This rare and highly-collectible letter from Dwight Frye to his mother was written just two days before his death from a heart attack, ironically on the way home from the movies with his family.
The following is the lot description from the auction item:
Dwight Frye Handwritten Letter To His Mother, Two Days Before his Death. To vintage horror fans, Dwight Frye is a virtual superstar. In Dracula, he played Bela Lugosi's servant Renfield, gobbling flies and spiders and giggling the creepiest laugh in the movies. In Frankenstein, he portrayed Fritz, Colin Clive's hunchbacked dwarf assistant, beholding the creation of Karloff's hapless Monster and torturing the creature with whip and torch. Yet these gothic roles carried a curse, typecasting the former Broadway star and eventually condemning him to bit part obscurity. Fans rarely recognized him or asked him for an autograph (possibly based on Dracula and Frankenstein, because they were afraid to do so!) and collectable material on him is extremely rare.
This letter is extraordinary, written by Frye to his mother (whom he called "Muzzie") on 7.25" x 10.25" stationery and dated November 5, 1943 -- two days before he died. Frye writes from his Hollywood home that he's awaiting that morning the delivery of a chair (he and his wife Laura had sold their refrigerator to afford the new chair and a desk). He continues with news that he's ordered the family's turkey for Thanksgiving (which they plan to celebrate the Sunday after the holiday). He notes, "Haven't been out to have my wig tried on but expect a call any day now", a reference to the 20th Century-Fox film Wilson (he'd won the role of Newton D. Baker, secretary of war, and hoped it would spark his failing career; Fox was preparing a hairpiece for him to wear in the part). He notes that he is "working hard at the plant" (he'd taken a job as a tool designer at the Douglas aircraft factory in Santa Monica at night while seeking film work by day). He hopes to complete a course at UCLA if he has the time and notes that his son Buddy, then 12-years old, is painting some things in his room. He expresses appreciation for his mother canning vegetables ("we'll be grateful all winter") and concludes, "Love from us all. Dwight."
Two evenings later, Frye took Laura and Buddy to the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. As they boarded the bus for home, he suffered a heart attack, dying at 11:15 that night at Hollywood Receiving Hospital. He was only 44 years old.
SOLD ON OCT 4, 2008 FOR: $2,390.00
TITLE IMAGE CREDIT: Painting of Dwight Frye by John Springfield from Fine Art America.