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W. C. FIELDS - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 02/03/1940 - HFSID 283834

Typed 1940 letter to friend and author Gene Fowler, signed as "Uncle," sending show tickets with the reminder: "Don't forget to hiss West." Fields also promises to "crawl into the hay with ... and marry" a book honoring booze. Typed Letter signed: "Uncle", 1 page, 8x10.

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W. C. FIELDS
Typed 1940 letter to friend and author Gene Fowler, signed as "Uncle," sending show tickets with the reminder: "Don't forget to hiss West." Fields also promises to "crawl into the hay with ... and marry" a book honoring booze.
Typed Letter signed: "Uncle", 1 page, 8x10. No place, 1940 February 3. On personal stationery to Gene Fowler, Beverly Hills, California. In full: "Here are the Oakleys for the show. Don't forget to hiss West. I have only read one or two excerpts from Smith & Helwig's book and your comment on the fly leaf. When I get the affairs of the day off my hands, I'm going to crawl into the hay with it and marry it. Love from your". Red-nosed, gravel-voiced, bottle-hitting American comedian W.C. Fields (1880-1946), born William Claude Dukenfield, began his film career in silents. He later excelled in such films as David Copperfield (as Micawber), My Little Chickadee (with Mae West) and The Bank Dick. The vaudeville veteran, who appeared in every version of the Ziegfeld Follies from 1915 to 1921, made his last film, Sensations of 1945, in 1944. In Fields' day, theaters dispensing complimentary tickets would punch them before distributing them, so they would not be counted later in computing revenue. Hence complimentary tickets were often called "Annie Oakleys", because they appeared to have been drilled by the famous sharpshooter. The tickets sent by Fields here must have been to a premier showing of My Little Chickadee, released in February 1940. Though their names are often linked because of this film - the only one in which they appeared together, Fields and West disliked each other, and had quarreled on the set of Chickadee over the screenplay and Fields' drinking. (West was a tee-totaler.) Gene Fowler (1890-1960) was a journalist, screenwriter and biographer, a close friend of Fields. His memoir, Minutes of the Last Meeting (1954) contains accounts of their friendship. The book which Fields intends to "crawl into the hay with ... and marry it," was no doubt Liquor: the Servant of Man (1939). Fields was a bit confused about authorship, however; it was written by Walton Hall and Ferdinand Smith Helwig. Normal mailing folds. Lightly creased and toned at edges. Random brown stains at upper margin. Otherwise, fine condition.

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