A Warren Beatty archive of personal papers, 1957-1959
A massive cache of ephemera that Beatty saved when he was a struggling actor in New York City in his early twenties. Found abandoned in a hotel suite over forty-five years ago, this rare collection is quite extensive and personal in nature. It includes: a draft copy of a script from "Splendor in the Grass" (which would become Beatty's first film), four signed contracts (dated 1957-1958 from AFTRA, Actors Equity, and MCA), bank statements, numerous signed and cancelled checks, mysterious and intimate letters he wrote to several people (but never sent), a 1958 letter from his sister, Shirley MacLaine, a 1957 letter from his acting coach, Stella Adler (who writes in part "I'm sorry that you want / something from me outside of my love for / you...(but) I cannot both help you and sponsor you. It / is not my job"), approximately fifty fan letters, all mainly sent to him after he made his June 26, 1957 television debut on the Kraft Theater production of "The Curly-Headed Kid" (and mostly asking him for signed photographs), numerous pieces of business correspondence relating to his career, newspaper clippings about him, and miscellaneous notes he wrote to himself among other pieces of paperwork worth saving. Additionally, Beatty's 1958 datebook is included. Perhaps the most compelling piece in the group, Beatty used this book from April until the end of the year, with virtually every page displaying his handwritten (mostly in pencil) notes and appointments. He was only twenty-one that year, but it was an extremely busy time for him as this book indicates; countless appointments with doctors, dentists, voice teachers, acting coaches, hairdressers, and industry players (Stella Adler, Shirley MacLaine, Sidney Lumet, Peter Ustinov, Roddy MacDowall, MCA, Warner Bros., et al) as well as rehearsal times and "To Do" lists ("buy make-up, send flowers, get shoes, go to rehearsal," etc). Of particular interest is his note on Wednesday, November 26, 1958: "Inge / Splendor in the / Grass / send picture to Logan? / 4:00 Inge / 1 W. 12th / Apt. 20" -- 'Inge' being William Inge, screenwriter for what was to become Beatty's first film and his entrée into major Hollywood stardom. Overall, a fascinating archive outlining the early history of one of our great, modern-day actors.