.M.S. QUEEN ELIZABETH

Laurel and Hardy Autographed Photo

 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - HANDWRITTEN

                    Nov.17th.'52. Profile
Dear Betty [Healy]-
          Finally got settled down. It's sure good to be home again to rest for a while after the hard trip. I played the record you sent me to England - got a big kick out of it - altho' surprised when Tonnage had the nerve to join in, after all the rotten things he said & did to me. However it was good to hear your voice & Wayne's nice wishes also Mrs. Martin's - she seems a nice girl. Thanks too for the Pictures - Thought you all looked well & happy. I was certainly surprised when you Phoned me just after I got back. It was good to talk to you again & hear all the news - glad to hear Wayne was feeling well & had got started in Bus. Hope he will have lots of success. You sounded in good spirits & like your old self.
          We have been contacted again to play the SAHARA in Las Vegas, but don't think we could manage with our scenery etc. Stage isn't big enough - but may take a trip there & look it over. Anyway I don't intend to do anything till after New Year.
          Well, all for now Betty. Best to Wayne & self.
                    As ever:-
Stan Signature
 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - HANDWRITTEN

                    Nov.29th.'52. Profile
Dear Betty [Healy]-
          Thanks for your nice long letter. Am not at all surprised re your experience with Tonnage - especially as you were aware of his treatment in my dealings with him. I hope you have the letter from him, asking you to come to L.A. & put over a deal for him. If you have, hang on to it (including the envelope, which has a government stamp on it - which is very important) If he doesn't answer your letters re a thorough understanding as to your participation - should the deal go through, you should advise the Orsatti office of the situation & have them handle the matter. Too bad you didn't insist on an arrangement with him from the start - However, I think you should keep after it before it's too late.
          Glad to hear Wayne has a new job & something he likes & also from a health standpoint. I went to las Vegas a week ago last Tuesday & came back next day. A quick trip to see the place & find out re size of stage etc. Too small & no facilities to hang scenery - so impossible for us to play there with this act. They want us to put on a new act - more suitable for night clubs where we wouldn't require a lot of scenery & props. Am not too enthusiastic about it - especially that type of audiences. Anyway, I can't be bothered right now. Just had an offer to go to the Malay States - Singapore - Hong Kong etc. & Japan & Bankok (Siam) which sounds interesting - but will have to do a pantomime act to avoid language difficulties. We have a terrific following in these places & they are anxious for us to open next March - we are checking now re getting Dollars out. Will let you know if anything develops.
          Had Thanksgiving Dinner with Eda's Brother & family, nice time. Hope you enjoyed yours in Bakersfield.
          All for now Betty. Best to Wayne & self.
                    As ever:-
Stan Signature
STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - HANDWRITTEN

