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SIR JOHN GIELGUD - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 05/31/1940 - HFSID 29654

JOHN GIELGUD He accepts the presidency of the Actor's Benevolent Fund. Autograph Letter Signed: "John Gielgud", 2p, 5x8. London, 1940 May 31. To Charles Cochran. In

Sale Price $405.00

Reg. $450.00

Condition: lightly creased, lightly soiled
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JOHN GIELGUD
He accepts the presidency of the Actor's Benevolent Fund.
Autograph Letter Signed: "John Gielgud", 2p, 5x8. London, 1940 May 31. To Charles Cochran. In part: "As I told you this morning on the telephone, I am really rather overwhelmed by the responsibility and privilege which you so kindly offer me - I do not wish to seem falsely modest, but cannot help wondering whether one of my seniors in the profession with greater authority and experience behind them might not be the better man for your purpose...However, if you and your committee are really agreed that you would like me to become your President, I can only say that I accept with the utmost diffidence and trust to your wise counsel and support in my duties and responsibilities. To follow in your distinguished footsteps, and in those of the great men and women who preceded you in this office, is indeed a privilege of which I shall try to be worthy...." Paper clip rust stain at upper blank margin, rust stain at lower right margin touches 2 words. Vertical and horizontal tears at lower area touch 2 words, but are expertly repaired (all intact). Lightly soiled. With unsigned carbon of Cochran's June 6, 1940 reply to Gielgud. In part: "Your charming letter is characteristic, and makes me, if it were possible, the more sure that you are the legitimate successor to Sir Henry Irving, Sir Charles Wyndham and others who, before my time, fulfilled the honourable position of President of the Actors' Benevolent Fund...." Lightly creased. Paper clip rust stain at upper blank margin, with paper loss of same size. Chipped and soiled at lower right edge. The grandnephew of actress Ellen Terry, Sir JOHN GIELGUD spent almost 80 of the 96 years of his life appearing in countless plays that saw him portray every major Shakespearean role. He was awarded the 1981 Academy Award for portraying the title character's butler, Mr. Hobson, in Arthur. Theatrical producer and showman SIR CHARLES COCHRAN produced plays, ballets, revues and boxing matches. The ACTORS' BENEVOLENT FUND was founded in London in 1882 "to help, by allowances, gifts and loans, aged or distressed actors and actresses, managers, stage managers and acting managers and their spouses, also choristers whose efforts are entirely devoted to theatrical work" and is still in existence. After Gielgud's death in 2000, the largest chunk of his $2.1 million estate went to charities he supported, including the Actors' Benevolent Fund. Two items.

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