AARON SPELLING The 19-year-old future TV producer thanks Red Skelton for sending him gags for an Army Air Forces fundraising show. Early TLS: "Cpl. Aaron Spelling", 1p, 8x10½. Army Air Forces Pilot School, Fort Worth Army Air Field, Fort Worth, Texas, 1944 January 3. To Mr. & Mrs. 'Red' and Edna Skelton.

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The 19-year-old future TV producer thanks Red Skelton for sending him gags for an Army Air Forces fundraising show.
Early TLS:
"Cpl. Aaron Spelling", 1p, 8x10½. Army Air Forces Pilot School, Fort Worth Army Air Field, Fort Worth, Texas, 1944 January 3. To Mr. & Mrs. 'Red' and Edna Skelton. In part: "I wish to take this opportunity to thank you so very much for the remembrance at Christmas. I, also, have never had the opportunity to thank you for the fine script you sent me for our 'Wacky Khaky (sic)' show, remember? Yes, the script did arrive a little late for that show, but we did make good use of your suggestion to use the script in a later show. Our last show, entitled 'This Is the Air Corps', contained all your gags (the show was a farce on 'This Is The Army'). Our show netted $3,584.00 for our Field Entertainment Fund, so thank you again. Believe me, I was certainly thrilled to get your Christmas Card. I received the card on December 23, 1943, and as I attained the mellow age of 19 that day, I was doubly thrilled. It was the grandest Birthday and Christmas greeting I have ever received...When people like you are kind enough and good enough to take time out from their business (and I know you are very busy) to correspond with a Corporal in the Air Corps, whom they don't even know, well, I guess that's what Democracy means...Oh, by the way, I made Corporal this month, and I guess you think I'm not proud. My brother's a Captain, my other is a Flight Officer, but as I'm the youngest, I think the family is more proud of my two stripes than their bars. Frankly, I am too. Selfish little fellow, arn't (sic) I? I hope I havn't (sic) been too much trouble to you by writing, but I wanted to show my appreciation, and, somehow, I feel as if I've known both of you all my life anyway. I hope you are enjoying the best of health, and if you're not to (sic) busy, I sure would enjoy hearing from you. (That is put very mildly). Hope I may be considered a friend as well as a fan. Many regards, I [am] hoping you do find time to drop a lonely Corporal a line, I remain, UNTIL VICTORY." Creased. Slightly worn edges. Staple holes at blank upper margin and left corner. ½-inch diagonal tear at upper left corner, 2 minor separations at blank left edge. Overall, fine condition. From Aaron Spelling: A Prime-Time Life by AARON SPELLING with Jefferson Graham: "I joined the Air Force in 1943 on my eighteenth birthday and went into basic training in Massachusetts. A few weeks later I was back in Texas, at the Fort Worth Army Airfield, where I started submitting sketches to the camp revues. The first offerings were rejected, but I kept at it and finally scored with something called 'Wacky-Khaki,' your basic barracks-room humor. I knew immediately after hearing the applause that this was what I wanted in life-to entertain an audience. In the service, I became famous on mail day, because I started receiving cards from the likes of Fred Astaire, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner, and Mickey Rooney. Not that they really knew me. It was because I was such a big movie fan that I wrote to all the stars to wish them a Merry Christmas, and so I got a lot of return thank yous, and the soldiers therefore thought I had big connections in Hollywood. And I didn't do anything to try to persuade them that I didn't. That's how I got into the Special Service, entertaining the troops." Accompanied by an unsigned carbon copy of Skelton's reply to Spelling, 1p, 8½x11. No place, 1944 February 15. In full: "Hiya fella. Say, it was sure swell to hear from you again..congrats on your stripes. And more power to you. Being the youngest has its points all right...I used to get away with murder, but they caught on, so now I put the 'mean widdle kid' to work! I'm glad your shows have been a success..I've been putting on a few myself, down there in Texas too, but for the civilian side (after seeing you guys I didn't think there was any room left for a civ). Well, fella, lots more luck to you..and so long for now." Creased, nicked at right edge. Staple holes at upper left blank margin. Tip of lower right corner missing. SKELTON's portrayal of the "mean widdle kid" and his expression "I dood it!" were first heard on his radio shows in the 1930s and 1940s, continuing on television for the next three decades. Edna Stilwell and Red Skelton were married in 1930. They divorced in 1943 (proceedings began on February 11, 1943), but she remained his chief writer. The divorce became final on February 17, 1944. According to his autobiography, Spelling's mother had a daughter and son with her first husband who died, then had three sons with her second husband; Aaron was her youngest child. But, according to all sources consulted, Aaron Spelling was born on April 22nd, not December 23rd as he told Red Skelton. Spelling wrote that he was 19 on December 23, 1943, which would make his date of birth December 23, 1924. Published sources list Spelling's birthday as April 22, 1923 or 1925; when Spelling died in June 2006, his age was given as 83, which would place his year of birth at 1923. Two items.

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