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WALTER KEANE. ALS: "Walter Keane", 1p, 3¼x6. No place, but probably La Jolla, California, no date, but circa August 1984. To comedienne and actress Phyllis Diller. Begins: "Dear Phyllis". In full: "USA Today story enclosed - Lots of Press many T.V. appearances. My children spent a month with me in La Jolla - I drove them to Vancouver - The lady that did the enclosed story said she would do a People's Magazine story on me when my book is published. All the best dear friend". Lightly creased. Light paper clip impression at four lines of writing. Fine condition. Accompanied by newspaper page, 13½x22½. Page 5D from the Tuesday, July 1, 1984 issue of "USA Today". Keane is featured in an article by Barbara Kraft. Titled: "Eyes still have it for artist Keane". The article, which includes a photograph of Keane next to one of his paintings, mentions that Keane is working on his autobiography and also mentions the two children, 13-year-old Chantel and 11-year-old Sasha, that Keane mentioned in his letter to Diller. The article also touches on the litigation brought over the claim by Keane's second wife that she was the artist behind his famous works. Lightly creased with folds. Yellowed from age. Overall, fine condition. Artist WALTER KEANE (1915-2001) is associated with portraits of sad, doe-eyed children, which he said were inspired by seeing despairing street children in Berline following WWII. Known for his escapades in San Francisco's North Beach area, Keane was sued in 1986 by his second wife, artist Margaret Keane, who claimed to be the creator of the artworks, which later included big-eyed dogs, giraffes, geishas and adults as well as waifs and runaways. When the judge ordered both Keanes to paint pictures for the jury, Margaret produced a portrait of a big-eyed child in less than an hour while Walter complained of a sore shoulder and refused to paint. A previous "paint off" in 1970 had also resulted in Margaret producing a painting; Walter failed to attend. Comedienne PHYLLIS DILLER (born Phyllis Ada Driver in 1917), known for her outrageous appearance, zany outfits, distinctive laugh and a stand-up act that featured frequent references to her fictional husband, "Fang", and zingers about her sex appeal and numerous plastic surgeries, got her big break in March 1955 (at age 37), when she debuted at San Francisco's Purple Onion club. A subsequent appearance on The Tonight Show hosted by Jack Paar launched her national career, which got a big boost after Bob Hope saw Diller in a Washington, D.C. club. A favorite of the comedian, Diller would appear in three of Hope's films and 23 of his TV specials. Diller, who recorded her first comedy record album in 1959, took her groundbreaking "funny hausfrau" act to nightclubs and television variety shows and specials and she also appeared on the big screen. Her feature film credits include Splendor in the Grass (1961), The Fat Spy (1966), Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! (1966), The Sunshine Boys (1975) and The Silence of the Hams (1994), and she provided the voice of the Queen in A Bug's Life (1998). By 2000, the comedienne, who had trained as a concert pianist before her marriage (1939-1965) to Sherwood Anderson Diller, had appeared as a piano soloist with 100 symphony orchestras across the U.S. Despite retiring from nightclub/stage tours in May 2002 at the age of 84, Diller continued to make films (Motorcross Kids, 2004; Forget About It, 2005) and occasionally appear on TV programs, including two episodes of 7th Heaven (2002, 2003) and a guest shot on The Wayne Brady Show (2004). Two items.

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Born: October 7, 1920

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