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    FDR writes a thank you note to leading Hollywood actress Joan Bennett.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt: Typed Letter Signed as President.
    -November 9, 1940. Washington, D.C. One page. 7" x 9". White House letterhead.
    -To: Miss Joan Bennett of West Los Angeles.
    -Central fold, else fine.

    Just four days after his election to an unprecedented third term, FDR writes, "Dear Miss Bennett:/ I am deeply grateful for your message of congratulations. Thank you ever so much for it./ Very sincerely yours..." Much as it is today, most Hollywood actors were firmly behind the Democratic candidate in 1940. It's been estimated that 85% of the film industry supported Roosevelt that year. Joan Bennett was a founding member of the Hollywood for Roosevelt Committee, a group that worked closely with the Democratic Party, and participated in two national radio broadcasts just a week before the election. A nice crossover item for the entertainment memorabilia collector.

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    The extended description below was supplied by the consignor. We are making it available to our web bidders who are interested in more in-depth research and broader historical perspective. Please note that presentation (i.e. framing), lot divisions, and interpretations of condition and content may occasionally differ from our descriptions. Assertions of fact and subjective observations contained in this description represent the opinion of the consignor. These remarks have not been checked for accuracy by Heritage Auctions, and we assume no responsibility for their accuracy; they are offered purely to allow the bidder insight into the way the consignor has viewed the item(s) in question. No right of return or claim of lack of authenticity or provenance based upon this extended description will be granted.


    Letter signed November 9, 1940 on The White House Washington stationery to Hollywood actress Miss Joan Bennett. FDR writes: "Dear Miss Bennett:/ I am deeply grateful for your kind message of congratulations. Thank you ever so much for it./ Very sincerely yours,/ Franklin D. Roosevelt." Joan Geraldine Bennett was born on February 27, 1910 in Palisades, New Jersey. Her parents were both involved in the theater as actors. The parents, especially her father, Richard, were very successful in their craft, often touring the country for weeks at a time. In fact, Joan came from a long lineage of actors, dating back to the eighteenth century. Often, when her parents were on tour, Joan and her two older sisters, Constance, who later became an actress herself, and Barbara, were left in the care of close friends. At the age of four, Joan made her first stage appearance. Joan's first film was one year later in a production called the Valley of Decision, in which her father was the star and the entire Bennett participated. In 1923, Joan, again, appeared in a film which starred her father. She played a page boy in the Eternal City. It would be five more years before Joan appeared on the silver screen. In between, she married Jack Marion Fox, who was 26 compared to her young age of 16. The union was anything but happy with Fox drinking heavily. In February, 1928, Joan and Jack had a baby girl which they named Adrienne. The new arrival did little to help the marriage. In the summer of 1928, they divorced. Now with a baby to support, Joan did something she had no intention of doing, she turned to acting. She appeared in Power (1928) with Alan Hale and Carole Lombard. Although it was a very small role, it was a start. In 1929, she starred in Bulldog Drummond, sharing top billing with Ronald Colman. Before the year was out, she was in three more films, Disraeli, Mississippi Gambler, and Three Live Ghosts. Not only did the theater patrons like her, so did the critics. Between 1930 and 1931, Joan appeared in nine more movies. In 1932, Joan starred opposite Spencer Tracy in She Wanted a Millionaire. The film wasn't one that Joan liked to remember and, also, was one in which Tracy couldn't stand the fact that everyone was paying more attention to her and not to him. Joan was to remain busy and popular throughout the remainder of the 1930s and into the 1940s. By the 1950s, Joan was well into her forties and began to slow down her filming. She made only eight motion pictures plus was in two television series. After Desire in the Dust in 1960, Joan would be absent from the movie scene for the next ten years, resurfacing in House of Dark Shadows, reprising her role from the Dark Shadows television series, as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. Joan's final screen appearance was in 1977's Suspiria. Her final public performance was in television's, Divorce Wars: A Love Story in 1982. On December 7, 1990, Joan died of a heart attack in Scarsdale, New York. She was 80 years old. A wonderful thank you letter from FDR to one of the most famous Hollywood actresses of the time after the President's successful and historic re-election to the Presidency in 1940.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 403

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