HOWARD, LESLIE A massive scrapbook devoted to Leslie's stage and screen career assembled by a Hamlet cast member and with several signed items.
A thick album of thin card sheets held by ties within pebbled boards stamped "Scrap Book" on the cover. 16 x 11 inches. Assembled by actress and Howard paramour Lucia Robinson who toured with Leslie in Hamlet, about three-quarters of the volume is devoted to news clippings and articles on all aspects of Leslie's career in the 1930s, and about one-quarter is devoted solely to Hamlet including several signed items, original photographs and ephemera relating to the tour and performances. The covers detached and with losses to spine, the leaves brittle and toned with chips and small losses, the contents generally well preserved.
A fine contemporary scrapbook devoted to British film and theater legend Leslie Howard, including several signed items and ephemera relating to the tour of Hamlet in 1937. The scrapbook documents in newsprint and magazine articles the most prolific period in Howard's career from about 1932 to his death in 1943. The album opens with images and clippings of Leslie on stage in Berkeley Square, 1932, on film in The Scarlet Pimpernel, 1934, and The Petrified Forest, 1936, which co-starred Bette Davis. Several pages are devoted to articles on the performances of his daughter Leslie Ruth Howard. The next section focuses on his Shakespeare adaptations including the 1936 film version Romeo and Juliet co-starring Norma Shearer, followed by his turn as on stage as Hamlet in 1937, including several original playbills. In 1937, Leslie starred in It's Love I'm After, co-starring Olivia de Havilland and Bette Davis, followed by Stand In with Joan Blondell. At this point about halfway through the scrapbook, a few hand-written notes, telegrams and letters are mounted regarding Shaw's Pygmalion, 1938. Before returning to England at the outset of World War II, three pages are devoted to Howard's role as Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind, 1939. In 1943, Howard was unfortunately in a plane that was gunned down by the Germans and a few pages are devoted to search for the plane.
This album was assembled by Howard paramour Lucia Robinson, an actress who had a non-speaking role in Hamlet and is listed in many of the programs here. Lucia Robinson's signed contract is also present. Mounted at the back of the album are several items signed by Howard including two playbills for The Petrified Forest (one inscribed to Ms. Robinson); a signed sheet; two signed photographs (one inscribed); a large format program from Hamlet; at the end of the album are approximately 60 small format personal and off-stage photographs backstamped 1937 depicting Howard and the touring cast of Hamlet. This early touring cast of Hamlet also included a young Celeste Holm who at 20 years old in her first professional tour had a non-speaking part and an understudy role. Ms. Holm met here for the first time actor Wesley Addy, thirty years later her husband for thirty years, and this scrapbook was a gift to them from Leslie Howard's widow because of the Hamlet content. A remarkable and important album chronicling the peak of success in the career of Leslie Howard.
C The Celeste Holm Collection
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