VERNEUIL, LOUIS Archive relating to Affairs of State, 1950.
Comprising: Autograph letter signed from Louis Verneuil to Celeste Holm. Los Angeles: 27 January . 1 1/2 page autograph letter signed "Louis" on recto and verso of one sheet Verneuil's Holmby Hills stationery, folds, else fine; A telegram from Verneuil to Ms. Holm preceding the above letter, 2 November 1949, from Verneuil in Los Angeles to Celeste Holm in New York regarding her exact return dates; Ms. Holm's heavily annotated hardcover copy of the book, and an
annotated script in wrappers, both Samuel French acting editions, 1952, relating to a later production as they appear used as a scripts and have various correction leaves laid-in. The hardcover volume with tattered dust jacket and annotations to virtually every page by Ms. Holm, 7 1/2 x 5 inches; the wrapper edition similarly annotated by Ms. Holm's husband Wesley Addy, who's penned his name on the wrappers, worn; and two telegrams from Washington, one from the Secretary to the President, the other from the Department of State, both sending regrets on missing the Washington preview, lightly handled, folds.
A glowing autograph letter from French playwright Louis Verneuil to Celeste Holm, with an anxious preceding telegram, regarding her starring in his first English language play Affairs of State: "I had a rich full theatrical life, Celeste dear, and, from Sarah Bernhardt and Fritzi Massary to Elvira Popescu and Gaby Morlay, many wonderful stars appeared in my plays. But never was I so elated than when you agreed to play Irene." Verneuil closes commenting on Ms. Holm's rising star and the thrill of working with her at this moment in time. Affairs of State is a comedy set in Washington, Verneuil's only play in English, which had a very successful Broadway run in 1950 and marked Celeste Holm's return to the New York from Hollywood. The annotated script here gives a very good sense of the method Ms. Holm took to her roles and likely related to a 1967 production which also featured her husband Wesley Addy. Unfortunately, Louis Verneuil (1893-1952) slipped into a paranoid and delusional state not long after Affairs of State left Broadway, and he committed suicide in Paris in November 1952. Thus this is a rare letter from the French playwright regarding his last major production.
C The Celeste Holm Collection
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