Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #00197432: EDNA MAY OLIVER

Highly rare vintage 8x10-inch sepia-tone portrait, boldly signed and inscribed in black fountain pen in a dark area of the portrait-- as was her custom, for whatever reason!-- in the 1930s. Just the third autographed portrait of the star we have encountered in over 35 years. In fine condition for its age. Horse-faced character actress Edna May Oliver, who was a descendant of President John Quincy Adams, began her career as a light opera singer, but turned to the stage due to a diagnosis of vocal cord damage. An excellent turn as the servant in Owen Davis' Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Icebound" (1923) thrust her into the spotlight, and she was asked to recreate the role onscreen the following year. By the late 1920s, she was popping up in films at virtually every major studio, playing haughty matrons and no-nonsense relatives in Wheeler and Woolsey comedies, the Oscar-winning Cimarron (1931), Alice in Wonderland (1933), the early sci-fi flick It's Great to Be Alive (1933), the Hildegarde Withers mystery series, David Copperfield (1934), Tale of Two Cities (1935), Romeo and Juliet (1936), and Drums Along the Mohawk (1939). After a long intestinal illness, Edna May Oliver died on her 59th birthday in 1942; ironically, her last screen role was that of an infuriating hypochondriac in Lydia (1941).