Jean Arthur Group Lot Vintage 1974 Handwritten Letter Envelope + 1939 Photograph
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Jean Arthur Group Lot Vintage 1974 Handwritten Letter Envelope + 1939 Photograph:
JEAN ARTHUR GROUP LOT VINTAGE 1974 HANDWRITTEN LETTER ENVELOPE + 1939 PHOTOGRAPH
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DESCRIPTION: GROUP LOT OF 2 EA.: Actress JEAN ARTHUR vintage 1974 authentic originally handwritten and signed letter and handwritten envelope on her personal stationary. Also included is a vintage 1939 original photograph of her from the film "MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON". The letter is written with a blue ink ballpoint pen.
- All of my autographed items have a lifetime money back guarantee of authenticity (see Return Policy)
- SIZE: letter is approx. 7 1/4" X 10 1/2" and the photograph is approx. 7 1/2" x 9 3/4"
- TONE: blue colored stationary and B&W glossy photograph
- CONDITION: both are in excellent condition with a horizontal and vertical fold from original mailing. The letter has very light browning on the upper portion - much less than the digital scan shows. (Please note that I am extremely condition conscious so I always point out the slightest anomalies)
- I ship all items using, what I call, triple protection packing. The photos are inserted into a display bag with a white board, then packed in between two thick packaging boards and lastly wrapped with plastic film for weather protection before being placed into the shipping envelope.
- The shipping cost for U.S. shipments includes USPS "Delivery Confirmation" tracking.
- The shipping cost for orders over $200.00 shipped outside of the U.S. includes insurance coverage.
- Combined Shipping Discounts: If you purchase more than one item within a two week period that will be shipped together just add $2.00 to the base shipping cost. This will cover any additional quantity of a similar item purchased. If you purchase different types of items (i.e. clothes and photos) please contact me for the lowest possible shipping discount.Please wait for me to issue the invoice with the reduced shipping cost before making payment.
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- California residents - please wait for me to adjust the invoice to include California Sales Tax of 7.5% and 9% for Los Angeles residents.
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JEAN ARTHUR BIO
(October 17, 1900 – June 19, 1991) was an American actress and a major film star of the 1930s and 1940s. She remains arguably the epitome of the female screwball comedy actress. As James Harvey wrote in his recounting of the era, "No one was more closely identified with the screwball comedy than Jean Arthur. So much was she part of it, so much was her star personality defined by it, that the screwball style itself seems almost unimaginable without her." Arthur has been called "the quintessential comedic leading lady."
Arthur is best known for her feature roles in three Frank Capra films: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), You Can't Take It With You (1938), and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), films that championed the everyday heroine. Her last performance was the memorable—and distinctly non–comedic—role as the rancher's wife in George Stevens' Shane (1953).
Arthur was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1944 for her performance in The More the Merrier (1943).
Arthur was born Gladys Georgianna Greene in Plattsburgh, New York to Protestant parents Johanna Augusta Nelson and Hubert Sidney Greene. She lived off and on in Westbrook, Maine from 1908 to 1915 while her father worked at Lamson Studios in Portland, Maine as a photographer. The product of a nomadic childhood, Arthur also lived at times in Jacksonville, Florida; Schenectady, New York; and, during a portion of her high school years, in the Washington Heights neighborhood of upper Manhattan. She came from a family of three older brothers: Donald Hubert (1891), Robert B. (1892) and Albert Sidney (1894). Her maternal grandparents were immigrants from Norway who settled in the American West. She reputedly took her stage name from two of her greatest heroes, Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) and King Arthur.
Presaging many of her later film roles, she worked as a stenographer on Bond Street in lower Manhattan during World War I.
Discovered by Fox Film Studios while she was doing commercial modeling in New York City in the early 1920s, Arthur debuted in the silent film Cameo Kirby (1923), directed by John Ford, and made a few low-budget silent westerns and short comedies. She was selected as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1929, but she became stuck in ingénue roles. It was her distinctive, throaty voice – in addition to some stage training on Broadway in the early 1930s – that helped make her a star in the talkies.
In 1935, at age 34, she starred opposite Edward G. Robinson in the gangster farce The Whole Town's Talking, also directed by Ford, and her popularity began to rise. By then, her hair, naturally brunette throughout the silent film portion of her career, was bleached blonde and would stay that way. She was famous for maneuvering to be photographed and filmed almost exclusively from the left; Arthur felt that her left was her best side, and worked hard to keep it in the fore. Frank Capra recounted that producer Harry Cohn described Jean Arthur's imbalanced profile as "half of it's angel, and the other half horse."
The turning point in Jean Arthur's career came when she was chosen by director Frank Capra to star in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. Capra had spotted her in a daily rush from the film Whirlpool in 1934 and convinced Cohn to have Columbia Studios sign her for his next film as a tough newspaperwoman who falls in love with a country bumpkin millionaire. Arthur co-starred in three celebrated 1930s Capra films: her role opposite Gary Cooper in 1936 in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town made her a star, while her fame was cemented with You Can't Take It With You (1938) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in 1939, both with James Stewart. She was re-teamed with Cooper, playing Calamity Jane in Cecil B. DeMille's The Plainsman (1936), and appeared as a working girl, her typical role, in Mitchell Leisen's 1937 screwball comedy Easy Living opposite Ray Milland. So strong was her box office appeal by 1939 that she was one of four finalists that year for the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind; the film's producer, David O. Selznick, had briefly romanced Arthur in the late 1920s when they both were with Paramount Pictures.
