In the eight years between the death of his acting partner Oliver Hardy, and his own passing in 1965, comedian Stan Laurel lived modestly at the Oceana Hotel in Santa Monica.
The skinnier half of “Laurel & Hardy” kept his phone number listed, happily answering calls from fans “amazed that they could simply dial the number and find themselves talking to Stan Laurel.” (from Wikipedia)
Laurel also delighted in writing letters to his fans. LOTS of letters, estimated to be in the thousands. And now, you can read them.
The Stan Laurel Correspondence Archive Project endeavors to catalog these letters that have since become collectors items. The project, also known as Letters from Stan, has scanned and sorted the letters by year, reprinting most of the letters in their entirety. Most range from a paragraph to a page in length, answering questions about his career and Hollywood in general. Some are personal, and more than a few mention Los Angeles locations that no longer exist.
If only he’d been working with a laptop instead of a typewriter Laurel would have made for a natural blogger. Its a fun read – go take a peek (and if you know of anyone who might have a letter from Stan, they’re actively seeking scans to add to their collection).
…h/t Mark Evanier…