ESTHER WILLIAMS - DOCUMENT DOUBLE SIGNED 02/01/1947 - HFSID 288832
ESTHER WILLIAMS Consent form authorizing the Motion Picture Relief Fund to reproduce Esther Williams's signature and likeness for a series of stamps raising money for needy film industry veterans. The form is signed twice by Williams, once as an autograph sample and again to grant permission.
Sale Price $488.75
ESTHER WILLIAMS Consent form authorizing the Motion Picture Relief Fund to reproduce Esther Williams's signature and likeness for a series of stamps raising money for needy film industry veterans. The form is signed twice by Williams, once as an autograph sample and again to grant permission. A remarkable, perfectly verified example! Document signed twice: "Esther Williams", 1 page, 8½x11. No place, 1947 February 1. Esther William grants to the Motion Picture Relief Fund, Inc., its successors and assigns, the exclusive right, to use her name, autograph, photographic likeness, or artist's sketch of the likeness, for reproduction on engraved, embossed or printed stamps, and in stamp albums, and in connection with the advertising and exploitation of these stamps and stamp albums for sale throughout the world. Esther Williams (1921-2013) was a world-renowned swimming champion when she was spotted by an MGM talent scout in an aquacade. Hoping that their new discovery would surpass the popularity of 20th Century-Fox's skating queen Sonja Henie, MGM began grooming Williams for stardom completely refashioning her third film, the modest 1944 Red Skelton comedy Mister Bride, into the Technicolor super spectacular Bathing Beauty. For the next decade she starred in one musical comedy after another, warbling the Oscar-winning tune "Baby It's Cold Outside" in Neptune's Daughter (1949) and trading steps with Gene Kelly in Take Me Out to the Ballgame (1949). As her popularity soared--she was among the top ten box office stars in 1949 and 1950--MGM went out of its way to make her swimming sequences more complex and elaborate with each new picture. The Motion Picture Relief Fund was founded in 1921 to assist ill and needy film industry veterans, as expressed in its motto: "We take care of our own." The fund raised money through voluntary payroll deductions and celebrity events. As President of the Fund from 1939 until his death in 1956, film and radio star Jean Hersholt conceived Hollywood Star Stamps as a fundraising method. These stamps, 468 in all, were sold at dime stores after World War II in sheets of 6-12, at 10 cents per sheet, and were an immediate hit with collectors. Now called the Motion Picture and Television Fund, the non-profit organization funds its own hospital and retirement home. It confers the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award annually at the Academy Awards ceremony to "an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry." Three filing holes at left (worn). Staple holes at top left. Normal mailing folds. Pencil marks (unknown hand). Otherwise, fine condition.
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