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    Sale 5425

    Pop Culture: Entertainment Memorabilia

    4 December 2008, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 13

    Cary Grant

    Price Realised  


    Cary Grant
    A series of 28 letters from Cary Grant to a Yugoslavian lover, Ljuba Otasevic, signed, three autograph, the majority typescript [a number typed by Grant himself], one enclosing a copy of a telegram, the correspondence variously addressed (Dearest Luba, Beautiful Luba!, Luba, dearest, Dear dear Luba and Poor Poor Poor Little Gypsy) from various addresses in Beverly Hills, Florida, New York and South Dakota, March 1958 - January 1959, altogether approximately three pages in autograph, 28 pages typed, a number on Cary Grant or Cary Grant, 242 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, California headed stationery.

    In a number of letters Grant reveals his desire to help Luba find work in the film business, he urges her to strive to improve her English and his frequent delivery of advice hints at the considerable age gap between the two, Grant was 23 years older than Luba, in one letter from April 1958 he incites her to:
    ...work constantly at [learning English]...Enjoy each new word and each day's accomplishment... My father offered me a formulae for success...I haven't, I confess, followed it consistently, but it's worth remembering. Patience, application, courage and faith. These attributes, combined with beauty of face and figure such as yours, Luba, would bring you everything you desire... Grant's letters are frequently poignant, he speaks of Luba's letters making him feel ..sad but happy... and writes nostalgically about time spent with her in Weston-Super-Mare in England and urges her to be patient and satisfied, Grant's response to Luba's questions reflect her dissatisfaction with their long-distance adulterous relationship, in a letter dated 4th August, 1958 Grant wrote:
    ...I beg only that you not be sad. Be cheerful...we shall meet again. You know my feelings...and the circumstances of my life. It is unlikely they will change for a while...
    Grant's letters also reveal his ability for self-analysis and considering his own circumstances, they also seem to reflect his self-delusion, in one particular letter he typed himself, on 8 September, 1958 he questions the motives behind his advice to Luba on morality:
    ...Do I suggest that you lead a moral life because of a sincere belief that you must protect your reputation in London amongst the cinema people?...Or is it that I am jealous?... summizing that although he believes a girl's opportunities to get on in the film world ...can...be either ruined or helped according to conditions and her choice of behaviour..., he admits to being interested to find that he does feel an element of jealousy, but that he considers his advice to be sound: ....A good life...a moral life...can only bring eventual happiness...my motives are not completely selfish.... (a lot)

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    According to the vendor who knew Ljuba Otasevic, not only was she a beauty, but also a star basketball player in Yugoslavia in the 1950s, before she escaped from behind the iron curtain. In the late 1950s she met Cary Grant in Rome on one of his visits to Europe. According to Warren G. Harris the press described Luba as a "...girl almost embarrassed by her physical opulence". Otasevic's main appeal for Cary Grant seems to be her resemblance to Sophia Loren, for whom she once worked as a stand-in...While friends thought that Otasevic fulfilled Grant's frustrated feelings for Loren, Grant himself compared her to Betsy Drake. "She's just like Betsy used to be [Grant's wife between 1949-1962 ie. at the time of this correspondence], the proud young actress never taking proper care of herself, proudly rejecting help. I used to be that way too", Grant said..

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    HARRIS, Warren G. Cary Grant A Touch of Elegance p.198