Original vintage photographs with autographs
A scrapbook compiled by Deanna Fischer. In a letter dated May 26, 1953, Deanna writes to President Dwight Eisenhower. In this letter she indicates that she’s 10 years old, in the fifth grade, and she tells President Eisenhower about her hobby of writing letters to famous people.
Entry #1: Mrs. Eisenhower
In a letter dated March 4, 1953, the secretary to Mrs. Eisenhower, Mary Jane McCaffree writes to Miss Deanna Fisher expressing Mrs. Eisenhower’s best wishes.
Mamie Geneva Doud Eisenhower (November 14, 1896 – November 1, 1979) was the wife of United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and First Lady of the United States from 1953 to 1961.
Mamie married Dwight Eisenhower at age 19 in 1916. The young couple moved frequently between military quarters in many postings, from Panama to the Philippines. As First Lady, she entertained a wide range of foreign dignitaries, who reacted well to her confident style and splendid costumes.
Mamie Eisenhower spent her retirement and widowhood at the family farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Entry #2: Piper Laurie
Piper Laurie writes on her photograph “To Deanna, Best wishes and God’s blessings, Piper Laurie”.
In a separate, very kind and personal letter, she writes “Dear Deanna: Your letter made me very happy. I always like to hear from my friends, I also wish you and your friends luck with your club. Let me hear from you again soon. Best Wishes Piper Laurie”.
Piper Laurie (born Rosetta Jacobs; January 22, 1932) is an American stage and screen actress known for her roles in the films The Hustler (1961), Carrie (1976), and Children of a Lesser God (1986), all of which brought her Academy Award nominations. She is also known for her performances as Kirsten Arnesen in the original TV production of Days of Wine and Roses and as Catherine Martell in the cult television series Twin Peaks, for which she won a Golden Globe Award in 1991. She is set to star in the 2018 film White Boy Rick. (Wikipedia)
Entry #3: Oveta Culp Hobby
Oveta Culp Hobby was the first secretary of the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and also a Colonel in United States Army. In this entry, the scrapbook includes Hobby’s signature and an official letter from the US Department in which she worked.
Oveta Culp Hobby (January 19, 1905 – August 16, 1995) was the first secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, first director of the Women's Army Corps, and a chairperson of the board of the Houston Post. She made the decision to approve Jonas Salk's polio vaccine. (Wikipedia)
Entry #4: Mitzi Gaynor
Mitzi Gaynor sends Deanna both an authentic autograph on an official 20th Century Fox Film Corporation fan-mail response letter, and a 10cm x 6cm photograph of herself on a boat.
Mitzi Gaynor (born September 4, 1931) is an American actress, singer, and dancer. Notable films included There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), which featured Irving Berlin's music and also starred Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Marilyn Monroe, Donald O'Connor, and Johnnie Ray; and South Pacific, the 1958 motion picture adaptation of the stage musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Entry #5: Boat Ride
In this entry, Deanna collects the signatures of performer Marty Drake and another performer’s mark which is difficult to distinguish (Lon Satton?)
Marty Drake was a performer according to Playbill, performing in Bagels and Yox in Sept 1951 and Hold on to Your Hats in Nov 1940
Entry #6: Betty Hutton
Betty Hutton sends Deanna an autographed portrait measuring 13cm x 18cm and including a separate autograph on a 7.5cm x 10cm card.
Betty Hutton (born Elizabeth June Thornburg; February 26, 1921 – March 12, 2007) was an American stage, film, and television actress, comedian, dancer, and singer.
Entry #7: Clifton Webb
Clifton Webb sends Deanna a 6.5cm x 10.5cm photograph and an official 20th Century Fox Film Corporation fan-mail response letter.
Webb Parmelee Hollenbeck (November 19, 1889 – October 13, 1966), known professionally as Clifton Webb, was an American actor, dancer, and singer known for his roles in such films as Laura (1944), The Razor's Edge (1946), and Sitting Pretty (1948), all three being Oscar-nominated. He was known for his stage appearances in the plays of Noël Coward, notably Blithe Spirit, as well as appearances on Broadway in a number of very successful musical revues.
Entry #8: Vera Ellen
Vera Ellen sens Deanna an autographed portrait signed “Cordially, Vera Ellen”, along with an application card for membership to the “Official Vera-Ellen Fan Club”.
Vera-Ellen (born Vera-Ellen Westmeier Rohe; February 16, 1921 – August 30, 1981) was an American dancer and actress. She is principally celebrated for her performances with partners Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Danny Kaye, and Donald O'Connor. She is best known for her starring roles in On the Town with Kelly and White Christmas (1954) with Kaye.
