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DINA MERRILL - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 02/06/1980 - HFSID 270478

DINA MERRILL TLS: "Dina", 1½ pages, 5¾x7¾, separate sheets. Los Angeles, California, 1980 February 6. On sheet imprinted with her name to comedienne and actress Phyllis Diller. Begins: "Dear Phyllis

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Reg. $360.00

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DINA MERRILL
TLS: "Dina", 1½ pages, 5¾x7¾, separate sheets. Los Angeles, California, 1980 February 6. On sheet imprinted with her name to comedienne and actress Phyllis Diller. Begins: "Dear Phyllis". In full: "We're sorry you couldn't make last year's Jack Benny Memorial Tennis Classic in Houston, but we do hope you will come this year. The Jack Benny Memorial Tennis Classic benefitting the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation has indeed become A CLASSIC! Last year the Tournament netted $285,000 - all of which went for diabetes research. We're all set to go for this year's Tournament. The dates are the week-end of April 11th, 12th and 13th - the place - beautiful Walden on Lake Conroe in Houston. I personally would like you to join us - it's people like you that will make the Tournament MAGIC and help us go over last year's figures. The format of play gave everyone plenty of tennis, both Saturday and Sunday in a round robin; there were parties Friday and Saturday night with entertainment which raised more money for Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. The accomodations provided in the condominiums at Walden were super comfortable; everyone had either a limousine to take them around the grounds or a private car if they wanted to drive themselves; the complimentary tennis gear was fitted personally in the private sports goods store set up at Walden; we had between four and five thousand people in the stands through the two days of tournament play. As in the past, Mary Livingston Benny is honorary chairman, Joanne and Bob Herring of Houston are general chairmen and Joan Benny and I are national co-chairmen. Farrah Fawcett and Dr. Henry Kissinger are the Houston co-hosts. Do hope you can attend. Please contact Esmé Chandlee, 9056 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 307, Los Angeles, 90069, 213-276-2369, and let us know. Thank you for understanding about a prompt reply - we have limited space and we really want you to be with us. All best wishes". With original stamped, typed mailing envelope. Receipt stamp on front. Merrill, who is known for her philanthropic works as well as her acting, became one of the founders of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation after one of her children was diagonosed with the disease. MARY LIVINGSTONE BENNY (1905-1983) had been married to JACK BENNY from 1927 until his death in 1974. The couple adopted a daughter, JOAN BENNY, in 1934. Merrill, who was an avid golfer as well as tennis player, was married to her second husband, actor Cliff Robertson (1966-1986), at the time of this letter. In 1980, she appeared in one feature film, Just Tell Me What You Want. The daughter of Wall Street financier E. F. Hutton and Post cereal heiress Marjorie Merriwether Post, DINA MERRILL has appeared in films for over 40 years, from Desk Set (1959) to Shade (2003), as well as many TV spots. In 1988, she and future husband Ted Hartley formed Pavilion, an entertainment company that merged with RKO the following year. Merrill is company vice president and creative director. Comedienne PHYLLIS DILLER (1917-2012), known for her outrageous appearance, zany outfits, distinctive laugh and a stand-up act that featured frequent references to her fictional husband, "Fang", and zingers about her sex appeal and numerous plastic surgeries, got her big break in March 1955 (at age 37), when she debuted at San Francisco's Purple Onion club. A subsequent appearance on The Tonight Show hosted by Jack Paar launched her national career, which got a big boost after Bob Hope saw Diller in a Washington, D.C. club. A favorite of the comedian, Diller would appear in three of Hope's films and 23 of his TV specials. Diller, who recorded her first comedy record album in 1959, took her groundbreaking "funny hausfrau" act to nightclubs and television variety shows and specials and she also appeared on the big screen. Her feature film credits include Splendor in the Grass (1961), The Fat Spy (1966), Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! (1966), The Sunshine Boys (1975) and The Silence of the Hams (1994), and she provided the voice of the Queen in A Bug's Life (1998). By 2000, the comedienne, who had trained as a concert pianist before her marriage (1939-1965) to Sherwood Anderson Diller, had appeared as a piano soloist with 100 symphony orchestras across the U.S. Despite retiring from nightclub/stage tours in May 2002 at the age of 84, Diller continued to make films (Motorcross Kids, 2004; Forget About It, 2005) and occasionally appear on TV programs, including two episodes of 7th Heaven (2002, 2003) and a guest shot on The Wayne Brady Show (2004). Lightly creased, mid-horizontal fold underlines signature. Paperclip impression at upper blank margins of both pages, paperclip rust stain on first page. Fine condition.

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