                    Jan. 5th.'53.
My Dear Trixie [Wyatt]-
          First - Mrs L. joins in every good wish to you & yours for a very Happy & prosperous new Year - with lots of good Health. Sorry so long in answer to your nice letter & Xmas Card for which many, many thanks, but the holidays put me behind in my correspondence & am now just catching up with it. glad to tell you I am feeling much better - gained a lot of weight - the rest has done me a world of good & am in good shape to get going again.
          Read about the bad weather you are having - its wonderful here - just like summer - has been since we got back in Oct. Hard to get into the Xmas & New Year spirit - walking around in shorts! Had a letter last week from Jackie Harrison - said he had been sick. Yes, wish you had been with us in Manchester, it was quite a reunion.
          All for now Dear - drop me a line any old time - always nice to hear from you.
          Kind thoughts & love to all.
                    Sincerely as ever:
Stan Signature
 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    February 4th.'53.
Dear Ed [Patterson]-
          Many thanks yours of the 30th.inst.
Have just been reading of the terrible storms, sincerely hope you were not affected in Brighton & vicinity. It's really tragic in Holland, have been seeing news reels of it on TV. What next, first floods then Fog & now this, it's certainly uncanny all this on top of the Worlds crucial conditions. Poor Old England seems to be ill fated.
          Not surprised to note your request to Pathé being turned down, the Era of Kindness & Good Will has gone Ed, that's the trouble with the World to-day. No use being idealistic any more, times have changed, unfortunately for us all.
          I too had a quiet Xmas, did'nt bother to hang up my stocking, (It]s full of holes.) I guess you read re Chaplin's picture being banned on the West Coast here & several groups- American Legion etc. are trying to stop it being run in the East. Quite a controversy is going on, so it looks like the end of Chaplin in this Country. However, I guess he's not worrying, he can afford to hang up his hat & live in luxury for the rest of his life.
         Yes, I heard they were running some of our old pictures on TV. They use them here every week, have been for the last three years. The sad part is we don't get any revenue from them at all. Anyway, it keeps our name in front of the public which keeps us from dying out altogether. Note re "Crusoeland", surprised at the reports, as it is not a good picture by any means. As far as i am concerned - it stinks! All the studios here are starting to turn out 3rd.Dimension pictures, all experimental processes. No doubt they will make a lot of money for awhile till the novelty wears off, but am sure it won't affect TV in the least - that will live forever & if they get 3rd.Dimension on it, which if at all possible, will bee the last blow the Cinema ever suffered. Eventually, the Picture Theatres will have to sell their backlog of 35M film to TV or leave it on the shelf unreleased & all that money invested will be tossed. Of course they may figure, that the terrific profits they will make with 3rd.D. will more than cover the loss of the old film.
          No, we are not making any film at present - just busy taking it easy. We have offers to play in Tokio for eight weeks also a tour of Australia & Panto at the Opera House in Belfast this next Xmas for a 10 week run "Babes In The Wood" & of course a tour in Variety to follow in England again, but nothing definite to date.
          Well, all for now Ed, trust you are going along OK & taking good care of yourself.
          Kind thoughts & every good wish always,
                   As ever Sincerely:-
Stan Laurel Signature

Gave Oliver your message - sends his kindest regards.

In the 1940s and early 1950s, Charlie Chaplin was a center of controversy. Some people criticized his personal life as immoral and accused him of supporting Communism. In 1952, Chaplin traveled to Europe. The U.S. government announced that he could not reenter the United States unless hearings were held on his personal life and political views. Chaplin decided not to return, and he and his family settled in Switzerland. | It is also extremely interesting to note that the boys had an offer to perform their stage show in Japan. —Editor

 

LAUREL AND HARDY FEATURE PRODUCTIONS LETTERHEAD - TYPEWRITTEN

                    March 12th.'53.

R.C. Brown Esq.,
STON EASTON
SOMERSET. ENG.

My Dear Craig:-
          Many thanks for your kind letter of February 3rd. forwarded on from the 20th Century Fox Studios. We very much appreciate your interest & effort in writing a sketch for us & regret to have to return same herewith, as you are aware, on our last appearance in England we had a very similar plot, that, of being forced to rob a house. So of course we don't wish to repeat a same idea on our next visit. However, if you have any other thoughts on a vehicle for us, we shall be pleased & interested to hear from you.
          With regards & best wishes always,
                    Sincerely Yours:-
Stan Laurel Signature
                    LAUREL & HARDY.
 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    March 14th.'53.
Chas.R.Maytum Esq.,
100,Wayne Street,
PROVIDENCE.8. R.I.

