Howard, Leslie - Signed 1934 Playbill For The World Premier Of "The Petrified Forest" Historic!
1934 - 5 ½ x 8 ½ four-page (one sheet) Program honoring Leslie Howard’s appearance in “The Petrified Forest”. This program is from the December 1934 world première at Parsons Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut. (See the NY Times article in the scan section)
Signed by Leslie Howard and Peggy Conklin, on the rear cover, in a thick black wax pencil. Fold marks and wrinkling to the program. It appears that Leslie attempted to first sign on the gold surface of the front cover, but the wax pencil wouldn’t adhere. He then flipped it over and signed on the verso.
Due to The Petrified Forest connection, this is an Important and historic item. “The Petrified Forest” is the play that made the career of a bit actor named Humphrey Bogart. He was so electric in the leading role as the villain, Duke Manatee, when the film version was to be made in 1936, For the film, Warner Brothers intended to cast the more bankable Edward G. Robinson as Duke; but Howard, whose contract gave him final script control, informed the studio that he would not appear in the movie version without Bogart as his co-star.
The film made Bogart a star, and he remained grateful to Howard for the rest of his life. In 1952, Bogart and Lauren Bacall named their daughter Leslie Howard Bogart in honor of Howard, who had been killed in a plane crash when the German air force shot down his BOAC flight from Lisbon to Bristol during World War II.