Entry #9: Bob Wagner
Bob Wagner sends Deanna both an authentic autograph on an official 20th Century Fox Film Corporation fan-mail response letter, and a 7cm x 9cm glossy photograph
Robert John Wagner, Jr. (pronounced /ˈwæɡnər/; born February 10, 1930) is an American actor of stage, screen, and television, best known for starring in the television shows It Takes a Thief (1968–70), Switch (1975–78), and Hart to Hart(1979–84). He also had a recurring role as Teddy Leopold on the TV sitcom Two and a Half Men and has a recurring role as Anthony DiNozzo Sr. on the police procedural NCIS.
In movies, Wagner is known for his role as Number Two in the Austin Powers trilogy of films (1997, 1999, 2002), as well as for A Kiss Before Dying, The Pink Panther, Harper, The Towering Inferno and many more.
Wagner's autobiography, Pieces of My Heart: A Life, written with author Scott Eyman, was published on September 23, 2008.
Entry #10: Ann Blyth
Ann Blyth sends Deanna a 9cm x 13cm photograph with her signature printed onto the photo. The envelope features the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures company logo.
She also includes a 13cm x 18cm glossy photograph, and another 10.5cm x 12.5cm photograph featuring her and three other people (unknown)
Ann Marie Blyth (born August 16, 1928) is an American actress and singer, often cast in Hollywood musicals, but also successful in dramatic roles. For her performance as Veda Pierce in the 1945 film Mildred Pierce, Blyth was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
She is one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood.
Entry #11: Esther Williams
Esther Williams sends Deanna a 9cm x 13cm
Esther Jane Williams (August 8, 1921 – June 6, 2013) was an American competitive swimmer and actress.
Williams set multiple national and regional swimming records in her late teens as part of the Los Angeles Athletic Club swim team. Unable to compete in the 1940 Summer Olympics because of the outbreak of World War II, she joined Billy Rose's Aquacade, where she took on the role vacated by Eleanor Holm after the show's move from New York City to San Francisco. While in the city, she spent five months swimming alongside Olympic gold medal winner and Tarzan star, Johnny Weissmuller. Williams caught the attention of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer scouts at the Aquacade. After appearing in several small roles, alongside Mickey Rooney in an Andy Hardy film, and future five-time co-star Van Johnson in A Guy Named Joe, Williams made a series of films in the 1940s and early 1950s known as "aquamusicals," which featured elaborate performances with synchronised swimming and diving.
From 1945 to 1949, Williams had at least one film listed among the 20 highest-grossing films of the year. - In 1952, Williams appeared in her only biographical role, as Australian swimming star Annette Kellerman in Million Dollar Mermaid, which went on to become her nickname while at MGM. Williams left MGM in 1956 and appeared in a handful of unsuccessful feature films, followed by several extremely popular water-themed network television specials, including one from Cypress Gardens, Florida.
Williams was also a successful businesswoman. Even before retiring as an actress, she invested in a "service station, a metal products plant, a manufacturer of bathing suits, various properties and a successful restaurant chain known as Trails." She lent her name to a line of swimming pools and retro swimwear, instructional swimming videos for children, and served as a commentator for synchronized swimming at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Entry #12: Thelma Ritter
Thelma Ritter sends Deanna a 7cm x 10cm photograph and an official 20th Century Fox Film Corporation fan-mail response letter.
Thelma Ritter (February 14, 1902 – February 5, 1969) was an American actress, best known for her comedic roles as working-class characters and her strong New York accent. She received six Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress—more than any other actress in history—and won one Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical.
Entry #13: Mario Lanza
Mario Lanza sends Deanna an autographed photo measuring 9cm x 13cm.
Mario Lanza (born Alfredo Arnold Cocozza; January 31, 1921 – October 7, 1959) was an American tenor of Italian ancestry, and an actor and Hollywood film star of the late 1940s and the 1950s.
Lanza began studying to be a professional singer at the age of 16. After appearing at the Hollywood Bowl in 1947, Lanza signed a seven-year film contract with Louis B. Mayer, the head of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, who saw his performance and was impressed by his singing. Prior to that, the adult Lanza had sung only two performances of an opera. The following year (1948), however, he sang the role of Pinkerton in Puccini's Madame Butterfly in New Orleans.
His film début for MGM was in That Midnight Kiss (1949) with Kathryn Graysonand Ethel Barrymore. A year later, in The Toast of New Orleans, his featured popular song "Be My Love" became his first million-selling hit. In 1951, he played the role of tenor Enrico Caruso, his idol, in the biopic The Great Caruso, which produced another million-seller with "The Loveliest Night of the Year" (a song which used the melody of Sobre las Olas). The Great Caruso was the top-grossing film that year.
The title song of his next film, Because You're Mine, was his final million-selling hit song. The song went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. After recording the soundtrack for his next film, The Student Prince, he embarked upon a protracted battle with studio head Dore Schary arising from artistic differences with director Curtis Bernhardt, and was eventually dismissed by MGM.