My Dear Charles:-
          Thanks for yours of the 8th.inst. with interesting enclosures. It was nice to hear from you again
& to know that all was well with you.
          I very much appreciate your loyalty as a L&H Fan, but frankly I think you are crazy to spend all the time & effort to see an old old picture when you can see them so often at home on TV. They have been running here once a week for over three years & still continue under different sponsorship. You could get information on this matter from your nearest TV Station, as I understand our series also runs quite a bit in the East.
          We had a very successful tour of the British Isles for nine months & expect to return next Oct. Pleased to tell you, my health has great1y improved & back to my normal weight again (155 LBS.) so am in good shape to carry on again.(Poor Public)
          All for now Charles, nothing exciting to tell you- just resting & taking it easy & enjoying being back home for a while.
          With kindest regards & every good wish,
                    Sincerely yours:-
Stan Laurel Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

LAUREL AND HARDY FEATURE PRODUCTIONS LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    April 1st.'53.

My Dear Trixie [Wyatt]:-
          Your letter of March 26th. arrived this AM, it certainly came over in record time, it hardly seems possible. Am pleased to hear from you dear, but awfully sorry to note re Stan Anniston passing on. Altho' I was not very surprised, as his health was in bad shape when I saw him last in Manchester in '52. & later he had a serious operation & was expecting to go through another one as soon as he recovered from the 1st. poor fellow.
          Strange there was no mention of his wife Evelyn Major in the obituary notice, & it was news to me that he had a daughter, I never met her, or did he ever mention her during the several visits to see me. Funny things, I wrote Jackie Harrison a couple of weeks ago & asked him if he had heard from Stan & Evelyn.
          I shall be delighted to send you some more stationery & shall order it right away, it will take a couple of weeks before I get it, as I understand the printing is done in the East - Chicago or somewhere - anyway, I send it on to you as soon as I get it & of course will let you know when to expect it, will also shop around for an American doll for you, do you want any particular costume - like Cowboy or Indian - or just the usual dress doll? I think you had better describe the kind you want, size, colour hair etc. let me know dear & we will be happy to get it for you. Do'nt worry about the cost Trixie, it will be our pleasure to get it for you.
          You sure have had a bad Winter, I hope its over with by now & you will soon be having some nice weather again. They have been having some terrible snow storms through the Middle West & East, but its like summer here in California, the trouble here is mostly forest fires which do a lot of damage, everything gets so fried up.
          Well, all for now Dear. Eda joins in love & kind thoughts & trust alls well & happy with you.
          Bye & God Bless.
                    As ever:-
Stan Signature
                    x x
 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    April 20th.'53.
Miss Mary Sharon,
1415,No.Alta Vista
HOLLYWOOD. 46.CALIF.

My Dear Mary:-
          Many thanks for your nice letter of the 20th. inst. It was indeed a pleasure to hear from you. Certainly brought back a lot of Memories of the old Roach Studio days.
          Sorry am unable to see you this week Mary, but will give you a call next week when you return from Ensenada. We expect to be leaving for England in a couple of months or so & am busy with a new act for our appearance tour.
          I shall be interested to hear what you have in mind for a TV series, altho' frankly, I am not too concerned in making pictures at the present time. However, I shall enjoy the pleasure of meeting you again.
          All for now Dear, trust alls well & Happy.
                    Sincerely always:-
Stan Laurel Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    April 25th.'53. Profile
My Dear Betty [Healy]-
          Was sure pleased to get your letter of the 20th.inst. & to read the good news re your new venture. Congratulations to you both, am sure you will be very happy there when all settled down & nothing to worry about. I think it's wonderful, practically living on your own estate & Wayne doing the work he likes best, & too, you have a nice place for your horses. Sounds like a perfect set-up. I am really very happy about it Betty, you both certainly deserve a BREAK. Lots of good luck. Your description of the ranch is very interesting, especially the Barn & the collection of old carriages etc. must be a great sight.
          I an feeling lots better, & getting the urge to get moving again. We are either going to England or Australia this year or maybe both, arrangements not completed as yet, but will be, pretty soon now, so am busy preparing a new act.
          The Masquers Club gave a dinner for Louella Parsons last Thursday night, it was quite an affair. I met Shemp Howard, but did'nt get a chance to talk to him very much, I think he re-joined the Stooges again, do'nt know what they are doing right now. The picture bus. is in uproar with the 3rd. dimension medium., studios are closed down for a few months as they are not sure which way to go, so of course there are a million & One actors idle. TV seems to be slowing down too, a lot of Sponsors are cutting out the big expensive shows as they will soon be able to get a backlog of old but good pictures from the studios, so they won't have to pay for actors or bother with productions & will be much cheaper, so things do'nt look too bright in Hollywood for a lot of Thespians. It's lucky we are able to go abroad & not be affected.
          Note you have'nt heard any more from Tonnage, think you are wise not to get mixed up in it. I guess you will be getting a TV set now, or is it difficult to get reception there due to the Mountain location? Well Betty, all here as usual, so not much to tell you, so will hang up.
          Bye bye Dear,
          Every good wish to you both,
                    As ever:-
Stan Signature

