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Lot #993
Paul Newman

NEWMAN’S OWN: During his Broadway run in The Desperate Hours, promising up-and-comer PAUL NEWMAN writes on his young “first” family

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NEWMAN’S OWN: During his Broadway run in The Desperate Hours, promising up-and-comer PAUL NEWMAN writes on his young “first” family

ALS signed “Paul,” 6 x 9, personal letterhead, April 21, 1955. Newman writes to Barbara Rushmore, president of his fan club. In full: “Family consists of wife Jackie, actress [Jackie Witte, to whom Newman was wed from 1949 to 1958], Scott, age 4 1/2 who is a monster and All American menace, Susan, age 2, who promises to be something of a Jean Harlowe [sic] and Stephanie age 7 weeks who just sneezes. We live in a small apartment in Long Island with a sort of patio on which there is a charcoal grill on which I cook hamburgers 5 nights a week. That’s just about all I do. All the children look like my mother-in-law. We have no dogs but recently acquired two goldfish. It is Scott’s duty to change the water, so the fish usually swim around in a complete fog. That’s the family....” At the time he penned this letter, Newman was in the midst of his second Broadway role, as Glenn Griffin in the suspense melodrama The Desperate Hours. (The play was made into a film released later that year, with Humphrey Bogart in the same role). At that point, Newman had appeared in only one movie, the sword-and-sandals epic The Silver Chalice—a performance he so regretted that he took out a newspaper ad of apology when the film aired on television in 1966. Newman’s son, Scott, died of a drug overdose in 1978. Accompanied by the personalized mailing envelope addressed in Newman’s hand and bearing his printed return address at the Barrymore Theatre. A touch of mild handling wear, otherwise fine, clean condition. Over the course of a career spanning six decades, Newman has earned a reputation within the collecting community as a reluctant, even volatile signer; letters of this length and early date, coupled with the unusually personal content, are quite scarce. PSA/DNA Auction LOA and R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #332 - Ended April 16, 2008