Lanza was known to be "rebellious, tough, and ambitious."- During most of his film career, he suffered from addictions to overeating and alcohol which had a serious effect on his health and his relationships with directors, producers and, occasionally, other cast members. Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper writes that "his smile, which was as big as his voice, was matched with the habits of a tiger cub, impossible to housebreak." She adds that he was the "last of the great romantic performers". He made three more films before dying of an apparent pulmonary embolism at the age of 38. At the time of his death in 1959 he was still "the most famous tenor in the world". Author Eleonora Kimmel concludes that Lanza "blazed like a meteor whose light lasts a brief moment in time".
Entry #14: Debbie Reynolds
Debbie Reynolds sends Deanna an autographed photo of her playing the ukelele, measuring 9cm x 13cm
Mary Frances "Debbie" Reynolds(April 1, 1932 – December 28, 2016) was an American actress, singer, businesswoman, film historian, humanitarian, and mother of the actress and writer Carrie Fisher.
She was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer for her portrayal of Helen Kane in the 1950 film Three Little Words, and her breakout role was her first leading role, as Kathy Selden in Singin' in the Rain (1952). Other successes include The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1953), Susan Slept Here (1954), Bundle of Joy (1956 Golden Globe nomination), The Catered Affair (1956 National Board of Review Best Supporting Actress Winner), and Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), in which her performance of the song "Tammy" reached number one on the Billboardmusic charts. In 1959, she released her first pop music album, titled Debbie.
She starred in How the West Was Won (1963), and The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), a biographical film about the famously boisterous Molly Brown. Her performance as Brown earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Her other films include The Singing Nun (1966), Divorce American Style (1967), What's the Matter with Helen?(1971), Charlotte's Web (1973), Mother (1996) (Golden Globe nomination), and In & Out (1997). Reynolds was also a cabaret performer. In 1979, she founded the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio in North Hollywood, which still operates today.
In 1969, she starred on television in The Debbie Reynolds Show, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination. In 1973, Reynolds starred in a Broadway revival of the musical Irene and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for her performance in A Gift of Love (1999) and an Emmy Award for playing Grace's mother Bobbi on Will & Grace. At the turn of the millennium, Reynolds reached a new younger generation with her role as Aggie Cromwell in Disney's Halloweentown series. In 1988, she released her autobiography titled, Debbie: My Life. In 2013, she released a second autobiography, Unsinkable: A Memoir.-
Reynolds also had several business ventures, including ownership of a dance studio and a Las Vegas hotel and casino, and she was an avid collector of film memorabilia, beginning with items purchased at the landmark 1970 MGM auction. She served as president of The Thalians, an organization dedicated to mental health causes. Reynolds continued to perform successfully on stage, television, and film into her eighties. In January 2015, Reynolds received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. In 2016, she received the Academy Awards Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. In the same year, a documentary about her life was released titled Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, which turned out to be her final film appearance; the film premiered on HBO on January 7, 2017.
On December 28, 2016, Reynolds was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center following a medical emergency, which her son Todd Fisher later described as a "severe stroke". She died from the stroke that afternoon, one day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher.
Entry #15: Clark Gable
Clark Gable sends Deanna a dedicated photo measuring 9cm by 13cm reading “Gratefully Clark Gable”
William Clark Gable (February 1, 1901 – November 16, 1960) was an American film actor and military officer, often referred to as "The King of Hollywood" or just simply as "The King". He began his career as a stage actor and appeared as an extra in silent films between 1924 and 1926, and progressed to supporting roles with a few films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1931. The next year, he landed his first leading Hollywood role and over the next three decades he became a leading man in more than 60 motion pictures.
Gable won an Academy Award for Best Actor for It Happened One Night (1934),-and was nominated for leading roles in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) and for his best-known role as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939).
Gable also found success commercially and critically with films such as Red Dust (1932), Manhattan Melodrama (1934), San Francisco(1936), Saratoga (1937) Boom Town(1940), The Hucksters (1947), Homecoming (1948), and The Misfits(1961), which was his final screen appearance.
Gable appeared opposite some of the most popular actresses of the time. Joan Crawford was his favorite actress to work with,- and she was partnered with Gable in eight films. Myrna Loy worked with him seven times, and he was paired with Jean Harlow in six productions. He also starred with Lana Turner in four features, and with Norma Shearerand Ava Gardner in three each. Gable's final film, The Misfits (1961), united him with Marilyn Monroe (also in her last completed screen appearance[a]).
Gable is considered one of the most consistent box-office performers in history, appearing on Quigley Publishing's annual Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll 16 times. He was named the seventh-greatest male star of classic American cinema by the American Film Institute.
Entry #16: Imogene Coca
Imogene Coca sends Deanna an autographed portrait measuring 20.5cm by 26cm and reads “To Deanna Best Wishes Imogene”.
