Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #0020432: PURNELL PRATT

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Highly uncommon blue fountain pen signature on a 4x6-inch yellow autograph album page, acquired in-person in Chicago in 1939. In good condition for its age, with a few stray ink marks. Radio gossip columnist Hal Tate signs in pencil on the verso. Note that the image of the star shown alongside the scan of the signature here is not actually included. Stocky, pinch-faced silent and early talkie character actor Purnell B. Pratt played characters on both sides of the moral fence, portraying no-nonsense inspectors, judges and attorneys, as well as merciless crime bosses and crooked politicos. He was memorable as The Stranger in the horror film The Gorilla (1930), the stern policeman father of criminal-in-the-making Tom Powers in Public Enemy (1931), the New York mayor in the Marx Brothers' Night at the Opera (1935), and district attorney Francis X. Markham in the Philo Vance mystery The Casino Murder Case (1935). His scores of other credits include the crime flicks The Spider (1931), Sinners' Holiday (1930), Scarface (1932), and A Shriek in the Night (1933).