Two years before he is forced out of M-G-M, the studio mogul writes to entertainer Ken Murray, telling him how much he, his wife and his guest enjoyed seeing Murray's show, Blackouts, at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

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LOUIS B. MAYER Two years before he is forced out of M-G-M, the studio mogul writes to entertainer Ken Murray, telling him how much he, his wife and his guest enjoyed seeing Murray's show, Blackouts, at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. TLS: "Louis B Mayer.", 1p, 7¼x10½. No place, but California, 1949 August 24. On sheet imprinted with his name to Mr. Ken Murray, The Blackouts, El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood, California. Begins: "My dear Murray". In full: "Last night I had the pleasure of seeing your show, and criticize myself severely for not having gone more often, regardless of how busy I have been. I don't have to tell you how successful your show is - you know all about that. But I do want to tell you that you are a great showman to have kept the show going for so long, with so much enthusiasm and 'pep'. You have demonstrated that it is possible to keep an audience laughing uproariously for three hours, without going too far beyond the bounds of propriety. I saw nothing to criticize - on the contrary, I congratulate you, for even the sex angles in the sketches were done in as good taste as possible with that type of material. I know you will be a sensation in New York. I am sorry we are going to lose you, and am looking forward to your return when I will be one of your steady patrons. Good luck and best wishes." Typed postscript: "P.S. Mrs. Mayer and our guest, Major Zanft, enjoyed the show very much indeed." With original typed, metered mailing envelope. Mayer's Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios return address imprinted on back flap. Written two years before Mayer was forced out of M-G-M in 1951. Ken Murray's Blackouts, live stage shows that originally presented sketches of military life (the name itself was a reference to the "blackouts" common during the war), were presented at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles from the early days of WWII through the end of the decade. The shows, which were hosted by radio and later television personality KEN MURRAY and co-hosted by Marie Wilson, featured popular celebrity guests of the day. Mrs. Mayer was the former Lorena Layson, Mayer's second wife, whom he had married on December 4, 1948, less than nine months before this letter. MAJOR ZAFT was JOHN ZAFT (1883-1960), who was married to Austrian-born designer HATTIE CARNEGIE. A veteran of WWI, he was given the honorary title of Major for bringing entertainment to the troops. Zaft, who later wrote a theatrical column under the name of John Zan, was a friend of William Fox, who owned the Fox Theatres. Zaft, who became Vice President of the Fox Theatre Corporation, was the producer of three films, and he and his wife were often called upon to assist with other Hollywood productions. LOUIS B. MAYER (circa 1884-1957), born Lazar Mayer in the Russian Empire, began his career in show business with the purchase of a burlesque house in Boston. Alternating between live shows and presentations of films, he made a fortune showing The Birth of a Nation (1914), using the money to expand his theater empire and eventually move into movie production in Los Angeles in 1918. There, Mayer formed Louis B. Mayer Productions before joining forces with Samuel Goldwyn and Marcus Loew to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (M-G-M), which produced more films and created more film stars than any other studio over the next 25 years. Credited as being the creator of the "star system", Mayer was one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and he was the highest-paid American business executive in the 1930s, making a salary of $1.3 million in 1937. Mayer's credits as a producer include Human Desire (1919), Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925) and I Take This Woman (1940). Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Lightly soiled, light stains (primarily at blank areas). Overall, fine condition.  

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