Samuel "Shemp Howard" Horwitz (1895–1955) was part of the Three Stooges comedy team. He was the older brother of Moe Howard and third stooge in the early years of the act. He would rejoin the trio again in 1946, after youngest brother Curly Howard suffered a stroke. | Following the tradition of the famed New York clubs for male stage actors and their associates, such as The Lambs and The Players, Masquers Club was founded in Hollywood in 1925. It would play a most important role in the founding of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933. "We Laugh to Win" was their motto, and laugh these good fellows did, along with talking, eating, drinking, smoking, and game-playing in their clubhouse at 1765 N. Sycamore. —Editor

 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    May 12th.'53.

My Dear Lawrie & Jeanette [Lorraine]:-
          Many thanks for your nice letter of the 2nd.inst. Please you recd. the package & Photo OK & that the cure is helping you & your toes are now laughing out loud! Note you played Newcastle & Leeds again, hope you had a better spot on the bill this time, which you certainly deserve. However, regardless, it's good to keep working, as you can't improve without an audience. I think your idea of a Caravan for the season at Worthing is swell, I think you would both enjoy it, especially if near the Sea. More fun than living in those seaside DIGS & you could smoke there Lawrie - remember PHYL? Eda & Me got a laugh out of the cartoon, very cute. Had a letter from the CINGALEE'S, told me they had seen you recently, also things had been slow in the Bus generally. Some news from MacKenzie Reid & Dorothy - only worked six weeks since we left. That's terrible. I imagine things will start to pick up after the Coronation, the public are probably saving up for the BIG DO. I also had a letter from the Rev. Tracey (The Bishop Of Barnes) you remember? my chief pain in the neck! what a guy. Geo.Lodge, (Managing Director, Opera House Belfast) was out here for a couple of weeks on Picture Bus. Looking at the new 3rd.Dimension medium & American ideas of Show Bus. etc. We saw him several times & he enjoyed his visit. We saw Serge Ganjou of the GANJOU BROS. & JUANITA last Sunday, quite a pleasant surprise. They have just arrived from Mexico City, Mexico & playing here at the Shrine Auditorium till May 20th. then they go to the Sahara Night Club in Las Vegas, Nevada. for a run. I read that Savine & Daisy May were now playing at the Palmer House in Chicago, I imagine he should do very well there. I think Lawrie, you should try & make an effort to get over here, am sure you would do very well in the Big Night Club & there's plenty of them all over the Country, but avoid if possible playing Vaudeville (Variety) it's four & Five shows a day & Seven days a week, which is killing, hard work & too much traveling. Why do'nt you see Foster Office & Lou Grade? you never know. No harm trying. Well Kids, all for now. Eda joins in kind thoughts & wish you lots of success at Worthing & more to follow.
          Trust alls well & Happy.
          Bye & God Bless.
                    As ever:-
Stan Laurel Signature
 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    June 4th.'53. Profile
My Dear Betty [Healy]-
          Thank you for your nice letter of May 6th. which amongst the news I got some good laughs. Would have answered sooner, but have had several visitors from the other side, so have been quite busy entertaining them here & there & needless to tell you they are all SOLD on California. I did a hell of a job for the Chamber of
Commerce!.
