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CHARLES D. COBURN - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 01/20/1914 - HFSID 293358

CHARLES D. COBURN Handwritten letter discussing his ambitious plans for the Coburn Players, and calling the current state of American theatre "a commercial cesspool" Autograph Letter signed: "Charles D. Coburn", 3 pages, 8½x5½. 1402 Broadway, New York City, 1914 January 20.

Sale Price $573.75

Reg. $675.00

Condition: fine condition
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CHARLES D. COBURN
Handwritten letter discussing his ambitious plans for the Coburn Players, and calling the current state of American theatre "a commercial cesspool"
Autograph Letter signed: "Charles D. Coburn", 3 pages, 8½x5½. 1402 Broadway, New York City, 1914 January 20. On his personal letterhead as head of the Coburn Players to George L. Hinckley, Boston, Massachusetts. In full: "Many thanks indeed for your letter & suggestions. It is our purpose & endeavor to put on, from time to time, all of the plays of Shakespeare. This year we will do 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' and 'Hamlet' at Harvard Summer School. The former is a play not very often done, the latter has never, to my knowledge, been done out-of-doors. We could do many of the plays if we were an endowed organization & were not compelled to exist upon 'box office' receipts. It is my hope that we will eventually have funds & departments in all the colleges and universities, thereby making the performance more a part of the educational system of America and through such means make the theatre a dignified institution instead of a theatrical commercial cesspool of private enterprise as it is today & I am glad you have enjoyed our poor effort. Think how much more could be done under proper conditions. Very truly yours". Accompanied by original mailing envelope addressed in Coburn's hand. Broadway actor, producer and director Charles Douville Coburn (1877-1961), with his wife, Iva Wells, led a Shakespearean company, the Coburn Shakespeare Players, from 1906 to 1937. Only after her death did he close the company and move to Hollywood. Coburn did not appear in his first feature film (Of Human Hearts) until 1938, when he was 61. In 1940, he portrayed Dr. Henry Gordon, who unjustly amputated Drake McHugh's (Ronald Reagan) legs in Kings Row, resulting in the future President's greatest screen line (and title of his first autobiography): "Where's the rest of me?" Coburn was nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (1941, The Devil and Miss Jones; 1943, The More the Merrier; 1946, The Green Years), winning in 1943.From the collection of Ralph Errington Ward (1926-2009) a fighter pilot and squadron commander in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II. Ward went on to become President and CEO of Cheseborough-Ponds, Inc., transforming the cosmetics firm into a major home product conglomerate. Multiple mailing folds. Lightly toned at edges. Otherwise, fine condition.

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