She includes a christmas card that reads “Merry Christmas, Imogene Coca”
Imogene Coca (born Emogeane Coca; November 18, 1908 – June 2, 2001) was an American comic actress best known for her role opposite Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows. Starting out in vaudeville as a child acrobat, she studied ballet and wished to have a serious career in music and dance, graduating to decades of stage musical revues, cabaret and summer stock. In her 40s, she began a celebrated career as a comedian on television, starring in six series and guest starring on successful television programs from the 1940s to the 1990s.
She was nominated for five Emmy Awards for Your Show of Shows, winning Best Actress in 1951 and singled out for a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting in 1953. Coca was also nominated for a Tony Award in 1978 for On the Twentieth Century and received a sixth Emmy nomination at the age of 80 for an episode of Moonlighting.
She possessed a rubbery face capable of the broadest expressions — Life magazine compared her to Beatrice Lillie and Charlie Chaplin and described her characterizations as taking "people or situations suspended in their own precarious balance between dignity and absurdity, and push(ing) them over the cliff with one single, pointed gesture". The magazine noted a "particularly high-brow critic" as observing, "The trouble with most comedians who try to do satire is that they are essentially brash, noisy and indelicate people who have to use a sledge hammer to smash a butterfly. Miss Coca, on the other hand, is the timid woman who, when aroused, can beat a tiger to death with a feather."-Aside from vaudeville, cabaret, film, theater and television, she voiced children's cartoons and was even featured in the 1984 MTV music video "Bag Lady" by the band EBN-OZN, ultimately working well into her 80s. In a 1999 interview, Robert Ozn said during the shoot she was required to sit on the sidewalk in snow for hours during a blizzard with 15 degree temperatures. "While the rest of us 20-somethings were moaning about the weather, warming ourselves by a heater, this little 75 year-old lady never once complained - put us all to shame. She was the most professional artist I've ever worked with."
Entry #17: Elisabeth Taylor
Elisabeth Taylor sends Deanna an autographed photo, which says “Best wishes always, Elisabeth Taylor”
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE (27 February 1932 – 23 March 2011) was a British-American actress, businesswoman, and humanitarian. She began her career as a child actress in the early 1940s, and was one of the most popular stars of classical Hollywood cinemain the 1950s. She continued her career successfully into the 1960s, and remained a well-known public figure for the rest of her life. In 1999, the American Film Institute named her the seventh-greatest female screen legend.
Born in London to wealthy, socially prominent American parents, Taylor moved with her family to Los Angeles in 1939, and she soon was given a film contract by Universal Pictures. She made her screen debut in a minor role in There's One Born Every Minute (1942), but Universal terminated her contract after a year. Taylor was then signed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and had her breakthrough role in National Velvet (1944), becoming one of the studio's most popular teenaged stars. She made the transition to adult roles in the early 1950s, when she starred in the comedy Father of the Bride (1950) and received critical acclaim for her performance in the drama A Place in the Sun (1951).
Despite being one of MGM's most bankable stars, Taylor wished to end her career in the early 1950s, as she resented the studio's control and disliked many of the films to which she was assigned. She began receiving roles she enjoyed more in the mid-1950s, beginning with the epic drama Giant (1956), and starred in several critically and commercially successful films in the following years. These included two film adaptations of plays by Tennessee Williams: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and Suddenly, Last Summer (1959); Taylor won a Golden Globe for Best Actress for the latter. Although she disliked her role as a call girl in BUtterfield 8 (1960), her last film for MGM, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance.
Taylor was then paid a record-breaking $1 million to play the title role in the historical epic Cleopatra (1963), the most expensive film made up to that point. During the filming, Taylor and co-star Richard Burton began an extramarital affair, which caused a scandal. Despite public disapproval, Burton and she continued their relationship, and were married in 1964. Dubbed "Liz and Dick" by the media, they starred in 11 films together, including The V.I.P.s (1963), The Sandpiper(1965), The Taming of the Shrew (1967), and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?(1966). Taylor received the best reviews of her career for Woolf, winning her second Academy Award and several other awards for her performance. She and Burton divorced in 1974, but reconciled soon after, and re-married in 1975. The second marriage ended in divorce in 1976.
Taylor's acting career began to decline in the late 1960s, although she continued starring in films until the mid-1970s, after which she focused on supporting the career of her sixth husband, Senator John Warner. In the 1980s, she acted in her first substantial stage roles and in several television films and series, and became the first celebrity to launch a perfume brand. Taylor was also one of the first celebrities to take part in HIV/AIDS activism. She co-founded the American Foundation for AIDS Research in 1985, and the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1991. From the early 1990s until her death, she dedicated her time to philanthropy. She received several accolades for it, including the Presidential Citizens Medal.