          The Australian trip has been postponed, we will have to wait till the Tax situation is cleared up or no use of us going. So now its back to England for a year & maybe by that time things will get straightened out for Australia. We open in London for eight weeks in Oct. then tour the provinces again.
          I know Jan Rubini very well, was on the Pantages show with him a few years ago when he was with his first wife Dianne, (A French Girl - from Spokane!) before he joined our show, he had visited Charlie Chaplin at the Studio & had some snapshots taken with him. He had them enlarged & used them for Lobby display & was showing off to the rest of the acts what a big shot he was, & everything was Charlie & I etc. He did'nt know I had come to this Country with Chaplin & was his understudy & roomed with him for a couple of years, so one day I put out in the Theatre Lobby, personal pictures that Charlie had autographed to me & photos of Charlie. I on the Boat & in the show etc. You should have seen Rubini's face! he went bloody mad! & to make matters worse, after the first week, Pantages Headlined me instead of Rubini for the rest of the trip. From then on he did everything he possibly could to have me taken off the show. Dianne even accused the Girl I was working with of stealing her pocket book out of the dressing room. However it ended up, he was taken off the show in L.A. here. I'll never forget that trip as long as I live. What an impossible little Squirt he was, it would take too long to tell you of the many other incidents with him. I would like to go over to Malibu & teach him how to DROWN!.
          I got a terrific laugh over the Chic Sales story, thats priceless, what a finish for an act! Pleased to note you are finally settled down in your new home, but can imagine it is a bit lonesome for you with nothing to do. Too bad you have'nt a TV, that certainly keeps you interested. Did you have a chance to see the Coronation? it was a wonderful sight & very impressive, of course being a Britisher I felt very proud & Thrilled with it all. I thought it was a beautiful job, especially after all poor Old England has gone through these past few years. I understand Bostock still has his school of acting & tells his clients ha was the one that discovered L & H & put them where they were - poor guy.
          That must have been a wonderful Barbeque. I can imagine Wayne's disgust at having to perform - maybe it vas because he did'nt get any billing! You'll have to look after that next time, & send his photos in early. Anyway, I'm sure he did swell, at least, he knows what that business is all about.
          I too, think you are wise in not getting too friendly with the neighbour dept. They do not understand we of the Theatre & are very apt to misconstrue our meanings & thoughts in many ways & can easily make a Mountain our of a Mole Hill.
          I am busy trying to work out a new act, have a rough idea. Babe is in the Hospital, Psychopathic Case by mistake. I come to visit him & of course become involved, finishing up, the Psychiatrist Dr. turns out to be the one that is NUTS. (His name is Dr. Beserk) It sounds like it may have some possibilities for a funny sketch, however, if it does'nt pan out, I'll have to shake my head again.
          All for now Betty. Kind thoughts & everything to Wayne & self. If anything exciting come along, will let you know.
          Bye & God Bless:-
                    As ever:-
Stan Signature

A story I just heard:-
          Tallulah Bankhead is in the Ladies room at Ciro's. A French Dame comes in.
          FRENCH DAME. Ah, Miss Bankhead! Did'nt we                     meet in CANNES?
          BANKHEAD. You mean this one? or the one at the                     Mocambo?
                              CURTAIN.

