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W. C. FIELDS - CHECK SIGNED 12/07/1926 CO-SIGNED BY: BESSIE POOLE - DOCUMENT 289581

 

W. C. FIELDS
$500 written to former girlfriend Bessie Poole. Without ever acknowledging that Poole's child was his, Fields sent monthly checks for this son he never met.
Check signed: "W. C. Fields", 5¾x2½. New York, N.Y., 1926 December 7. Un-numbered check, drawn on the Harriman National Bank, payable to Bessie Poole for $500. Entirely filled out in Fields' hand. W.C. Fields (1879-1946) began entertaining as an amusement park juggler at the age of fourteen. He was a vaudeville headliner before he was twenty and toured Europe in 1901, giving a command performance at Buckingham Palace. His Broadway debut in The Ham Tree (1905) was followed by appearances in the Ziegfeld Follies (1915-1921) and in George White's Scandals (1933). Fields starred in Poppy on Broadway (1923) and the next year made his first film, Janice Meredith (1924). Fields' style, verbal rather than visual, and irascible con-man philosophy made him a favorite, especially with the advent of sound, where his raspy voice provided the final touch to his comedy. He starred in movies including My Little Chickadee (1940) and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941). Fields, married to Harriet "Hattie" Hughes in 1900, separated from her in 1904, but she would never grant him a divorce. He continued to pay monthly checks for support of their son, however, though never in the amount Hughes' felt she deserved. Fields' mistress from 1932 until his death was starlet Carlotta Monti, whose tell-all memoir, W. C. Fields and Me, was the basis for the 1976 film. In between Hughes and Monti, Fields had a fling with chorus girl Bessie Poole, resulting in a child, William Rexford Fields Morris, born in 1917. Although never acknowledging paternity, Fields also supported this child with monthly checks. He never met the lad, however. Reportedly, when the boy attempted to meet his father during a theater engagement, Fields sent a stage hand with this typically Fieldsian message: "Give him an evasive answer. Tell him to go fuck himself." Bessie Poole died in 1927, a year after receiving this check, killed in a brawl in a speakeasy. In a court battle after Fields' death, his inheritance was awarded to Hattie Hughes. Neither Carlotta Monti nor William Morris received a dime. Frayed from previous binding. Bank cancellation stamp, not near signature. Fine condition.


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W. C. FIELDS   BESSIE POOLE  


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W. C. FIELDS
Born: January 29, 1880 in Darby, Pennsylvania
Died: December 25, 1946 in Pasadena, California


