Marilyn Monroe LS Re: Talent Agency William Morris, the Same Year She Appeared in "All About Eve" and "The Asphalt Jungle"
1p typed letter signed by Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) as "Marilyn Monroe" at center right. Dated April 5, 1950--a very significant year in Monroe's career. On pale blue paper with "William Morris Agency, Inc. / 202 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills" letterhead. A clerical inscription in red pencil appears at lower right. Expected light paper folds including a horizontal one affecting a few letters of Marilyn's signature. Double hole punched at top. Minor fading to some areas of the typed text. Else near fine. 8.5" x 11". Provenance: From the Collection of Dr. Goodman Basil Espy III.
The letter addressed to the Cashier at 20th Century Fox Film Corporation reads in part:
You are hereby notified that I/we have authorized the WILLIAM MORRIS AGENCY, INC., to accept delivery of any and all checks and /or sums of money which may from time to time be or become payable to me from you; and I hereby authorize you to deliver all such checks and/or sums of money to said WILLIAM MORRIS AGENCY, INC…."
1950 was a banner year for the aspiring Hollywood actress. Though Monroe had garnered a contract at Columbia Pictures in 1948, it was not renewed, and the actress had fallen back on a few bit parts and pin-up and nude modeling. In 1950, however, Monroe landed small roles in two musicals and two dramas: Love Happy, A Ticket to Tomahawk, Right Cross, and The Fireball. Co-stars of these productions included Mickey Rooney, the Marx Brothers, June Allyson, and Anne Baxter. Also in 1950, Monroe secured larger--though still small--roles in two critically acclaimed films; as Angela Phinlay in the John Huston directed Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer production The Asphalt Jungle, and as Miss Casswell in Joseph Mankiewicz's 20th Century Fox drama All About Eve.
Monroe's breakthrough was in part orchestrated by Johnny Hyde (1895-1950), the co-founder and Vice President of the William Morris Agency. Hyde took an interest in the starlet, and secured her a 7-year-long contract at 20th Century Fox in December 1950, just a few days before his death of a heart attack. Among Hyde's recommendations to Monroe were cosmetic surgery and superficial alterations to her appearance. These changes to Monroe's chin, nose, hairline, and hair created the flamboyant "blonde bombshell" look that we know today.
Dr. Goodman Basil Espy III is a Georgia-based collector whose collection--amassed over 70 years--was just liquidated. His primary interests included Hollywood memorabilia, especially anything pertaining to Marilyn Monroe; sports legends of football, boxing, and baseball; and vintage radios.
This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.
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