Jan Rubini (1904-1989) was an actor/violinist who appeared in "The Merry Widow" (1934) and "The Clancy Street Boys" (1943). | Charles "Chic" Sale (1885-1936) was primarily a stage comedian who also appeared on Broadway as well as a handful of silent films. | Tallulah Brockman Bankhead (1902-1968) was an American actress and talk-show host. Her most famous film role was in Alfred Hitchcok's "Lifeboat" (1944). —Editor

 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    June 26th.'53.
My Dear Ed [Patterson]:-
          Thanks yours of the 20th.inst.
Sorry to note you weren't feeling so good, but hope you are doing something about it, remember the old landladies used to say "I'll 'ave none of that in my 'ouse"! trust you have recovered by now Ed. Can imagine the money that Rank will make on the Coronation film, it should be terrific in 16mm. sales, as I am sure, those that are buying it will want more than fifty feet & mostly all of it. A great break for Rank, he got his production for nothing, & what a production! I don't recall the picture you mention "Sloppiest Days", was it with Hardy or me alone?
           I made a drunk film (Silent) years ago before I met Hardy, was wondering if that was it. If it was, the title has been changed, but hardly think it possible. Funny you should mention about us doing a picture in Eng. for Balcon, he sent a fellow to see us when we played in Brighton, his name was W. P. Lipscomb, he came back to see us after he had seen the show & seemed very interested, but nothing has developed to date. What date was the issue of "Illustrated" that published the Chaplin life story? will appreciate if you will let me know, also the name & issue of the publication which included the picture of Mrs Laurel & myself. Yes, I am still a British Subject. What Ho & a bottle of rum! Never did see or hear of the script "ALL AT SEA" that was sent to the Roach Studio, otherwise it certainly would have been acknowledged.
          All for now Ed. Take care of yourself.
          All here join in the very best.
                    As ever:
Stan Signature
                    Stan Laurel.

Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at a coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey in London on June 2, 1953. An estimated three million people lined the streets of London to catch a glimpse of the new monarch as she made her way to and from Buckingham Palace in the golden state coach. The ceremony was watched by millions more around the world as the BBC set up their biggest ever outside broadcast to provide live coverage of the event on radio and television. —Editor

 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN EXCERPT

                    July 1st.'53.
Dear Nellie [Bushby]-
          Eda & I saw the Coronation film at home here on our Television, just eight hours after the ceremony! was'nt that amazing? what an age we are living in. We thought it was wonderful, needless to tell you I felt very proud & thrilled. A credit to Dear Old England, it was magnificent.
 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    July 3rd.'53. Profile
My Dear Betty [Healy]-
          Thanks yours of June 29th.
Nice to hear from you again, but sorry to hear that you had been so ill & the unhappy visit with Marcia. That was terrible, can imagine how much it upset you, being in that awful surrounding, & fully understand your not wanting to ever visit there again. Enough to make anyone ill, it must have been a shock to see her in such a condition after knowing her to have been a nice looking girl, just shows you what that booze can do to some people, especially if they are weak minded. Its too bad - poor soul, what a life!
          I was pleased that you met Eda on the phone, she enjoyed talking with you & sends her best hopes you are feeling better by now. Glad to note you are having your teeth attended to, thats very important for the health dept. if you let them go, they can cause you a lot of trouble & plenty of Doctors bills!
          Thanks for the suggestions of ideas for an act Betty, in a haunted castle could be very funny, but would have more scope the screen than a stage. The Customs Idea I saw done in England last year in a pantomime, & went very well. Incidently , Daphne Pollard did the same thing in vaudeville for several years, she did a little Cockney dame arriving in New York from England, I saw her at the Palace N.Y. I have'nt seen or heard from her for over five years, I called her on the phone when I returned from England in '47. She balled me out for not sending her a post card from over there, said she would'nt talk to me again & hung up. so that is that. Her boy friend Jack Hanley, married Lucille (The girl you took up to your house to take care of, remember?) Maybe you knew. Jack has done very well at Columbia for several years in the writing dept. before that at Universal international for quite a long time.
          Glad to know you are comfortable & Happy in your new home, altho' can imagine you are pretty lonesome when Wayne is away. All here as usual, but will have to start thinking about getting ready to leave in the middle of Sept. Time passes so quickly & I hate to rush at the last minute. All for now Betty, Eda joins in kind thoughts & every good wish to Wayne & self. Will keep you posted once in a while.
          Bye now.
Stan Signature

Daphne Pollard, real name Daphne Trott, (1892-1978) came to Los Angeles, California at the age of 16 in July 1907. She played a role in "The Bohemian Girl" at a Los Angeles theater that September playing a girl seven years of age. She looked very young because she was small and not well-developed for her actual age. —Editor

 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    July 10th.'53.
W.H.Weaver Esq.,
33,Caldwell Road,
ALLERTON.LIVERPOOL.ENG.

