The Theatrical Katharine Hepburn, in Journals and Letters





The letter to George C. Tyler, a theatrical producer in New York, suggests a young actress that he “might keep in mind” for a part. “She has had a variety of experience,” it says, and “she comes from a good family.”

The well-bred lady was Katharine Hepburn, and the undated letter, from a family friend, is part of a cache of theater-related photographs, scrapbooks, journals, scripts and more. Four years after Hepburn’s death, the material forms a gift from her estate to the New York Public Library that is to be announced today. The documents, all related to Hepburn’s stage career, offer a revealing glance at her personality, profession and obsessions.

There are fan notes from Henry Fonda, Laurence Olivier and Judy Garland. “I’ve always said you were our leading actress,” Garland wrote during the 1952 run of “The Millionairess,” before complaining, “I am getting fat and pregnant and mean.” After seeing “The West Side Waltz” in 1981, Charlton Heston wrote, “You have made all our hearts tremble, one time or another.”


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