W. C. FIELDS - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 11/10/1924 CO-SIGNED BY: FLORENZ "FLO" ZIEGFELD JR. - HFSID 287816
Sale Price $1,912.50
W. C. FIELDS and FLO ZIEGFELD
Both sign a contract for Fields' appearance in the play "J. P. McEvoy's Comic Supplement". Not a standard form contract, this one has been written with Fields in mind.
Contract signed: "Flo Ziegfeld", "W. C. Fields", 4 pages, 7¼x10½. Also initialed by both at a minor correction: "F.Z.", "W. C. F." New Amsterdam Theatre, New York, N.Y., 1924 November 10. On Ziegfeld's personal letterhead, Fields signs his acceptance of a commitment to appear in a play bearing the temporary title "J. P. McEvoy's Comic Supplement," to be produced on or before January 15, 1925. Fields is guaranteed top billing in the play credits and all advertising, and will receive $1, 750 per week for the full run of the play. He must attend five weeks of rehearsals without compensation. Clause 5 is of special interest: "You agree to get in touch promptly after the execution of this agreement with the author of this play, Mr. McAvoy and to aid and facilitate him and co-operate with him in every matter to the end that the parts to be assigned to you shall be adapted to your special talents and ability. You agree to render such services without any additional compensation." 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. Nobody contributed more wry quotations (such as "Anyone who hates children and animals can't be all bad.") to American folklore. FLORENZ ZIEGFELD, JR. (1867-1932) was a theatrical impresario justly called "the glorifier of American women." Among his Ziegfeld girls were wives Anna Held and Billie Burke, and comedienne Fannie Brice. In 1907, Ziegfeld produced his first revue, The Follies of 1907, modeled on the Folies-Bergère of Paris but less risqué. The New York revue's combination of semi-nudity, pageantry and comedy was repeated successfully for 23 more years in the Ziegfeld Follies until the Great Depression ended the annual spectacles. His theatrical released included the debut of Show Boat (1927). The work featured here, which appeared as scheduled in 1925 but with the final title Ziegfeld Follies of 1925, was the second of ten Broadway plays scripted - and in some cases produced - by J. P. McEvoy (1897-1958). The cast included Will Rogers and Lina Basquette, billed below Fields of course. Normal mailing folds. Brass fastener at top left corner. Slightly creased. Slightly soiled. The Ziegfeld signature is slightly smeared (still legible). Otherwise, fine condition.
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