W. C. FIELDS - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - HFSID 179355
Sale Price $1,530.00
W. C. FIELDS
Signing as "The great man/Continental Claude", he pens a letter to his mistress Carlotta in New York
Autograph Letter signed: "The great man/Continental Claude", 1p, 8½x10¼. On lightweight airmail paper. No place, no date, but with original envelope postmarked Los Angeles, Hollywood, December 27, 1939. Addressed by Fields to Miss C. Douglas [Carlotta Monti], Hotel Marie Antoinette, Broadway at 66 St., New York City. Torn flap. Creased, soiled and worn. Unrelated notes on verso (unknown hand). In full: "Something or other was at ah La Cava's Morales you know her and she enquired about you. I told her you were making the grade in N.Y. That you had been on here to attend your case but returned. She expressed regrets she had not seen you. She made La Cava a sweater. I think I admired the sweater and she suggested making me one. Being continental and never forgetting the days of chivalry I accepted graciously. She evidently knows Margo and they are coming some afternoon to measure me. Do you think I should order a pair if drawers too? This thing is running into a book, so will saw off. Keep well- and think for pastime. Always my best and most important wishes. M.M. sends Love." Creased, folds, lightly nicked edges. W.C. Fields (1879-1946) began entertaining as an amusement park juggler at the age of fourteen. He was a vaudeville headliner before he was twenty and toured Europe in 1901, giving a command performance at Buckingham Palace. His Broadway debut in The Ham Tree (1905) was followed by appearances in the Ziegfeld Follies (1915-1921) and in George White's Scandals (1933). Fields starred in Poppy on Broadway (1923) and the next year made his first film, Janice Meredith (1924). Fields' style, verbal rather than visual, and irascible con-man philosophy made him a favorite, especially with the advent of sound, where his raspy voice provided the final touch to his comedy. He starred in movies including My Little Chickadee (1940) and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941). Fields' mistress from 1932 until his death was starlet Carlotta Monti, who often performed under the name of Carlotta Douglas, as shown here. Her tell-all memoir, W. C. Fields and Me, was the basis for the 1976 film. Fields was never divorced from his wife, Harriet "Hattie" Hughes, though they were permanently separated in 1904. Consequently, Monti was passed over in the settlement of Fields' estate. Fields often referred to himself ironically as "The Great Man", and his character is called that in a later film, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941). Two items.
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