BARRY BROWN - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 03/04/1976 - HFSID 317898
Sale Price $288.00
Extremely rare signature of the actor and author, informing Screen World and Theatre World editor John Willis that the deaths of several important actors have gone largely unmarked. Written two years before Brown's own suicide at age 27.
Typed Letter signed: "Barry Brown", 1 page, 8½x11 No place, 1976 March 4. To "Dear Mr. Willis", in full: "Hope this letter reaches you in time so that the information may be included in your book. Besides acting, I'm heavily involved with film research and actors. I noted two deaths last year, of two fairly prominent character performers, both of which have been ignored by the trade papers, simply from lack of knowledge. I thought you should be made award of them for possible inclusion in the Obituary list in the 1976 SCREEN WORLD. JOSEPH CALLEIA died in his native country, Malta, in December of 1975. VARIETY reported the obit under the name Joseph Callega and it wasn't straightened out until recently that it was, in fact, the prominent character player. He was born in Malta in 1897. His many film credits can be found in most reference books. This has been one of themajor fluffs in information-channels, similar to the Bobby Driscoll, Reed Howes and Valeska Suratt deaths that went unnoticed in 1968, 1964 and 1962, respectively. It also might be of interest to report (this, too, is verifiable through Screen Actors Guild,) that familiar character actor Max Wagner died Nov. 16, 1975 in Los Angeles at the age of 74. He had many film credits, most of which are listed in the New York Times Film directory and the 1949-56 SCREEN WORLD. Yours sincerely". Actor and author BARRY BROWN (1951-1978), an acting prodigy with a genius I. Q., was on stage from age 5, and appearing with Van Johnson in The Music Man by age 10. His breakthrough film role came in Bad Company (1972), followed by Daisy Miller in 1974. He appeared in many TV movies and series episodes until his untimely death. Brown was intensely interested in actors' biographies, making significant contributions to the volumes Scream Queens and Who Was Who on Screen, and working on his own unpublished collection of horror actors' biographies. Married for 2 months in 1972, Brown committed suicide in 1978. In 1997 his sister, actress Marilyn Brown, also killed herself. A third sibling, novelist James Brown, has documented their dysfunctional family in The Los Angeles Diaries (2003). Theatre World, founded in 1945 by Daniel Blum, is America's oldest annual record of Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theatre, referenced by industry professionals, historians, students and theatre fans worldwide. Until 1998, when a separate nonprofit corporation was established, Theatre World's editorial staff bestowed the prestigious Theatre World Awards for outstanding Broadway and Off-Broadway debuts. Screen World (from 1950) and Dance World (from 1966), administered from the same office, furnished comprehensive information on those entertainment genres. John A. Willis (1916-2010), active in Theatre World from the beginning, became its chief editor in 1965, holding that position until 2008. Willis is regarded as one of the foremost theatre and film historians of the 20th century. While producing (and presenting) the annual Theatre World Awards, Willis also served on the nominating committee for the Tony Awards. Heavily toned. Multiple folds. Corners lightly worn, with bottom right corner being heavily worn and torn. Light surface creases. Otherwise, fine condition.
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