Pen pal with a comedy legend
Cinema comedy legend Stan Laurel is in the news today, as the Scotsman.com News reports. I am sure this collection of letters is filled with fascinating information and insights from one of the true icons of silver screen comedy.
A COLLECTION of 18 personal letters sent by comedy legend Stan Laurel to an Edinburgh housewife who became his pen pal have sold for Â£2900 at auction.Walterina Hunter first wrote a fan letter to Laurel, one half of Laurel and Hardy, in 1952.
For ten years they exchanged letters, discussing everything from the weather to Laurel’s poor health and the death of his comedy partner Oliver Hardy.
Among the bundle there were 18 letters and three photographs, most of which were signed by Laurel, with one photograph also signed by Hardy.
The letters were written on headed notepaper from luxurious hotels where the comedian was staying while on tour, with others on Laurel’s own paper from his California home.
English-born Laurel suffered a nervous breakdown after Hardy’s death, and later confided in one of the letters: “I don’t visit the studios anymore because I don’t know anyone there and would feel like a stranger.”
Alex Dove, book specialist at auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh where the letters were sold yesterday, said:
“Quite a friendship was built up and that was reflected in the content of the letters. He made a lot of time to sit down and write to her wherever he was.”
The pair met only once, in 1954, when Laurel and Hardy toured the UK and sent tickets to Mrs Hunter for their Edinburgh show.
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