Throughout her life, Taylor's personal affairs were subject to constant media attention. She was married eight times to seven men, endured serious illnesses, and led a jet set lifestyle, including assembling one of the most expensive private collections of jewelry. After many years of ill health, Taylor died from congestive heart failure at the age of 79 in 2011.
Entry #18: Sid Caesar
Sid Caesar sends Deanna an autographed photo measuring ???cm x ???cm and reads “Best Wishes, Sid Caesar”
Isaac Sidney "Sid" Caesar (September 8, 1922 – February 12, 2014) was an American comic actor and writer, best known for two pioneering 1950s live television series: Your Show of Shows, which was a 90-minute weekly show watched by 60 million people, and its successor, Caesar's Hour, both of which influenced later generations of comedians. Your Show of Showsand its cast received seven Emmy nominations between the years 1953 and 1954 and tallied two wins. He also acted in movies; he played Coach Calhoun in Grease (1978) and its sequel Grease 2 (1982) and appeared in the films It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), Silent Movie (1976), History of the World, Part I (1981), and Cannonball Run II(1984).
Caesar was considered a "sketch comic" and actor, as opposed to a stand-up comedian. He also relied more on body language, accents, and facial contortions than simply dialogue. Unlike the slapstick comedy which was standard on TV, his style was considered "avant garde" in the 1950s. He conjured up ideas and scene and used writers to flesh out the concept and create the dialogue. Among the writers who wrote for Caesar early in their careers were Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Carl Reiner, Michael Stewart, Mel Tolkin, and Woody Allen. "Sid's was the show to which all comedy writers aspired. It was the place to be," said Steve Allen.
His TV shows' subjects included satires of real life events and people—and parodies of popular film genres, theater, television shows, and opera. But unlike other comedy shows at the time, the dialogue was considered sharper, funnier, and more adult-oriented. He was "...best known as one of the most intelligent and provocative innovators of television comedy," who some critics called television's Charlie Chaplin and The New York Times refers to as the "...comedian of comedians from TV's early days."
Honored in numerous ways over 60 years, he was nominated for 11 Emmy Awards, winning twice. He was also a saxophonist and author of several books, including two autobiographies in which he described his career and later struggle to overcome years of alcoholism and addiction to barbiturates.
Entry #19: President Eisenhower
President Eisenhower sends Deanna a printed photo that measures 22cm x 28cm
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower(/ˈaɪzənhaʊ.ər/ EYE-zən-how-ər; October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was an American Army general and statesman who served as the 34th President of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe.
Entry #20: Debra Paget
Debra Paget sends Deanna an authentic autograph on an official 20th Century Fox Film Corporation fan-mail response letter, and also a 7cm x 8cm glossy photograph.
Debra Paget (born Debralee Griffin; August 19, 1933) is an American actress and entertainer. She is perhaps best known for her performances in Cecil B. DeMille's epic The Ten Commandments(1956) and in Love Me Tender(1956) (the film debut of Elvis Presley), and for the risque (for the time) snake dance scene in The Indian Tomb (1959).
Entry #21: Jane Powell
Jane Powell sends Deanna an autographed photo that reads: “Best wishes always, Sincerely, Jane Powell” and measures 9cm x 13cm
Jane Powell (born Suzanne Lorraine Burce; April 1, 1929) is an American singer, dancer and actress who rose to fame in the mid-1940s with roles in various musicals as a contract player for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer pictures.
Powell was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, where she achieved local fame as a singer, touring the state as the Oregon Victory Girl selling victory bonds. As a teenager, she relocated to Los Angeles, California, where she signed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Powell's vocal, dancing, and acting talents were utilized for lead and supporting roles in musicals such as A Date with Judy(1948) with friend Elizabeth Taylor, Royal Wedding (1951) with Fred Astaire, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) with Howard Keeland Hit the Deck (1955).
By the late 1950s, her film career slowed, leading her to transition to theatre with performances in various touring shows as well as two Broadway productions. In 1985, she relocated with her fifth husband, former child star Dickie Moore (died 2015), to New York City and Wilton, Connecticut, where Powell is occasionally active in local theatre.
Entry #22: Kathryn Grayson
Kathryn Grayson sends Deanna an autographed photo, measuring 9cm by 13cm and reads: “???”
Kathryn Grayson (February 9, 1922 – February 17, 2010) was an American actress and coloratura soprano. -
From the age of twelve, Grayson trained as an opera singer. She was under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer by the early 1940s, soon establishing a career principally through her work in musicals. After several supporting roles, she was a lead performer in such films as Thousands Cheer (1943), Anchors Aweigh (1945) with Frank Sinatraand Gene Kelly, and Show Boat(1951) and Kiss Me Kate (1953), both with Howard Keel.
When film musical production declined, she worked in theatre, appearing in Camelot (1962–1964). Later in the decade she performed in several operas, including La bohème, Madama Butterfly, Orpheus in the Underworld and La traviata.
