Highly rare vintage typed letter on his personal stationery, dated 1954, responding to an autograph request from a fan, boldly signed in black fountain pen at the close. This once accompanied a signed portrait, which is not included. In good condition, with gentle age-related toning. During the course of an extraordinary life, Murphy shot up from a poor Texas sharecropper's son to America's most decorated World War II hero, and a popular Western and action movie star. While stationed in Europe with his infantry unit, he was credited with killing 240 Nazis, was promoted to lieutenant and earned at least 24 medals, including the Purple Heart and the coveted Congressional Medal of Honor. Discovered by actor friend James Cagney, Murphy was signed to a Hollywood contract and earned critical and popular acclaim playing heroic types quite like himself in westerns and war flicks like Beyond Glory (1948), Bad Boy (1949), The Kid from Texas (1950), The Red Badge of Courage (1951), The Cimarron Kid (1952), The Duel at Silver Creek (1952), Gunsmoke (1953), Guns Across the River (1954), To Hell and Back (1955), The Quiet American (1958), The Gun Runners (1958), The Unforgiven (1960), and Whispering Smith (1961). In 1971, he was tragically killed in a Memorial Day plane crash, aged only 45 years, and authentic autographed material is extremely difficult to locate.