A Mary Ford guestbook from The Hollywood Canteen signed by countless stars
A red leather datebook embossed on the cover "Hollywood Canteen / Mary Ford / 1944" filled with lined pages for the calendar year 1944; compiled by Mary Ford herself, virtually every page in this book has been autographed by a veritable "who's who" of Hollywood 1944, in blue or black fountain pen ink or in pencil, when they were at the club, volunteering their time. When flipping through this book, on almost any day, countless signatures appear including those of (in alphabetical order):
Bud Abbott, Gracie Allen, Dana Andrews, Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, Lionel Barrymore, Anne Baxter, Wallace Beery, William Bendix, Jack Benny, Edgar Bergen, Ingrid Bergman, Mel Blanc, Ray Bolger, Beulah Bondi, Fanny Brice, Joe E. Brown, George Burns, Rod Cameron, Eddie Cantor, Kitty Carlisle, Jack Carson, Charles Coburn, Ronald Colman, Perry Como, Lou Costello, Joan Crawford, Bing Crosby, George Cukor, Robert Cummings, Linda Darnell, Bette Davis, Yvonne DeCarlo, Gloria DeHaven, William Demarest, Jimmy Durante, Deanna Durbin, Nelson Eddy, Dale Evans, John Ford, Eva Gabor, John Garfield, Greer Garson, Betty Grable, Sidney Greenstreet, Jack Haley, Moss Hart, Susan Hayward, Rita Hayworth, Lena Horne, Edward Everett Horton, Ruty Hussey, Jennifer Jones, Danny Kaye, Buster Keaton, Ruby Keeler, Alan Ladd, Angela Landsbury, Pinky Lee, June Lockhart, Anita Loos, Jeanette MacDonald, Groucho Marx, Elsa Maxwell, Hattie McDaniel, Roddy McDowall, Butterfly McQueen, George Montgomery, Margaret O'Brien, Maureen O'Hara, Merle Oberon, Mary Pickford, Walter Pidgeon, Jane Powell, Anthony Quinn, Basil Rathbone, Donna Reed, 'Rochester,' Roy Rogers, Anne Rutherford, Dinah Shore, Phil Silvers, Frank Sinatra, Red Skelton, Shirley Temple, Danny Thomas, Gloria Vanderbilt, Orson Welles, Chill Wills, and Marjorie Wood, among still others.
Amazing to know that so many stars were in one place at one time - like on April 9, 1944 where the signatures of Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Ingrid Bergman, Eddie Cantor, Phil Silvers, and Danny Kaye are all on one page; or on September 1, 1944 where Lucille Ball, Mel Blanc, Buster Keaton, Joe E. Brown, and Gene Kelly were all in attendance. Many stars, especially those who helped run the place, signed numerous times such as Bette Davis, John Garfield, and Roddy McDowall, to name a few. A true piece of Los Angeles history, this datebook is still in excellent condition and comes with a letter of provenance from Dan Ford, documenting it.
9 x 6 x 1 1/2in