Papers, ca. 1870-1979 (bulk 1920-1979)

London, Babe, 1901-1980


9.3 cubic ft. (15 boxes) +.
Films 8 mm and 16 mm.
Audio-tapes cassette and reel-to-reel.
Collection contains correspondence (1940-1979) including 32 letters from convicted murderer John "Jack" A. Kramer written while he was awaiting execution in Nevada (1940-1942); 75 oil paintings by London including portraits of Charlie Chaplin, Harry Langdon, Chester Conklin, Laurel and Hardy, Fatty Arbuckle, and Buster Keaton; 18 8mm and 16mm films including several of her comedy features and a personal film of London and Stan Laurel made shortly before his death; and materials related to London's interest in reincarnation, including files on the Religious Research Foundation of America and a personal life reading.
Also includes audio tapes of London and Phil Boutelje; photographs and negatives of London, the Glover family, and numerous actors and actresses; photograph albums; scrapbooks; artifacts including reel-to-reel and cassette tape players and a stereo slide viewer; posters; manuscripts; newspaper and magazine clippings; personal memorabilia; and miscellaneous other materials.
Jean "Babe" London, an actress born as Ruth Glover, appeared in over 50 silent comedy films whose stars included Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and Harry Langdon. Weighing 255 pounds at the height of her career, she was forced by ill health to diet, but never regained the success she had known in her "jolly fat girl" roles, although she did continue working in small roles until about 1970. She was a recipient of the Rosemary Award, which honors stars of the silent movies.
In the late 1950s London began a second career as a painter and devoted the last 20 years of her life to recording the early years of Hollywood on canvas in a series of works she titled "The Vanishing Era." She married Phil Boutelje in 1975.
Finding aid available in repository.

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