Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #0013454211: FRANCES FARMER

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Highly rare vintage 8x10-inch black and white 1937 Paramount Pictures publicity portrait, boldly signed and inscribed in white fountain pen in the late 1930s. In good condition, overall, with some cracks to the surface in the upper left-hand area, as shown in the second scan here, and gentle edge wear. The item is so scarce as to render these imperfections insignificant, in our opinion. Luminous Frances Farmer charmed in films like Too Many Parents (1936), Come and Get It (1936), Toast of New York (1937), Ride a Crooked Mile (1938), Badlands of Dakota (1941), Among the Living (1941) and Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake (1942). Unfortunately, her increasingly stormy personal antics would force her promising career to a screeching halt:  In 1939, she began drinking heavily, behaving erratically and not showing up to film shoots, culminating in her losing the support of studio heads by walking out of a Broadway-bound play by Ernest Hemingway. In 1942, Farmer was arrested for driving with her headlights too brightly lit in a wartime dim-out zone and was subsequently charged with DUI.  When she failed to make bail, a bench warrant was issued for her arrest, alongside an assault charge against her being filed by a studio hairdresser.  These events resulted in her being declared mentally ill and institutionalized in a California psychiatric hospital. The star's mother subsequently obtained guardianship and had Farmer committed to Washington's Western State Hospital on three occasions between 1944 and 1950. Upon her release, she made ends meet by working in a hotel laundry, a photo studio and, eventually, television. The actress ultimately died of cancer of the esophagus at the age of 56 and her autograph is extremely uncommon in any format.