KELLY, GRACE Four autograph letters to Oleg Cassini.
One written from Ocean City, NJ, the balance from Hollywood: circa 1954-55. The letters as follows: 1) a 4 page letter on one folded sheet of pink stationery, dated only "Monday Night" and addressed "Dearest Oleg," signed "Grace" at end; 2) a two page letter on two sheets of Hotel Bel-Air stationery dated "Monday" and addressed to Cassini as "Dearest," signed "G" at end; 3) a two page letter on two sheets of Hotel Bel-Air stationery dated "Thursday Night" and addressed to Cassini as "Dearest", not signed; and 4) a two page letter on two sheets of Hotel Bel-Air stationery dated "Sunday" and addressed to Cassini as "Darling," not signed. The first letter 7 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches; the letters on hotel stationery each 10 1/4 x 7 inches. Usual folds and signs of handling, well preserved overall; Together with a copy of a photograph depicting Cassini and Kelly as Alexander and Helen of Troy at a costume party.
Written in the period surrounding their 1954-55 engagement, the first letter here is written from Kelly's family vacation at Ocean City, NJ and in the letter she urges Cassini to come: "bring a dinner jacket ... that and a bathing suit is all you need." The Hollywood letters are undated but the letter headed "Monday" is likely chronologically first as it describes the plane flight out, being on a liquid diet, and arriving to roses from "Alma and Hitch" (being Alfred Hitchcock and during this period Kelly would star Dial M For Murder, Rear Window and To Catch a Thief). In the letter headed "Thursday night" Kelly is pleased to have received flowers from Cassini and even though "we are watching Charles Boyer on television - and as much as I love him I can only think of you." Kelly continues to report of the successful reviews of Country Girl, then in previews, and that "I should be able to see it in a few weeks." The letter closes with the statement "I think I'd rather have a ring instead of an automobile. I love you." But in the final, unsigned letter headed "Sunday," Kelly's tone drastically changes: "You have upset me so that I could die. I just don't understand your attitude. It is incredible to me that having dinner with Lizanne and the Crosbys can make you behave like a school boy." Kelly continues to describe her relationship with Country Girl co-star Bing Crosby: "Bing is a wonderful person ... I hope he will be our friend for many years. I told you he said he was in love with me - but there are many people that he feels that way about and after the emotional strain of playing Country Girl this was only natural... I have very few friends here - please don't ask me to give up their friendships."
C Estate of Oleg Cassini, 19th Street Townhouse, New York
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