My Dear Jock [Weaver]:-
          Just recd. the Coronation souvenir edition of the "Daily Express". It was certainly nice of you & I appreciate your kind thought very much. Thank you Jock.
          We saw the Coronation film at home here, just eight hours after the ceremony, is'nt that amazing - what an age we are living in! We thought it a wonderful & beautiful sight & needless to tell you I felt very proud & thrilled, a great credit to Dear Old England. It was magnificent!
          We are returning to England again sometime in September, so will probably sail on one of the "QUEENS" Which one is Jack Alderson on now? hope we get on the same ship. Jimmy Murphy was out here a few months ago & as usual a million laughs - what a guy!
          Glad to tell you I am feeling much better in the health dept. gained back a lot of weight & all ready to GO again. The nice long rest did wonders for me.
          Mrs L. joins in kind regards & every good wish to your Mother & self - trust alls well & happy.
          Bye Jock, hope to be seeing you again.
                    Sincerely always::-
Stan Signature
                    STAN LAUREL.
 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    July 17th.'53.
Mr & Mrs Lorraine
25,Ladydell Road,
EAST WORTHING.SUSSEX.
ENGLAND.

My Dear Lawrie & Jeanette:-
          Thanks for your newsy letter of the 7th.inst.
It was nice to hear from you again & to know that all is well with you both. Sorry to note Bus. not too good, as you say, probably the aftermath of the Coronation, spending all their cash celebrating the wonderful occasion. Everyone I hear from tells me that the Bus. has been very slow, so do'nt be down 'earned! every cloud 'as a silver - come to think of it, I do'nt think Lawrie uses silver on his clouds, I never saw him mixing any!.
          Quite a while ago, I had a letter from a young fellow requesting a photo. He was working at some Hotel in Worthing, so I took the liberty of telling him to drop in & see you. He wrote me again later & told me he had visited you & was thrilled to death. From his letter he seemed like a nice boy. (Just returned from Korea)
          Sounds like you are having a real nice time - picnics every day on the lawn etc. & not having to pack up & travel every week. I have'nt heard from Billy Marsh for quite a while, guess, he is plenty busy, surprised to hear he is getting Fat, maybe you just saw him front ways! (sideways, you can't see him at all). We are leaving here in September for England, but will first go to Dublin for about a month, to rehearse & prepare a new act to open in Eng. in October sometime. Our reason for going to Eire is, to avoid using up some of our working time allowed - if we rehearsed in London, that month would be deducted from our time limit, even tho' we were not working. Glad you are going to give some thought re coming over here, Am sure you could get bookings through the Lew Grade Office. maybe Billy Marsh could help you in that direction.
          Well kids, all for now. Eda joins in love & best.
                    As ever:-
Stan Laurel Signature
 

STAN LAUREL LETTERHEAD - 1111 Franklin Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                    August 10th.'53.

