Description

    Boris Karloff Handwritten Letter to Donnie Dunagan with Photos. On Friday the 13th of January, 1939, Universal's Son of Frankenstein premiered in Hollywood, starring Basil Rathbone (as Wolf von Frankenstein), Boris Karloff (as the legendary Monster), Bela Lugosi (as broken-necked Ygor), Lionel Atwill (as one-armed Inspector Krogh), Josephine Hutchinson (as Wolf's elegant wife Elsa) and four-year old Donnie Dunagan (as Peter, son of Wolf and Elsa). The climax found the Monster about to toss Peter into a pool of 800-degree sulfur (but unable to bring himself to do so). In fact, Karloff and Donnie became great pals on the picture, and as Christmas arrived during the film's final stages of shooting, Karloff sent Donnie a toy train set. Donnie replied with a thank you note, requesting an autograph, and Karloff responded with the picture (see lot 83-37), accompanied by this handwritten letter on the actor's personal stationery. It reads: "Dear Donnie, I'm so glad you like the train & that you are having fun with it. Thank you so for asking for my picture, which I am enclosing. I do hope we work together again soon & this time maybe I won't have to be a giant." (The "giant," of course, refers to the Monster.) It's signed by Karloff in black fountain ink. Also included are three b&w 8" x 10" photos of Dunagan with the train on Christmas morning. The letter is in Very Fine condition with some heavy fold creases, and the photos are in Very Fine condition with mild wear and toning. This testimony as to why Hollywood-at-large referred to Karloff as "Dear Boris," its provenance from a Frankenstein film co-player, and its reference to the Monster all make this one of the most unusual and desirable Karloff artifacts that Heritage has ever offered. From the Donnie Dunagan Archive.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    6th-7th Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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