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W.C. FIELDS

"The Bank Dick"(William Claude Dukenfield)
 Nicknamed WOODY by his mistress Carlota
Sorry, All items SOLD

Signed "MR and MRS" (Fields Comment) Jan 7, 1939
addressed to CAOLOTTA aboard crack train '20th Contury Limited'
eastbound car 366

Dated Nov. 15th, 1941 in Texas where she was making an appearence.
Carlotta Monte was using the Douglas name on this trip.

Fields was born in 1879 and was never replaced in the pantheon of screen stars. He is acknowledged to be "The Greatest Juggler in the World", and perhaps the  Greatest Comedian. Among Keaton, Chaplin, Laurel&Hardy, and the Stooges, none were funnier.

Sorry, All above items SOLD

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SHEET MUSIC
"Too Much in Love" & "Here it is Monday" from "Song of the Open Road"
W.C. Fields vintage 1944
$35 each

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MOVIE POSTER
Rod Steiger and Valerie Perrine starring in
the 1976 biopic,  "W.C. Fields and Me"
27 x 41

 

ORIGINAL VINTAGE LOBBY CARD
1949 --  11 x 14

Biography for
W.C. Fields

Height:
  5' 8"
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Mini biography
William Claude Dukenfield was the eldest of five children born to Cockney immigrant James Dukenfield and Philadelphia native Kate Felton. He went to school for four years, then quit to work with his father selling vegetables from a horse cart. At eleven, after many fights with his father (who hit him on the head with a shovel), he left home. For a while he lived in a hole in the ground, depending on stolen food and clothing. He was often beaten and spent nights in jail. His first regular job was delivering ice. By age thirteen he was a skilled pool player and juggler. It was then, at an amusement park in Norristown PA, that he was first hired as an entertainer. There he developed the technique of pretending to lose the things he was juggling. In 1893 he was employed as a juggler at Fortescue's Pier, Atlantic City. When business was slow he pretended to drown in the ocean (management thought his fake rescue would draw customers). By nineteen he was billed as "The Distinguished Comedian" and began opening bank accounts in every city he played. At age twenty-three he opened at the Palace in London and played with Sarah Bernhardt at Buckingham Palace. He starred at the Folies-Bergere (young Charles Chaplin and Maurice Chevalier were on the program). He was in each of the Ziegfeld Follies from 1915 through 1921. He played for a year in the highly praised musical "Poppy" wich opened in New York in 1923. In 1925 D.W. Griffith made a movie of the play, renamed Sally of the Sawdust (1925), starring Fields. Pool Sharks (1915), Fields' first movie, was made when he was thirty-six. He settled into a mansion near Burbank CA and made most of his thirty-seven movies for Paramount. He appeared in mostly spontaneous dialogs on Charles McCarthy's radio shows. In 1939 he switched to Universal where he made films written mainly by and for himself. He died after several serious illnesses, including bouts of pneumonia.
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Spouse
'Harriet Hughes' (8 August 1900 - 25 December 1946) (his death)
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Trivia

Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Great Mausoleum, Holly Terrace entrance, Hall of Inspiration.
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Personal quotes

"Anyone who hates small dogs and children can't be all bad."

"'Twas a woman drove me to drink. I never had the courtesy to thank her."

"I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast."

Asked why he never drank water: "Fish fuck in it."

When asked what he would like his epitaph to read: "on the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia"

(When asked whether he liked children) "Ah yes...boiled or fried."

(When "caught" reading a Bible) "Just looking for loopholes."
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Salary
Big Broadcast of 1938, The (1938) $20,000

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Actor, screenwriter. (b. Feb. 10, 1879, Philadelphia, as William Claude Dukenfield; d. Dec. 25, 1946.) One of the most imitated movie stars of all time, this unique comedian made relatively few films, but his snarling voice, bulbous nose, comical hats, and well-known penchant for liquid refreshment have made him one of the screen's true comedic icons. A top star in vaudeville, primarily as a comic juggler, he made numerous silent films, beginning in 1915 (though from this vantage point it seems useless to watch Fields without listening to his distinctive voice). The motion picture did not seem to be his métier, in spite of frequent forays into the medium (including two vehicles, 1925's Sally of the Sawdust and 1926's That Royle Girl which were directed by none other than D. W. Griffith). A handful of silent pictures served him well, however, so much so that It's the Old Army Game (1927) was later remade as It's a Gift (1934), and So's Your Old Man (1926) served as the blueprint for You're Telling Me (also 1934). Even Sally of the Sawdust was revived as Poppy in 1936.

Even in his heyday, Fields was an acquired taste, and his acerbic humor was not universally appreciated. Mack Sennett liked him and hired him to make four now-classic two-reelers: The Dentist (1932), The Barber Shop, The Pharmacist and The Fatal Glass of Beer (all 1933); like his first sound short, The Golf Specialist (1930), these twenty-minute films distilled some of his best, time-tested routines, to which he would return again and again.

Fields' biggest fan was peripatetic studio executive William LeBaron, who signed him at Paramount in the 1930s. At first he won supporting or costarring roles in such films as the multi-episode If I Had a Million (1932, as the exterminator of road hogs), the nonsense classic Million Dollar Legs (1932, as the King of Klopstokia), the all-star Alice in Wonderland (1933, as Humpty Dumpty) and International House (also 1933). Then he hit his stride in a series of starring vehicles which represent him at the peak of his powers: Tillie and Gus (1933), You're Telling Me (1934), The Old-Fashioned Way (1934, which highlights his wonderful juggling routine), It's a Gift (1934, a comic masterpiece and arguably his best film), and The Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935). He also costarred with Burns and Allen, Charles Ruggles, Mary Boland, and frequent vis-ê-vis Alison Skipworth in Six of a Kind (1934) and provided comedy relief for musical lead Bing Crosby in Mississippi (1935). Fields received story credit for most of his films, usually under one of his colorful pseudonyms: Charles Bogle, Mahatma Kane Jeeves, Otis Criblecosis.

His finest hour came when MGM and producer David O. Selznick decided that Charles Laughton wasn't giving them what they wanted in their production of David Copperfield (1935), and they replaced him with Fields in the role of the fastidious and impoverished Mr. Micawber. It was inspired casting indeed; Fields was Fields, but he also captured Dickens' character to a tee. (Metro later thought of him for the role of the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz which would have been another bull's-eye if the idea had been followed through.)

Ill health restricted Fields' movie work in the late 1930s, and The Big Broadcast of 1938 marked his swan song at Paramount. But renewed popularity on radio, as the nemesis of Edgar Bergen's wooden dummy Charlie McCarthy, led to a screen teaming in You Can't Cheat an Honest Man (1939), and with it a Fields renaissance at Universal studios. My Little Chickadee (1940) paired him with the screen's other great iconoclast, Mae West, The Bank Dick (1940) gave him his best vehicle since It's a Gift and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941) came as close to comic anarchy as anything ever produced at a mainstream Hollywood studio.

Thereafter, audiences only saw the Great Man in brief but welcome guest appearances (1944's Follow the Boys and Song of the Open Road 1945's Sensations of 1945 his sequence was cut from 1942's Tales of Manhattan). His health failed, and he passed away, ironically enough for the world's most famous curmudgeon, on Christmas Day. Rod Steiger played him in a 1976 biopic, W. C. Fields and Me In 1974 the comedian's grandson Ronald J. Fields compiled a book called "W. C. Fields by Himself," which dispelled many colorful legends about the performer, many of which he had perpetuated during his lifetime.

These Items are FOR SALE to knowledgeable Collectors. Please ask all questions of provenance before purchase. Items are only exchangeable if autographs are not authentic.

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