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AUTHORS and ACTORS: CELESTE HOLM, SYLVIA SIDNEY and 21 OTHERS A collection of guest book signatures gathered by the book department manager at Marshall Fields department store in Chicago. The actors include several featured on the radio drama, Tom Mix.

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A collection of guest book signatures gathered by the book department manager at Marshall Fields department store in Chicago. The actors include several featured on the radio drama, Tom Mix.
Signatures: "'Papa is All'/Dorothy Sands", "Kenneth Davis", "Celeste Holm", "Jesse Royce Landis", "Sylvia Sidney", "Carl Benton Reid", "Don Gordon - NBC", "Wrangler Percy Hemus", "'Tom Mix'/Russ Thorson", "'Wash'/Forrest Lewis", "Janey Webb/'Tom Mix'/'Bartons'", "Phyllis A. Whitney/'A Place for Ann'", "John Mason Brown", "John D. Weaver", "Faith Stewart Van Buren/Pres. Friends of American/Writers", "Mary D. Donahey/Apple Pie Inn", "Georgene Faulkner/'The Story Lady'", "Lucinda Baker", "Nelson Algren" and on verso "Margery Nelson/A wonderful time - thank you!", "Maureen Daly/'Seventeenth Summer'", "Dear Rose Oller,/Before I swoon (with delight) in a/lady-like manner, I want to thank you for a/very happy day/Every your devoted/Herma Clark/May 9, 1942", and one unidentified signature dated April 18, 1942, 2 pages (front and verso), 7½x11¼. In all 23 signatures. ROSE OLLER, who managed the book department of Marshall Fields department store in Chicago for many years, invited many authors and other entertainers to special events at the store. She kept rosters with the signatures and comments of her guests. This roster page is a mix of authors and actors, including several from the Tom Mix radio program. The Western movie star Tom Mix never himself appeared on this show, but he allowed his name to be used on this radio drama, which aired from 1933 until eclipsed by television in 1950, outliving its namesake by a decade. Box tops from Ralston cereal (the show's sponsor) could be exchanged for decoder rings, invisible ink pens, and other items which remain collector's items today. Stage actress DOROTHY SANDS (1893-1980) appeared in no less than 36 Broadway shows between 1934 and 1970, including a one-woman show discussing acting styles (1933). She starred in Papa Is All (Jan.-Feb. 1942), whose cast also included signers Holm, Landis and Reid. Dancer KENNETH DAVIS also appeared on the Broadway stage for over two decades (1929-1951), including appearances in Finian's Rainbow and a revival of Peter Pan. In 1943, Rodgers and Hammerstein cast CELESTE HOLM (1917-2012) as Ado Annie in Oklahoma!; both the production itself and Annie's show-stopping song "I Cain't Say No" affirmed Holm's future stardom. She was cast by her studio, 20th Century-Fox, in the role of the love-starved fashion editor in the prestige feature Gentlemen's Agreement (1947), for which she won an Academy Award. JESSIE ROYCE LANDIS (1896-1972) was named best performer on the London stage for her role Larger Than Life. On film she played Grace Kelly's mother in To Catch a Thief (1955) and Cary Grant's mother in North by Northwest (1959). The acting career of SYLVIA SIDNEY (1910-1999) stretched from Broadway stages of the late 1920s to TV sitcoms of the late 1990s (including 7 appearances on Fantasy Island. Often a gangster's sister or girlfriend in her early films, she earned an Oscar nomination for Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973). She was the unwitting heroine of Mars Attack (1996), because her Slim Whitman records prove the only means of killing the invaders. His acting credentials established in many Broadway appearances in the 1920s and thirties, CARL BENTON REID (1894-1973) starred in films of the 1950s, including an appearance as Will Rogers' father in The Story of Will Rogers. He made frequent TV guest appearances in the 1950s and sixties. DON GORDON, not to be confused with the film and TV actor of a later date, was the announcer on the Tom Mix radio show. He had appeared in Broadway musicals of the early 1930s, including Bittersweet (1929-1930) and Everybody's Welcome (1931-1932). PERCY HEMUS played the Tom Mix sidekick, "The Old Wrangler," for a decade until his death in 1943. RUSSELL THORSON (1905-1982), who starred as Tom Mix from 1938 to 1942, moved smoothly from radio into TV supporting appearances in the 1950s and 1960s, mostly Westerns and police dramas. FORREST LEWIS (1899-1977) began playing an old man on vaudeville stages at age 20, and continued to portray an oldster on radio and television until he gradually aged into the part. TV viewers saw him in multiple episodes of Perry Mason, The F. B. I. and The Rockford Files. He had starred as "Buck" on the radio comedy duo of Buck and Wheat. JANE WEBB made a natural progression from radio acting to TV voice over, performing for many animated features but especially as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. PHYLLIS WHITNEY (1903-2008), who is best known for her juvenile mysteries, received the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Award for mystery writing in 1961 and 1964. More than 50 million copies of her books are in print in paperback alone. She was children's book editor for Chicago Sun (1942-1946) and the Philadelphia Inquirer (1947-1948). She was elected President of the Mystery Writers of America in 1975, was awarded the group's Grand Master Award in 1988. Author and drama critic JOHN MASON BROWN (1900-1969), whose To All Hands related his naval experiences during World War II, wrote a column, "Seeing Things," for the Saturday Review from 1944 until his death. Novelist and short story writer JOHN D. WEAVER (1912-2002) is best remembered for a work of nonfiction. His The Brownsville Raid convinced the US Army to reopen the case of dishonorably discharged members of a black regimentand to exonerate all members of the unit falsely blamed for violence against the town of Brownsville, Texas in 1906. FAITH STEWART VAN BUREN was President of the Chicago-based literary association, The Friends of American Writers, which gives annual awards for fiction and nonfiction writing in several categories. MARY DICKERSON DONAHEY was a prolific author of children's books, many of which were illustrated by her husband, newspaper cartoonist William Donahey. GEORGENE FAULKNER (1873-1958), another author of children's books, began radio broadcasts as The Story Lady in 1922. Her readings were broadcast on Chicago's WMAQ, and then WGN. LUCINDA BAKER Greiner, writing as Lucinda Baker was the author of popular romance novels set in the American West. Novelist NELSON ALGREN (1909-1981) wrote his first novel while working at a gas station, and spent five months in jail for stealing a typewriter from a school classroom. His books portrayed the underside of American life, showing a strong sympathy for its characters. He won the National Book Award for his 1949 novel The Man with The Golden Arm. That same year, he had an affair with French writer Simone de Beauvoir. In 1950, he became unpopular in his native Chicago for Chicago, City on the Make, an unflattering portrait of his home town. His novel about boxer Ruben "Hurricane" Carter, The Devils's Stocking, was published posthumously in 1983. MAUREEN DALY (1921-2006) won an O'Henry award for her short story "Sixteen" while she was still in high school. Her 1942 novel, Seventeenth Summer, became a national best-seller. A columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Ladies Home Journal and other publications, she wrote more novels, including Ginger Horse (1964). MARTHA FREEMAN ESMOND, who wrote under the pen name of HERMA CLARK, wrote a column in the Chicago Tribune, purporting to be letters from an old-time Chicago socialite. These letters formed the basis for a 1937 play, When Chicago was Young, and a 1941 nonfiction book, The Elegant Eighties. Margery Nelson and the unidentified signer merit further research. A nice collection of literary and entertainment figures circa 1942. Binder holes at blank left edge. Lightly toned at edges. Otherwise, fine condition.

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