Entry #23: Liberace
Liberace sends Deanna an autographed portrait with a sketch of a piano measuring 11cm x 17.5cm
He includes a plastic record visit card that can be folded back and played at 78rpm. It plays a “Seasons Greetings” song stamped on plastic, reading “from Liberace ~ and George too.
Also included is a black and white Christmas card featuring Liberace and his brother which measures , and a promotional card for his ‘fabulous “pop” concert’ in Madison Square Garden.
Władziu Valentino Liberace (May 16, 1919 – February 4, 1987), known as Liberace, was an American pianist,- singer, and actor. A child prodigy and the son of working-class immigrants, Liberace enjoyed a career spanning four decades of concerts, recordings, television, motion pictures, and endorsements. At the height of his fame, from the 1950s to the 1970s, Liberace was the highest-paid entertainer in the world, with established concert residencies in Las Vegas, and an international touring schedule. Liberace embraced a lifestyle of flamboyant excess both on and off stage, acquiring the sobriquet "Mr. Showmanship".
Entry #24: Robert Taylor
Robert Taylor sends Deanna an autographed photo measuring 9cm x 13cm and reads: “My best wishes, Robert Taylor”
Robert Taylor (born Spangler Arlington Brugh; August 5, 1911 – June 8, 1969) was an American film and television actor who was one of the most popular leading men of his time.
Taylor began his career in films in 1934 when he signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He won his first leading role the following year in Magnificent Obsession. His popularity increased during the late 1930s and 1940s with appearances in A Yank at Oxford (1938), Waterloo Bridge (1940), and Bataan (1943). During World War II, he served in the United States Naval Air Corps, where he worked as a flight instructor and appeared in instructional films. From 1959 to 1962, he starred in the ABC series The Detectives Starring Robert Taylor. In 1966, he took over hosting duties from his friend Ronald Reagan on the series Death Valley Days.
Taylor was married to actress Barbara Stanwyck from 1939 to 1951. He married actress Ursula Thiess in 1954, and they had two children. A chain smoker, Taylor was diagnosed with lung cancer in October 1968. He died of the disease on June 8, 1969 at the age of 57.
Entry #25: Janet Leigh
Janet Leigh sends Deanna an autographed photo measuring 9.5cm x 13cm and reads: “With kind regards, Janet Leigh”
Janet Leigh /ˈdʒænət li/ (born Jeanette Helen Morrison; July 6, 1927 – October 3, 2004) was an American actress, singer, dancer, and author. Raised in Stockton, California by working-class parents, Leigh was discovered at age eighteen by actress Norma Shearer, who helped her secure a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Leigh had her first formal foray into acting appearing in radio programs before making her film debut in The Romance of Rosy Ridge (1947).
Early in her career, she appeared in several popular films for MGM which spanned a wide variety of genres, including Act of Violence (1948), Little Women (1949), Angels in the Outfield(1951), Scaramouche (1952), The Naked Spur (1953), and Living It Up (1954). Leigh played mostly dramatic roles during the latter half of the 1950s, in such films as Safari (1956) and Orson Welles's film noir Touch of Evil (1958), but achieved her most lasting recognition as the doomed Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), which earned her a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Her highly-publicized marriage to actor Tony Curtis ended in divorce in 1962, and after starring in The Manchurian Candidatethat same year, Leigh scaled back her career. Intermittently, she continued to appear in films, including Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Harper (1966), Night of the Lepus (1972), and Boardwalk (1979). In late 1975, she made her Broadway debut in a production of Murder Among Friends. She would also go on to appear in two horror films with her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis: The Fog (1980) and Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998).
In addition to her work as an actress, Leigh also wrote four books between 1984 and 2002, two of which were novels. She died in October 2004 at age 77, following a year-long battle with vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels. Among her survivors was her husband of forty-two years, Robert Brandt.
Entry #26: Fred Astaire
Fred Astaire sends Deanna an autographed photo measuring 9cm x 12.5cm.
Fred Astaire (born Frederick Austerlitz; May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987) was an American dancer, singer, actor, choreographer and television presenter. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential dancers in the history of film and television musicals.
His stage and subsequent film and television careers spanned a total of 76 years, during which he starred in more than 10 Broadway and London musicals, made 31 musical films, 4 television specials, and issued numerous recordings. As a dancer, he is best remembered for his sense of rhythm, his perfectionism, and as the dancing partner and on-screen romantic interest of Ginger Rogers, with whom he co-starred in a series of ten Hollywood musicals. Astaire was named by the American Film Institute as the fifth greatest male star of Classic Hollywood cinema in 100 Years... 100 Stars. -
Gene Kelly, another star in filmed dance, said that "the history of dance on film begins with Astaire." Later, he asserted that Astaire was "the only one of today's dancers who will be remembered." Beyond film and television, many dancers and choreographers, including Rudolf Nureyev, Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Jackson, Gregory Hines, Mikhail Baryshnikov, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, and Madhuri Dixit, also acknowledged his influence.
