Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #005883: MONTY WOOLLEY

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Highly rare vintage 8x10-inch glossy black and white 20th Century-Fox lobby still portrait for Life Begins at Eight-Thirty (1942), signed and inscribed in blue fountain pen in the early 1940s. In fine condition, with two small thumbing bends in the left border and an extremely mild horizontal bend running through the center of the photo, virtually invisible when the photograph is viewed head-on and bound to displease only the most unreasonable of collectors. Eccentric, blustery man-of-means Monty Woolley was lured by family friend Cole Porter to the stage, where he found success in typecast portrayals of snobbish intellectuals, dismissive authority figures and bombastic crank pots.  Following a knockout run as the spectacularly insufferable Sheridan Whiteside in the 1939 Broadway production of “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” Woolley was invited to recreate the role onscreen in 1941, launching a 14-year career as a Hollywood character actor. When Woolley felt like it, he could be an actor of great range and depth, as with his Oscar-nominated performances in The Pied Piper (1942) and Since You Went Away (1946). However, he almost uniformly played himself, stealing scenes in films like Night and Day (1946) and The Bishop’s Wife (1947) by doing little more than patronizing and insulting plebian pests at every turn.