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The Hollywood couple signs this letter to their friend Phyllis Diller wishing her a happy 1977 Typed Letter signed: "Ross/and" and "Jacque" both in blue ink, 1p, 5½x8½. No place, 1977 January 24. On letterhead of Ross Hunter Productions, Inc.

Sale Price $288.00

Reg. $320.00

Condition: Lightly creased, otherwise fine condition
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The Hollywood couple signs this letter to their friend Phyllis Diller wishing her a happy 1977
Typed Letter signed: "Ross/and" and "Jacque" both in blue ink, 1p, 5½x8½. No place, 1977 January 24. On letterhead of Ross Hunter Productions, Inc. to comedienne and actress Phyllis Diller. To "Dear Phyllis". In full: "Please excuse this belated note, but we were away for the holidays and just returned. Want you to know that both of us wish you only the very best in 1977. May it be a year filled with good health and happiness. We miss seeing you and hope to get together soon. Love". In the year he signed this letter, Hunter appeared on the game show, The Cross-Wits (1975-1980). Producer ROSS HUNTER (1920-1996) and set decorator JACQUES MAPES (circa 1914-2002), who is sometimes billed as JACQUE MAPES, teamed up to produce plays, films, and TV shows. The couple, together for over 40 years, was married at the time of Hunter's death on March 10, 1996. Hunter, born Martin Fuss, was in Army intelligence during WWII before becoming an actor in such B-movie outings as Louisiana Hayride (1944). He went on to become the producer of more than 60 films, most of which were star-studded, lavish productions with lush musical scores that emphasized Hunter's love of "old-time" Hollywood. Hunter had his biggest commercial success with Airport (1970), which won him an Academy Award for Best Art Direction. He was also nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, and Best Sound. A few of his other notable films include Magnificent Obsession (1954), My Man Godfrey and Tammy and the Bachelor (both in 1957), Imitation of Life and Pillow Talk (both in 1959), Back Street and Flower Drum Song (both in 1961), The Thrill of It All (1963), Madame X (1966), Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967), and Lost Horizon (1973). He also produced a number of made-for-TV movies after moving to Paramount in 1974. Mapes, who had served in the U.S. Navy during WWII, began her career as a set decorator on The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939). Her work in that capacity includes a number of feature films between 1945-1953 as well as the TV series, Letter to Loretta (1953-1961). Mapes was also an associate producer, producer, and executive producer of several TV productions. Comedienne PHYLLIS DILLER (1917-2012) was known for her outrageous appearance, zany outfits, and distinctive laugh. Her stand-up act featured frequent references to her fictional husband, "Fang", and zingers about her sex appeal and numerous plastic surgeries. Diller 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. 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). Interestingly, 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 appeared on TV programs, including two episodes of 7th Heaven (2002, 2003) and had a guest spot on The Wayne Brady Show (2004). Lightly creased with folds, lower horizontal fold at "Ross". Otherwise, fine condition.

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