Entry #27: Gale Storm
Gale Storm sends Deanna a photograph measuring 10cm x 12cm.
Gale Storm (born Josephine Owaissa Cottle, April 5, 1922 – June 27, 2009) was an American actress and singer who starred in two popular television programs of the 1950s, My Little Margie and The Gale Storm Show.
Entry #28: Terry Moore
Terry Moore sends Deanna a 7cm x 8cm photograph and an official 20th Century Fox Film Corporation fan-mail response letter.
Helen Luella Koford (born January 7, 1929), known as Terry Moore, is an American film and television actress.
Entry #29: Jean Simmons
Jean Simmons sends Deanna a 7cm x 8.5cm photograph and an official 20th Century Fox Film Corporation fan-mail response letter.
Jean Merilyn Simmons, OBE (31 January 1929 – 22 January 2010) was an English actress and singer.-One of J. Arthur Rank's "well-spoken young starlets", she appeared predominantly in films, beginning with those made in Great Britain during and after the Second World War, followed mainly by Hollywood films from 1950 onwards.
Simmons was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Hamlet (1948), and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for Guys and Dolls (1955). Other notable film appearances included Young Bess (1953), The Robe (1953), Elmer Gantry (1960), Spartacus (1960), and the 1969 film The Happy Ending, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She also won an Emmy Award for the 1983 miniseries The Thorn Birds.
Entry #30: Bess Myerson
Bess Myerson sends Deanna an autographed photo measuring 13cm x 19cm and reads “Best wishes, Bess Myerson”.
Bess Myerson (July 16, 1924 – December 14, 2014) was an American politician, model and television actress who became famous in 1945 as the first Jewish Miss America, the only person of that faith to ever win the title.
Her achievement, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, was seen as an affirmation of the Jewish place in American life. She was a hero to the Jewish community,-where "she was the most famous pretty girl since Queen Esther."
Myerson made frequent television appearances during the 1950s and 1960s. She was a commissioner in the New York City government and served on presidential commissions from the 1960s through the 1980s, and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. Her career in public service ended in the late 1980s when she was indicted on bribery and conspiracy charges. She was acquitted after a highly publicized trial.
Entry #31: Margaret Chase Smith
Senator Margaret Chase Smith sends Deanna a personal letter expressing her regrets over a piece of legislation which she was unable to pass. It reads: “Dear Mrs. Fischer: By this time you know that I voted to override the postal pay veto bill -- but that there weren’t enough votes for overriding to pass the bill. Sincerely yours, Margaret Chase Smith, U.S.S.”
Margaret Madeline Chase Smith (December 14, 1897 – May 29, 1995) was a United States politician. A member of the Republican Party, she served as a U.S Representative (1940–49) and a U.S. Senator (1949–73) from Maine.-She was the first woman to serve in both houses of the United States Congress, and the first woman to represent Maine in either. A moderate Republican, she was among the first to criticize the tactics of McCarthyism in her 1950 speech, "Declaration of Conscience".-
Smith was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination in the 1964 presidential election, but was the first woman to be placed in nomination for the presidency at a major party's convention.-Upon leaving office, she was the longest-serving female Senator in history, a distinction that was not surpassed until January 5, 2011, when Senator Barbara Mikulski was sworn in for a fifth term. To date, Smith is ranked as the longest-serving Republican woman in the Senate.
Entry #32: Jack Dempsey
Jack Dempsey signs a paper from the Veritans Club dinner for the installation of the Chairman and the club’s officers. It reads:
Also included appears to be the pencil with which Dempsey signed the document.
William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey (June 24, 1895 – May 31, 1983), nicknamed "Kid Blackie" and "The Manassa Mauler", was an American professional boxer who competed from 1914 to 1927, and reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926. A cultural icon of the 1920s, Dempsey's aggressive fighting style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history.-Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first million-dollar gate. Dempsey is ranked as tenth on The Ring magazine's list of all-time heavyweights and seventh among its Top 100 Greatest Punchers, while in 1950 the Associated Press voted him as the greatest fighter of the past 50 years. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and was inducted into The Ring's Boxing Hall of Fame in 1951.
Entry #33: John Foster Dulles
John Foster Dulles sends Deanna an autographed card on stationary marked ‘Secretary of State’.
John Foster Dulles (/ˈdʌləs/; February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) was an American diplomat. A Republican, he served as United States Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world.
Born in Washington, D.C., Dulles joined the New York City law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell after graduating from George Washington University Law School. His grandfather, John W. Foster, and his uncle, Robert Lansing, both served as United States Secretary of State, while his brother, Allen Dulles, served as the Director of Central Intelligence from 1953 to 1961. John Foster Dulles served on the War Industries Board during World War I and he was a U.S. legal counsel at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. He became a member of the League of Free Nations Association, which supported American membership in the League of Nations. Dulles also helped design the Dawes Plan, which sought to stabilize Europe by reducing German war reparations.