My Dear Lawrie & Jeanette [Lorraine]:-
          Thanks yours of the 4th.inst.
Nice to hear from you again & to know alls well with you. Too bad you have had such a lousey summer - what's the matter with poor old England? Old Sod do'nt seem to like us anymore. To hell with him, we'll buy Sun lamps! sorry to note Bus. has'nt been good, but pleased it has'nt affected you. However, I realise it has'nt been any fun playing to empty seats, that can really knock down your Morale. We are coming over for Bernard Delfont again, but do'nt know to what extent Bill Marsh has to do with it, as he has not yet entered into the transaction, all our negotiations have been direct with Bernard Delfont, we have no correspondence with Bill Marsh at all are the deal. It seems strange, as he did all the business with us for the last tour. As far as the supporting Bill is concerned, that matter is entirely out of our hands, we are merely engaged for a certain period & have to play on any bill he chooses. We have nothing to say as to who we would like or dislike, we have no choice whatsoever. I can only suggest that you contact the Delfont Office & see what happens & I will personally hold good thoughts for you. Our reason for going direct to Dublin is, we are not allowed to enter Eng. until Oct.5th. & as we a pen the 19th. we have'nt time to get ready, being a new act, scenery to make, rehearsals etc. Its a nuisance, but the only way we can manage it. We leave here this Aug.30th. sail from New York Sept.3rd. SS "America", due in Cobh, Eire. the 9th. then train to Dublin. Got a big laugh out of your drawing Lawrie, it's very cute. All for now, busy as hell packing, seems like we'll never get through with so many other things to do.           Eda sends love & best. Hope to see you soon.
                    Bye & Bless.
Stan Laurel Signature
 

Timeline 1953
 

OUTSIDE THE ROYAL MARINE HOTEL, DUN LAOGHAIRE, DUBLIN IN SEPTEMBER 1953

Laurel and Hardy

 

LAUREL AND HARDY FEATURE PRODUCTIONS LETTERHEAD - TYPEWRITTEN

                    Royal Marine Hotel
                    DUN LAOGHAIRE.Co.DUBLIN.
                    EIRE. SEPT. 22nd.'53.

Gordon Craig Esq.,
92,Ivor Court,
Gloucester Place,
LONDON. N.W.1.ENG.

My Dear Craig:-
          Many thanks yours of the 19th.inst.
We would like you to join us here for rehearsals on Monday next (28th) kindly contact the Delfont office re transportation matters.
          Suggest that you arrange to live in Dublin, as we shall be rehearsing at the Olympia Theatre about Wednesday of next week. In the meantime we shall have a few run throughs at the Hotel here with the cast, to get familiar with the sketch. It is about six miles from here to Dublin & there is bus or train service.
          Re the costumes & wig, we prefer to have them purchased, regulation Nurses outfit, blue with white collar & cuffs & white cap. The wig I will leave up to you, whatever you are accustomed to working in. Get two outfits & have charged to L&H, Delfont office. Will appreciate if you will bring them with you.
          Thank you for your kind wishes.
                    Sincerely always:-
Stan Laurel Signature
                    LAUREL & HARDY
 

LAUREL AND HARDY FEATURE PRODUCTIONS LETTERHEAD - TYPEWRITTEN

                    Royal Station Hotel.
                    NEWCASTLE-ON-TYRE.
                    NOV.24th.'53.

Mr & Mrs Short,
16,River View,
BEDLINGTON.N'umberland.

Dear Mr & Mrs Short-
           Many thanks for the lovely flowers, your sweet thought is deeply appreciated. We very well remember the same pleasure in 1952.
          Note you are coming to see the show on Saturday evening, if you would care to come back-stage, we would indeed be very happy to meet you.
          Our kind regards & every good wish.
                    Sincerely always:-
Stan Laurel Signature
                    LAUREL & HARDY
 

BABE BEING INTERVIEWED BY JOHN McCABE - Birmingham, England- NOVEMBER 1953

Oliver Hardy backstage
 

HOTEL LETTERHEAD - Hull, England - HANDWRITTEN

                    Dec.21st.'53. Profile
Dear Jack [McCabe]:
          I think the idea of a book is a very good one, and I shall do everything in my power to help you, of course. I especially like the idea that it will be about our way of making the pictures, rather than about our lives. When we return to Birmingham, you can spend all the time you like interviewing us together or separately, as you like. Probably I can be of more help to you in that department than Babe. He usually doesn't care to talk too much about the making of the pictures.
                    Sincerely always,
Stan Signature

 

 

 
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