Film Credits
2009 To Oz! The Making of a Classic (Other), 2009 The Yellow Brick Road and Beyond (Other), 2009 Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America (in person), 2008 The Fatal Glass of Fields (Writer), 2008 Mel Blanc: The Man of a Thousand Voices (Other), 2005 The Great Man: W.C. Fields (Other), 2004 Broadway: The American Musical (Other), 2003 Living Famously (Other), 2001 Slaphappy (Other), 2000 W.C. Fields: 6 Short Films (Other), 1999 Hidden Hollywood II: More Treasures from the 20th Century Fox (Other), 1997 The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender (Other), 1997 American Masters (Other), 1996 Bob Hope: Hollywood's Brightest Star (Other), 1994-1999 Biography (Other), 1992 Legends of Comedy (Other), 1990 Hollywood Heaven: Tragic Lives, Tragic Deaths (Other), 1986 W.C. Fields: Straight Up (Other), 1984 Going Hollywood: The '30s (Other), 1983 Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage (Other), 1979 The Hollywood Clowns (Other), 1976 That's Entertainment, Part II (Other), 1976 America at the Movies (Other), 1975 Brother Can You Spare a Dime (Other), 1974 Milton Berle's Mad Mad Mad World of Comedy (Other), 1969 Hollywood: The Selznick Years (Other), 1965 Wayne and Shuster Take an Affectionate Look At... (Writer), 1965 Wayne and Shuster Take an Affectionate Look At... (Other), 1965 Hollywood My Home Town (Other), 1964 The Big Parade of Comedy (Other), 1961 The DuPont Show of the Week (Other), 1952 Screen Snapshots: Memories of Famous Hollywood Comedians (Other), 1949 Down Memory Lane (Other), 1944 Song of the Open Road (in person), 1944 Sensations of 1945 (in person), 1944 Follow the Boys (in person), 1943 Show-Business at War (in person), 1941 Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (Writer), 1941 Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (Performer), 1940 The Bank Dick (Performer), 1940 The Bank Dick (Writer), 1940 My Little Chickadee (Writer), 1940 My Little Chickadee (Performer), 1940 Cavalcade of the Academy Awards (Other), 1939 You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (Performer), 1939 You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (Writer), 1938 The Big Broadcast of 1938 (Writer), 1938 The Big Broadcast of 1938 (Performer), 1936 Poppy (Performer), 1935 Mississippi (Performer), 1935 Man on the Flying Trapeze (Performer), 1935 Man on the Flying Trapeze (Writer), 1935 Man on the Flying Trapeze (Director), 1935 Man on the Flying Trapeze (in person), 1935 David Copperfield (Performer), 1934 You're Telling Me! (Performer), 1934 You're Telling Me! (Writer), 1934 The Old Fashioned Way (Writer), 1934 The Old Fashioned Way (Performer), 1934 Six of a Kind (Performer), 1934 Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (Performer), 1934 It's a Gift (Performer), 1934 It's a Gift (Writer), 1934 Hollywood on Parade No. B-7 (in person), 1933 Too Many Highballs (Writer), 1933 Tillie and Gus (Writer), 1933 Tillie and Gus (Performer), 1933 The Singing Boxer (Writer), 1933 The Pharmacist (Writer), 1933 The Pharmacist (Performer), 1933 The Fatal Glass of Beer (Performer), 1933 The Fatal Glass of Beer (Writer), 1933 The Barber Shop (Writer), 1933 The Barber Shop (Performer), 1933 International House (Performer), 1933 How to Break 90 #3: Hip Action (in person), 1933 Hollywood on Parade No. A-9 (in person), 1933 Alice in Wonderland (Performer), 1932 The Dentist (Performer), 1932 The Dentist (Writer), 1932 Million Dollar Legs (Performer), 1932 If I Had a Million (Performer), 1931 Her Majesty, Love (Performer), 1930 The Golf Specialist (Performer), 1930 The Golf Specialist (Writer), 1930 The Family Ford (Writer), 1928 Tillie's Punctured Romance (Performer), 1928 Fools for Luck (Performer), 1927/I Running Wild (Performer), 1927 Two Flaming Youths (Performer), 1927 The Potters (Performer), 1927 A Trip Through the Paramount Studio (in person), 1926 So's Your Old Man (Performer), 1926 It's the Old Army Game (Performer), 1926 It's the Old Army Game (Writer), 1925 That Royle Girl (Performer), 1925 Sally of the Sawdust (Performer), 1924 Janice Meredith (Performer), 1915 Pool Sharks (Writer), 1915 Pool Sharks (Director), 1915 Pool Sharks (Performer), 1915 His Lordship's Dilemma (Performer)

Theatre Credits
Ballyhoo of 1930 - Performer (December 22, 1930 - February 21, 1931), Earl Carroll's Vanities [1928] - Performer (August 6, 1928 - February 2, 1929), Ziegfeld Follies of 1925 - Performer (July 6, 1925 - September 19, 1925), Poppy - Performer (September 3, 1923 - June 28, 1924), George White's Scandals [1922] - Performer (August 28, 1922 - November 11, 1922), Ziegfeld Follies of 1921 - Performer (June 21, 1921 - October 1, 1921), Ziegfeld Follies of 1920 - Performer (June 22, 1920 - October 16, 1920), Ziegfeld Girls of 1920 - Performer (March 8, 1920 - May 1920), Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic [1919] - Performer (October 2, 1919 - Closing date unknown), Ziegfeld Nine O'Clock Review - Performer (September 1919 - Closing date unknown), Ziegfeld Follies of 1918 - Performer (June 18, 1918 - Closing date unknown), Ziegfeld Follies of 1917 - Performer (June 12, 1917 - September 4, 1917), Ziegfeld Follies of 1916 - Performer (June 12, 1916 - September 16, 1916), Ziegfeld Follies of 1915 - Performer (June 21, 1915 - September 18, 1915), The Ham Tree - Performer (August 28, 1905 - November 11, 1905)


BESSIE POOLE

Died: Circa 1927





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