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JOANNE HALE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 03/06/1984 - HFSID 270341

JOANNE HALE (MRS. MONTE HALE). ALS: "Monte and Joanne" by Mrs. Hale, 1p, 6½x8½. Montecito, California, 1984 March 6. On pictorial letterhead featuring a photograph of her husband in a cowboy costume to comedienne and actress Phyllis Diller. Begins: "Dear Phyllis".

Sale Price $144.00

Reg. $160.00

Condition: slightly creased
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JOANNE HALE (MRS. MONTE HALE). ALS: "Monte and Joanne" by Mrs. Hale, 1p, 6½x8½. Montecito, California, 1984 March 6. On pictorial letterhead featuring a photograph of her husband in a cowboy costume to comedienne and actress Phyllis Diller. Begins: "Dear Phyllis". In full: "Your note gave us pleasure and your book - many chuckles. An unbeatable combination. Thanks and Love". By the time of this letter, Diller had published three books: Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints (1966), Phyllis Diller's Marriage Manual (1967) and The Joys of Aging - And How to Avoid Them (1981). JOANNE HALE, the wife of singing cowboy MONTE HALE, was instrumental in the establishment of the Gene Autry museum in Los Angeles. Tapped by Gene and Jackie Autry because of her business background, Hale was involved in the museum from its planning (which took five years) to its opening (1988, four years after this letter). The museum, which was originally called The Gene Autry Museum of the American West was later renamed the Autry Museum, and, following its merger with the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, became the Autry National Center. Mrs. Hale served as President and CEO until announcing her retirement in August 1998. She remained on the board, however, and we have found references to her as President of the Board (Mrs. Autry was Chairman) in 2003 and 2004 (Monte Hale was listed as a Director Emeritus in those years). The Hales were also sponsors of a number of museum projects, including a Masters of the American West art exhibition in 2005. 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). Ink smudged at the "J" of Joanne. Slightly creased. Paper clip impressions and light rust stains at upper margin and lower left margin, near but not touching one word of writing.

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