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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Lee Tracy Writes to Walter Winchell

More trouble for Lee? If any one has any info on "21" or the item in Winchell's column please contact me. In the post script, Lee is still grateful to Walter for his help 16 years after the "incident". It would be interesting to know what help Lee recieved from Walter at the time.

4 Oct. 1950

Dear Walter,

I do a radio broadcast
for the Army each Sunday and
your item about me being barred
from "21" has the big Brass all upset.
They tell me to-day very
emphatically that I am not barred
from "21' and I wish to heaven

2.

that you'd say so!
It's as simple as that and
it would be a great thing to
do for
your Pal
Lee Tracy (signature)

P.S. And I'm still grateful
to you for that Mexican
matter
L.T (initials)

4 Comments:

Blogger Harry "broadcastellan" Heuser said...

Do you think it might have been another, uh, balcony scene? Is this why you got the Worthington Miner book? There's a mystery in these lines to Winchell--as there is, to me, in his occasional appearances in your blog. Then again, I always read between the pictures. By the way, I am glad I finally got to post the Kay Francis picture, just on the day I last mentioned Winchell and The Front Page.

4:52 AM  
Blogger michaelE said...

http://www.21club.com/web/onyc/onyc_a2a_home.jsp

6:28 PM  
Blogger michaelE said...

In private life, Tracy had a reputation as a rounder and troublemaker; he lost a plum role in the movie Viva Villa when, while on location in Mexico, he stood on the balcony of his hotel and urinated on a passing military parade.
Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

6:38 PM  
Blogger jtk said...

Hopefully, Lee's days of raining down insults on people were over. I dont doubt that even as late as 1950, alcohol induced bad behavior was still a major problem for him....and others. There was the Mexican incident in `34, and, according to Mick LaSalle in Dangerous Men, the arrest in `35 for getting drunk and firing five shots through his floor into a neighbors kitchen, then, less than a year later, Tracy called the police about recieving a threatening note, and upon their arrival at his home found him drunk and incoherent, in 1946 he was arrested on an intoxication charge after a run in with a autograph seeker, and then we have this post, and "The '21' mystery."

I am a big fan of Lee Tracy, the actor, and that is part of the reason I purchased the Worthington Miner book. Miner's anecdotes about the personalities of the Golden Age of American Theatre were what kept me interested. Miner was a brilliant man, with a mind like a steel trap. His recollection of events is remarkable, not only rich in detail, many years after they happened, but also his ability to understand and explain the factors and events that caused people to behave the way they did. He also seemed genuinly humble, for all his accomplishments. The book was so good, I ordered the Joseph C. Youngerman, who, from what Ive read so far, did not have the recollective powers of Miner, and also plan on getting the David Butler book.

Im glad you did post that picture, one Ive never seen before. Kay with her buddy, the actress, novelist, and aviatrix Ruth Chatterton, and of course Amelia Earhart. Kay was the only non-Aviatrix in the photo, although she did portray one once, in Women In The Wind.

Thanks for the '21' link. Needless to say, Im shocked...SHOCKED to find that Lee Tracy was frequenting a landmark restaurant and bar room which was once a glamorous speakeasy.

8:23 PM  

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