Description

    Fatty Arbuckle Signed Letter to Wife Minta (1924). Spokane, Washington, September 22, 1924, one page, 8.5" x 11", Davenport Hotel letterhead. Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle (1887-1933) was not only hugely popular, but responsible for helping to develop the screen careers of comic geniuses Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Arbuckle sent this letter to his recently reconciled wife, Minta, about a month before she filed for divorce a second time. Two years earlier, he had been charged with first-degree murder, which eventually was reduced to manslaughter, for the death of Virginia Rappe, a 30-year-old actress who had been a guest at a wild party thrown in room 1220 at San Francisco's St. Francis Hotel on September 5, 1921. Two days after the shindig, Rappe was hospitalized, and died from peritonitis caused by a ruptured bladder the following day. Arbuckle was accused of raping and crushing the actress with his 320-pound body; and, though he was vilified by the Hearst newspapers and a D.A. who intimidated witnesses into giving false statements, he eventually was acquitted after three highly publicized trials. Nonetheless, his acting career was ruined, and he struggled to make a few additional films, mainly as a director using the pseudonym "William Goodrich." A sad, broken man, he drank heavily, and this, combined with his obesity, led to his early demise from a heart attack at age 46. He writes to Minta (in part): "I suppose you can order a bottle of wine in any language in Paris and they will know what you mean. Hope you have a very pleasant time on the voyage over, as no doubt you will, because I know from experience, that you have no weakness for feeding the fish. However, on a boat as large as you are going across on, the suggestion of salt pork doesn't affect even the most squeamish stomach." Shortly after reaching Paris, Minta again filed for divorce. Near Fine condition, with original folds (including two small tears at right margin), paper clip mark top left, one hole punch top margin, and two small chips at edges. Accompanied by a COA from PSA/DNA.

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