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    Boris Karloff's Wood-Bound Scrapbook. This charming baby scrapbook was in honor of Michael Gleason, the son of actor Russell Gleason (who appeared in such films as All Quiet on the Western Front) and writer Cynthia Lindsay (who later wrote the 1975 Karloff biography Dear Boris). Russell was the son of James and Lucille Gleason, who were close friends of Karloff, as was Cynthia. Michael was born June 1, 1939 and this book contains many cards and telegrams from the Hollywood community. Most notable are a number of warm and funny communiqués from Karloff to the newborn and his parents. There's a June 2 telegram that Boris signed as "Sara Jane Karloff" (who was only seven months old at the time); also a Western Union "money order message" from Karloff in which his partially torn message notes the couple's "eight pounds of flesh" and reads, "...why not call him Shylock," signing as "The Blackmail Kid." Perhaps most fascinating is a letter handwritten to little Michael by Karloff while acting in Universal's Tower of London, dated September 12, 1939, and reading: "Sir, I am instructed by my father to inform you that I am on to the penguin or etching gag. However, mother's away & he's in the Tower and the picture was promising. Sara Jane." We're not sure what the inside joke is all about, but the letter comes with the envelope addressed and marked "Special Delivery" by Karloff and postmarked "Universal City, Sept. 13, 1939," complete with its ten-cent special delivery stamp (plus three-cent stamp). The reference to the "Tower" is a wonderful connection to Tower of London, in which Karloff was playing Mord, the Tower executioner. There are also first birthday cards from the Karloffs, one signed by Boris in pencil as "Sara Jane" and one signed in fountain ink as "Boris and Dorothy." Other celebrities whose congratulations are included are Ralph Morgan, Pat O'Brien, and "Uncle George Cukor." The album is 11" x 14," with a brown wooden cover, the name "Michael" added to the cover along with a cutout of a little boy and a train. The cover has become loose, otherwise the item is in Very Good condition. After Russell Gleason's death, Cynthia remarried and Michael's stepfather adopted him; he went by the name of Michael Lindsay, became a TV producer and died in 2006. A very endearing item with insight into Boris Karloff as a devoted, caring and witty friend.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2008
    4th-6th Saturday-Monday
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