Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #002041122: WILLIAM POWELL

Mattable signature in black felt-tip pen on a 3x5-inch off-white card, dating to his later years, when his handwriting grew a bit shaky. In good condition. Dashing William Powell was an established stage actor by the time he entered Hollywood films in 1922, playing Foreman Wells, opposite John Barrymore, in Sherlock Holmes. He would spend six years playing slick villains and haughty authority figures in films like Romola (1924) with Lillian Gish, Beau Geste (1926), The Great Gatsby (1926), and The Last Command (1928). Stardom eluded him until 1929, when he landed the plum role of detective Philo Vance in The Canary Murder Case, in which he investigates the death of "The Canary," Louise Brooks. Unlike many silent actors, sound boosted Powell's career. He had a fine, urbane voice and his stage training and comic timing greatly aided his introduction to sound pictures. After reprising his role as Vance in The Kennel Murder Case (1933), he secured a new contract with MGM, who teamed him with Myrna Loy in Manhattan Melodrama (1934) and for the beloved Thin Man mystery series (1934-1947). Elsewhere, he was memorable in Reckless (1935) with Jean Harlow, The Great Ziegfeld (1936), My Man Godfrey (1936), Double Wedding (1937), Life with Father (1947), and Mister Roberts (1955), earning three Oscar nominations before his early retirement in 1955.