WILLIAM S. HART - COLLECTION - HFSID 261646
WILLIAM SURREY "BILL" HART Matted letter, handwritten, dated and signed by Hart in 1945, with a b/w photograph of Hart in costume and playing cards. This letter was written a year before the Western star died and is on his personalized Horseshoe Ranch stationery. In it, he reminiscences about his younger years and mentions the death of his beloved sister, Mary Ellen.
Sale Price $850.00
WILLIAM SURREY "BILL" HART
Matted letter, handwritten, dated and signed by Hart in 1945, with a b/w photograph of Hart in costume and playing cards. This letter was written a year before the Western star died and is on his personalized Horseshoe Ranch stationery. In it, he reminiscences about his younger years and mentions the death of his beloved sister, Mary Ellen. Matted to 21½x16¼.
Two items, matted to 21½x16¼: 1) Autograph letter signed "Bill Hart". 1 page, 7¾x10½, on Hart's personalized stationery from his home at Horseshoe Ranch, Newhall, California. May 12, 1945. Addressed to "Norma Ferris". In full: "Thanks ever so much for your sweet letter - It is a long time ago, yet it seems but a few hours when our minds are wandering - How pleased I can remember, when night came & I was off [illegible] - I can still see them, Charlie and Bill Fields having an argument, The pool balls clicking - And you washing your face with cold cream - And chattering away at a mile a minute the while - little Millie - leaned apparently - idling - against the door way - But there was always that harrowing figure - in the rear, ALWAYS. I might as well have been peddling peanuts, or bananas - Its any [illegible] for me, but are M. D. [illegible] then The Good Lord loves you both, give the doc my best & all good in the world we [illegible] - I'm trying to kid my way through life these days - On Dec 1st 1943 the best of my existence went to join Gods [sic] angels. Again God bless you both." Lightly toned and creased. Folded twice horizontally and unfolded. Some writing is lightly smeared. Otherwise in fine condition. 2) Unsigned b/w photograph, 8x6 visible. Lightly spotted, otherwise in fine condition. Hart lost his sister Mary Ellen, who had lived with him at Horseshoe Ranch, in 1943. He had shot some of his Westerns at locations on and around Newhall, California and purchased the 265 acres that would become Horseshoe Ranch in 1924 or 1925. He moved permanently to the property in 1927, when his ranch house was completed. Hart, who headquartered his company at the ranch (it had previously been based on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood), willed the property to the County of Los Angeles with the stipulation that it be called William S. Hart Park. At age 19, Hart (1870-1946) began acting onstage in New York, going on to make his name as a Shakespearean actor on Broadway. By his 30s, he was a highly popular stage performer, particularly in western plays. Hart was 44 when he starred in his first film in 1914. Basing his westerns on his own memories of the West, he insisted on stark realism, using bare, unglamorous storylines that emphasized plot and character over action. In the early 1920s, other western stars emerged who emphasized spectacular action and larger-than-life heroics and Hart's popularity faded. In 1925, he made his final film, Tumbleweeds. Not matted in Gallery of History style.
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