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JEAN HERSHOLT - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 10/03/1940 - HFSID 296237

JEAN HERSHOLT The President of the Motion Picture Relief Fund writes to producer Edward Clark informing him that the Fund has turned down his proposition to hold a benefit. Autograph Letter signed: "Jean", 1 page, 7¼x10½. Beverly Hills, California, 1940 October 3.

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Reg. $450.00

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JEAN HERSHOLT
The President of the Motion Picture Relief Fund writes to producer Edward Clark informing him that the Fund has turned down his proposition to hold a benefit.
Autograph Letter signed: "Jean", 1 page, 7¼x10½. Beverly Hills, California, 1940 October 3. On his personal letterhead written to "Dear Ed" In full: "I took up your suggested benefit idea last night with my executive committee of the Motion Picture Relief Fund, but as I expected it was turned down, which of course I knew it would be, as we have made a note, not to go into production of any kind as long as we have our Sunday Radio show. We have had dozens of similar propositions but have turned them all down. Frankly I didn't [Illegible] the play, because I've been so damn busy with my picture and my radio work. But Lucille Gleason who was present at the meeting told me it was a splendid story. You'll hear from The Fund in regards to the play or another benefit. Best Regards" Danish actor Jean Hersholt's (1886-1956) screen image was altered permanently in 1936 when he was cast as Dr. Dafoe, the Canadian obstetrician who delivered the celebrated Dionne Quintuplets, in 20th Century-Fox's The Country Doctor. Plans to create a Dr. Dafoe movie series were blocked by the real Dafoe, but Hersholt was anxious to sustain the characterization of a beneficent, lovable small-town doctor. Thus Dr. Christian, named for Hersholt's favorite author, Hans Christian Andersen, was born. The actor created the role of Dr. Christian on radio in 1937 and then filmed a series of six Christian movies for RKO (1939-1941). Extending the ethics and generosity of Dr. Christian into his private life, Hersholt set up the Motion Picture Relief Fund, which provided medical care and a livable income for actors, directors and other studio employees who were no longer able to care for themselves. While serving as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he received two honorary Academy Awards for his charity work (1940, 1950). 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, 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." American actor, musician, director and producer Edward Clark (1878-1954) appeared in numerous films and television programs between 1915 and 1955. Normal mailing folds. Fine condition.

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