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    Description

    Noel Coward Advises Clifton Webb on Portraying Noel Coward in this incredible Autograph Letter Signed "N Coward," two pages, "17 Gerald Road S.W.1" (London) stationery, 8" x 10", dated September 23, 1946. In 1939, Noel Coward wrote a semi-autobiographical play entitled Present Laughter. The lead character, Garry Essendine, was an aging matinee idol and egotistical "man about town" whose famous line was "Everyone worships me, it's nauseating." It has been said that Coward wrote it in a weekend, after a lifetime of research. He performed the play in England in 1942 and when it was to premiere on Broadway in 1946, Clifton Webb was chosen to portray the lead role. Coward writes to his friend Webb and refers to the play in this funny, personal letter. It begins: "Darling Mr. Webb- You poor foolish boy! Fancy attempting to play a part which being in itself small & rather thankless requires, above everything else, beauty & grace & sweetness. After all, you must remember, it was written with these qualities in mind & played with such exquisite finesse that you could have heard a bomb drop..." Coward closes: "...I consign you happily to your fate! I love you very much. I also love Mabelle very much and will send her a gold tooth when I get round to it. Now be a good boy Master Webb & when in any doubts think of Leonora Corbett. Love & mad mad kisses." The letter is in fine condition with a couple of very minor ink smudges, original mailing folds. The envelope is included and is addressed to Clifton Webb in care of John C. Wilson who produced and staged the play. Also in this lot is a great 5" x 7" B&W portrait of Coward. With COA from PSA/DNA.

    View all of [The Clifton Webb Archive ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2005
    8th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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