Dulles served as the chief foreign policy adviser to Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican presidential nominee in 1944 and 1948. He also helped draft the preamble to the United Nations Charter and served as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. In 1949, Dewey appointed Dulles to fill the Senate vacancy caused by the resignation of Sen. Robert F. Wagner. He served for four months but left office after being defeated in a special election by Herbert H. Lehman.
After Eisenhower won the 1952 presidential election, he chose Dulles as Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, Dulles concentrated on building and strengthening Cold War alliances, most prominently the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He was the architect of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, an anti-Communist defensive alliance between the United States and several nations in and near Southeast Asia. He also helped instigate the 1953 Iranian coup d'état and the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état. He favored a strategy of massive retaliation in response to Soviet aggression. He advocated support of the French in their war against the Viet Minh in Indochina but rejected the Geneva Accords that France and the communists agreed to, and instead supported South Vietnam after the Geneva Conference in 1954. Suffering from colon cancer, Dulles resigned from office in 1959 and died later that year.
Entry #34: Sculptor (Gaetano Federici)
Gaetano Federici sends Deanna a picture of his statue of Columbus. The portrait measures 20cm x 25cm.
Gaetano Federici was born in the mountain village of Castelgrande in southern Italy, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1887. He and his mother settled in Paterson, New Jersey, with his father, Antonio Federici, who had already established himself as a mason and builder in this booming, industrial city. During the great era of civic monument-making, a teenage Gaetano left Paterson to study with major bronzemakers, such as Giuseppe Moretti and Charles Henry Niehaus.
After learning at the feet of the masters, Gaetano was drawn back to his hometown. His first major commission was a sculpture of Congressman John Stewart, which was unveiled in front of Paterson’s County Courthouse. The Paterson News put a picture of Gaetano on the first page, and from then on he was “Paterson’s darling.” His fame spread thanks to two newspapermen, George Burke and Harry B. Haines, and the 1924 unveiling of another commission – Federici’s tribute to Dean McNulty, founder of St. John’s Cathedral. His next undertaking was Nathan Barnert in City Hall Plaza.
Over the next 60-plus years, Gaetano beautified his adopted city, completing about forty commissioned public monuments within a two-mile radius of Paterson’s City Hall. Politicians, philanthropists, religious figures, even composer Richard Wagner, were subjects for the talents of the man now known posthumously (as of 1964) as the “sculptor laureate of Paterson.”
Some of Federici’s artwork is owned by the city and managed by the Paterson Historic Preservation Commission, which is responsible for protecting, promoting, and preserving the City’s historic environment. Though some of Federici’s sculptures, plaques and lunette carvings are on city property, others are on the grounds of private properties and churches, such as St. Michael Overpowering Lucifer atop St. Michael’s Church door. Also, many of the pieces in The Federici Studio Collection at Passaic County Community College showcase the elaborate process the artist undertook to craft these huge bronze statues. Another collection of Federici plaster statues and plaques have been sponsored for restoration and are under the care of the Passaic County Historical Society, which operates the Lambert Castle Museum.
More than fifty years after his death, the organizations responsible for Federici’s legacy would like to ensure his story reaches as many people, as possible. As Federici wrote: “The artists’ work that will survive are true likenesses of people, things and events.” That is why Federici lives on through his artwork, telling the history of Twentieth-Century Paterson through his lifelike bronze sculptures.
Entry #35: Dusty Rhodes
Virgil Riley Runnels Jr. (October 11, 1945 – June 11, 2015), better known as "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, was an American professional wrestler, booker, and trainer who most notably worked for the National Wrestling Alliance, Jim Crockett Promotions, and the World Wrestling Federation, later known as the WWE. Following his retirement from wrestling, he made occasional on-air appearances on WWE television and pay-per-views and worked as a backstage booker and producer in WWE's NXT developmental territory. Billed as "the son of a plumber", Rhodes did not have a typical wrestler's physique; his character was that of the "Common Man", known for the personality exhibited in his interviews. WWE chairman Vince McMahon remarked that no wrestler "personified the essence of charisma quite like Dusty Rhodes".
Rhodes was a three-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, and during his time in Jim Crockett Promotions, later known as WCW, he was a United States Heavyweight Champion, and multi-time World Television, World Tag Team and World Six-Man Tag Team Champion. He also won many regional championships, and is one of six men inducted into each of the WWE, WCW, Professional Wrestling, and Wrestling Observer Newsletter Halls of Fame. His sons, Dustin and Cody Runnels, both pursued careers in professional wrestling and performed for WWE.
Also included are:
An autographed photo of William Holden.