She continued to star in films such as Howard Hawks' Only Angels Have Wings in 1939, with love interest Cary Grant, 1942's The Talk of the Town, directed by George Stevens (also with Grant), and again for Stevens as a government clerk in 1943's The More the Merrier, for which Jean Arthur was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress (losing to Jennifer Jones in The Song of Bernadette). As a result of being in the doghouse with studio boss Harry Cohn, her fee for The Talk of the Town (1942) was only $50,000 while her male co-stars Grant and Ronald Colman received upwards of $100,000 each. Arthur remained Columbia's top star until the mid-1940s, when she left the studio and Rita Hayworth took over as the studio's reigning queen. Stevens famously called her "one of the greatest comediennes the screen has ever seen", while Capra credited her as "my favorite actress".
Arthur "retired" when her contract with Columbia Pictures expired in 1944. She reportedly ran through the studio's streets, shouting "I'm free, I'm free!" For the next several years, she turned down virtually all film offers, the two exceptions being Billy Wilder's A Foreign Affair (1948), in which she played a congresswoman and rival of Marlene Dietrich, and as a homesteader's wife in the classic Western Shane (1953), which turned out to be the biggest box-office hit of her career. The latter was her final film, and the only color film she appeared in.
Arthur's post-retirement work in theater was intermittent, somewhat curtailed by her longstanding shyness and discomfort about her chosen profession. Capra claimed she vomited in her dressing room between scenes, yet emerged each time to perform a flawless take. According to John Oller's biography Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew (1997), Arthur developed a kind of stage fright punctuated with bouts of play psychosomatic illnesses. A prime example was in 1945, when she was cast in the lead of the Garson KaninBorn Yesterday. Her nerves and insecurity got the better of her and she left the production before it reached Broadway, opening the door for Judy Holliday to take the part.
Arthur did score a major triumph on Broadway in 1950, starring in an adaptation of Peter Pan playing the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up when she was almost 50. She tackled the role of her namesake, Joan of Arc, in a 1954 stage production of George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan, but she left the play after a nervous breakdown and battles with director Harold Clurman.
In 1966, the extremely reclusive Arthur tentatively returned to show business, playing Patricia Marshall, an attorney, on her own television sitcom, The Jean Arthur Show, which was cancelled mid-season by CBS after only twelve episodes. Ron Harper played her son, attorney Paul Marshall.
In 1967, she was coaxed back to Broadway to appear as a midwestern spinster who falls in with a group of hippies in the play The Freaking Out of Stephanie Blake. William Goldman, in his book The Season reconstructed the disastrous production, which eventually closed during previews when Arthur refused to go on.
Arthur next decided to teach drama, first at Vassar College and then the North Carolina School of the Arts. While teaching at Vassar, she stopped a rather stridently overacted scene performance and directed the students' attention to a large tree growing outside the window of the performance space, advising the students on the art of naturalistic acting: "I wish people knew how to be people as well as that tree knows how to be a tree."
Her students at Vassar included the young Meryl Streep. Arthur recognized Streep's talent and potential very early on and after watching her performance in a Vassar play, Arthur said it was "like watching a movie star."
While living in North Carolina she made front page news by being arrested and jailed for trespassing on a neighbor's property to console a dog she felt was being mistreated. An animal lover her entire life, Arthur said she trusted them more than people.
She turned down the role of the lady missionary in Lost Horizon (1973), the unsuccessful musical remake of the 1937 Frank Capra film of the same name. Then, in 1975, the Broadway play First Monday in October, about the first female Supreme Court justice, was written especially with Arthur in mind, but once again she succumbed to extreme stage fright and quit the production shortly into its out-of-town run in Cleveland. The play went on with Jane Alexander playing the role intended for Arthur.
After the First Monday in October incident, Arthur then retired for good, retreating to her oceanside home in Carmel, California, steadfastly refusing interviews until her resistance was broken down by the author of a book on her one-time director Capra. Arthur once famously said that she’d rather have her throat slit than do an interview.
Arthur's first marriage, to photographer Julian Anker in 1928, was annulled after one day. She married producer Frank Ross, Jr. in 1932. They divorced in 1949. Arthur did not have any children.
Jean Arthur died from heart failure at the age of 90. Her ashes were scattered at sea near Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. It is unknown if she had heard of the death of Joan Caulfield, who had married Frank Ross, Jr. after Arthur's divorce from him. She had died the day before Arthur at the age of 69.
Upon her death film reviewer Charles Champlin wrote the following in the Los Angeles Times:
To at least one teenager in a small town (though I’m sure we were a multitude), Jean Arthur suggested strongly that the ideal woman could be — ought to be — judged by her spirit as well as her beauty… The notion of the woman as a friend and confidante, as well as someone you courted and were nuts about, someone whose true beauty was internal rather than external, became a full-blown possibility as we watched Jean Arthur.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Jean Arthur has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6331 Hollywood Blvd. The Jean Arthur Atrium was her gift to the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.
Alternative country artist Robbie Fulks included a song titled "Jean Arthur" on his 1999 compilation The Very Best of Robbie Fulks. The track expounds on the actress's unique personality and style.Selected filmography