Bonhams and Butterfields will be holding a Los Angeles mega-auction of entertainment memorabilia, including animation art, on December 17th. Some of the cooler items include all the Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Greta Garbo paraphernalia. But, without doubt, my personal favorite is Lot No. 1055: a Warren Beatty archive of personal papers dating back to 1957-1959. Apparently this cache of ephemera that Beatty saved when he was a struggling actor in his early 20s in NYC was found abandoned in a hotel suite over 45 years ago. There’s a lot, including a draft copy of a script from Splendor in the Grass (Beatty’s first film and stardom launching vehicle), mysterious and intimate letters he wrote to several people but never sent, a 1958 letter from sister Shirley MacLaine. I love the 1957 letter from his acting coach Stella Adler, who writes in part “I’m sorry that you want / something from me outside of my love for / you…(but) I cannot both help you and sponsor you. It / is not my job”. Also his 1958 datebook including page after page of his handwritten notes and countless appointments with doctors, dentists, voice teachers, acting coaches, hairdressers, and industry players (Stella Adler, Shirley MacLaine, Sidney Lumet, Peter Ustinov, Roddy MacDowall, MCA, Warner Bros., et al) as well as rehearsal times and “To Do” lists (“buy make-up, send flowers, get shoes, go to rehearsal,” etc). Warren, we hardly knew you… (FYI, he’s receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 64th annual Golden Globe Awards on NBC on January 15th.)
Warren Beatty, Up Close & Too Personal
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