Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #001040431: RICHARD CONTE

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Highly scarce vintage blue ballpoint pen signature on an unevenly-trimmed portion of a lined notebook leaf, measuring about 4x5 inches, acquired in-person by a busy New York City-based autograph hound in the early 1950s. In good condition, beyond the unusual dimensions. Tough-as-nails truck driver-turned-Wall Street clerk-turned waiter-turned actor Richard Conte had a brief stage career before entering films in 1939. After his auspicious debut, billed as Nicholas Conte, in Heaven with a Barbed Wire Fence, he built himself up an intense, brooding John Garfield type, with excellent roles in films like The Purple Heart (1944), A Walk in the Sun (1945), Call Northside 777 (1947), Thieves' Highway (1949), and Ocean's Eleven (1960). Over the years, he increasingly slipped into character roles, including a classic episode of "The Twilight Zone" (1959) and the titular cleric in the horror flick The Return of the Exorcist (1975). He is best remembered as rival Mafia chief Don Barzini in The Godfather in 1972. Conte died of a heart attack at the age of 65 and his autograph is highly elusive in any format.