HAROLD RUSSELL - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 05/15/1953 - HFSID 18280
DISABLED VETERAN WHO WON TWO ACADEMY AWARDS FOR A SINGLE PORTRAYAL HELPS
RAISE MONEY FOR OTHERS
HAROLD RUSSELL. TLS: "Harold Russell", 1p, 8½x11. New York, N.Y., 1953 May 15. On letterhead of World Veterans Fund to Editor, Look Magazine, New York, N.Y. In full: "Thank you for the tribute to the World Veterans Federation in 'LOOK Applauds' (May 19th). Such recognition means a great deal in encouraging us to carry on our work. I would like, however, to add one bit of information. In providing Braille writers, wheelchairs and other equipment for maimed veterans, the WVF depends upon the assistance of CARE, which handles purchase and delivery of these gifts for us. The agency has made several of these items available as standard 'packages' the public can subscribe by sending contributions addressed to me, c/o CARE, 660 First Avenue, New York 16, N.Y. Sincerely". Russell was working as an explosives expert at an Army base in 1944 when a defective fuse exploded a charge of TNT he was holding. Both of his hands were amputated. Recommended by actor Dana Andrews, Russell was selected by Samuel Goldwyn to play the part of Homer Parrish in The Best Years of Our Lives (Andrews, who had met Russell while narrating an Army film on the recuperation of wounded soldiers, played Fred Derry in The Best Years of Our Lives). The script originally called for a wounded veteran returning home from WWII; it was adapted to fit Russell's physical condition. Russell won two 1946 Academy Awards for his portrayal of Parrish: one for Best Supporting Actor and the other, a special Oscar, for "bringing aid and comfort to disabled veterans through the medium of motion pictures". In 1992, Russell became the first and only actor to sell his Oscar (Best Supporting Actor). An author and national commander of AMVETS (1949-1951, 1960-1970), Russell also served as chairman of President Johnson's Committee on Hiring the Handicapped. Colored pencil notes (unknown hand) at upper and lower margins. Overall, fine condition.
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