Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #001515012: LOUIS JEAN HEYDT

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Scarce fountain pen signature on a 2x4-inch portion of a yellow album page, affixed to a larger sheet, acquired in-person in the late 1930s or early 1940s.  In good condition for its age, with some light show-through from the paste on the verso.  Originally a Broadway leading man, Louis Jean Heydt had a successful run in "Strictly Dishonorable" (1929), directed by Preston Sturgess, with whom he would later collaborate on the films The Great McGinty (1940) and The Great Moment (1942).  With his transition to Hollywood in the 1930s, he was increasingly relegated to character roles, typically cast as average Joes who were painfully timid or down-on-their-luck, or else rapidly done in, due to their own shady business or knowledge of the wrongdoings of others.  He was knocked off in the first three minutes of Charlie Chan at Treasure Island (1939) and was plugged full of holes just before revealing an important tidbit to Bogie in The Big Sleep (1946).  Among his many other memorable film roles were the heckled physician in Make Way for Tomorrow (1937), a hungry soldier in Gone with the Wind (1939), Mentor Graham in Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940), a frustrated general practitioner in Tortilla Flat (1941), a squadron leader in Gung Ho (1943), Douglas Walton in the Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff horror flick Zombies on Broadway (1945), and a loquacious rural family man in Come to the Stable (1949).  Our Gang fans will also remember him as Bobby Blake's stepfather in the shorts Dad for a Day (1939) and All About Hash (1940).  Heydt died of a heart attack at the age of 56 and autographed material in any format is extremely difficult to locate.