My first classic autographed photo came from actress Joan Bennett. It was personalized with my name. I know it was from her as it arrived 6 months later. I did receive other autographed photos in childhood from Charlton Heston, George Burns and Bob Hope. Unfortunately I’ve lost George Burns. The ones from the guys came so soon though so I suspect if they are genuine.
As a young adult probably a little after college graduation I wrote to the still living Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., my classic crush, still attractive in his senior years. Again another suspect as I received a beautiful autographed photo only a few weeks later. Although “old” I assume these actors still had lots of fans. Who’d have time to reply to all so quickly?
For the next decade I had forgotten about autograph seeking but returned to it with a vengeance a few months ago with the realization many would not be here longer. I received some lovely ones from youngsters Dolores Hart, Shirley Jones and Shirley MacLaine. I don’t consider stars born in the 1930s onwards as very old since my passion lies in the 1930s and 40s. I did receive 2 signed photos from Susan Kohner and her mom Lupita Tovar. Tovar is 102 so she definitely fits my 1930s criteria. I still hope for a photo from Luise Rainer.
Maureen O’Hara unfortunately no longer sends autographs. Anyway I did write to her as child but never heard from her so I’m not too crushed however I don’t hold a grudge as I did fly to attend the Cork Film Festival 2 years ago partly to see her.
After my Joan Bennett photo, my most treasured photos are from Martha Hyer. We had a slight exchange that brought me two autographed photos.
My boss realizes how much I love old movies and has gone all out on auctions bidding on B film posters that even I find obscure, old magazine articles on Marilyn Monroe and Janet Leigh, and lots of autographed photos including Vincent Price. I’m anxiously awaiting for a Virginia Bruce one. What a find! He had never heard of her but suspected correctly that I had.
His generosity has made me realize I need to make a will and decide who to bequeath this memorabilia. I’ve considered perhaps some to my high school and The University of Tampa. I didn’t attend University of Tampa but have fond childhood memories of the beautiful campus and very proud that it has a film studies department. I hope there, my memorabilia can find a home for future generations.