Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #00132232: DOUGLASS DUMBRILLE

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Rare vintage handwritten, signed letter in blue ballpoint pen, sent to inveterate collector Roger Harris in 1972, describing highlights of his 60-year career in film and theater. We believe this to be the longest writing sample on the actor known to exist. In good condition, with the expected mailing folds. Veteran character actor Douglass Dumbrille excelled at playing deliciously vile villains, complete with beady eyes, tidy mustache, prominent hook nose, and melodious speaking voice. Seen everywhere, both billed and unbilled, he played sheriffs who went bad in westerns, red-herring suspects or victims who deserved their fate in murder mysteries and corrupters of the legal system in political dramas. He harassed sea captain Gary Cooper in His Women (1931), mocked Marion Davies with his leering moneybags in Blondie of the Follies (1932), bedeviled Pat O'Brien as a cruel-minded chain gang warden in Laughter in Hell (1933), played the unctuous love patsy of Barbara Stanwyck in Baby Face (1933), hunted down James Cagney in Lady Killer (1933), swindled Warner Baxter and Myrna Loy in Broadway Bill (1934), and submitted old pal Cooper and Franchot Tone to brutal fingernail removal torture in The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935). Dumbrille was also a great pompous foil in comedy slapstick, harassing the Marx Brothers, Abbott and Costello, Bob Hope, and even Jeanette MacDonald. His handful of contributions to the horror, sci-fi and fantasy genres included Air Hawks (1935), Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939), Jungle Woman (1944), The Catman of Paris (1946), and classic episodes of T.V.'s "The Twilight Zone" (1964) and "Batman" (1966).