7 June 2014

Robert Donat lends a hand

Robert Donat is best known for his roles in two films from the 1930s: Alfred Hitchock's "The thirty-nine steps" (1935) and Sam Wood's "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (1939). For the latter film he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, winning over other nominees like Clark Gable in "Gone with the wind" and James Stewart in "Mr. Smith goes to Washington". The letter for this post, dated 24 May 1939, is from Donat to A.B. Horne (also known as Anmer Hall), who was the owner of the Westminster Theatre in London. Donat wanted to help a friend (his former secretary) find a job and recommended her to the theatre's owner. The letter reads as follows :

Source: ebay


24th May, 1939

Anmer Hall, Esq.,
The Westminster Theatre,
Palace Street,
S.W. 1.

My dear A.B.H.,

I wonder if you can help me in the matter of the parttime employment of a friend who has just returned from Switzerland after two wretched years in a sanatorium. She used to be my secretary and was very efficient at her job; this sort of work is now debarred as she can only do a few hours a day and has to live quietly in the country.

I was wondering if you ever get any plays sent to you for consideration and if so whether you could let her read the plays- or some of the plays- for you. She is thoroughly experienced at this sort of thing and can be relied on to judge a play quite efficiently and produce a thoroughly comprehensive synopsis in a short space of time. This sort of thing would be admirable for her, because plays could be sent to her by post and could be returned in the space of a day or two. Naturally I am not suggesting that she should replace any readers you may already have, but if there is the possibility of using her for a few extra plays it would be an encouraging start for her.

Perhaps you will be good enough to let me know if there is any likelihood of your being able to use her in this way.

Yours sincerely,
Robert Donat (signed)

P.S. I am addressing a similar request to Michael Macowen. 

1 comment:

  1. What a kind act from Robert Donat. Wish we knew the result. Hope it was positive.