A Gift to the LibraryToday the New York City Public Library received a gift from the estate of legendary actress, Katharine Hepburn in the form of a collection of letters, scripts, photographs, scrapbooks and the like all having to do with Hepburn's stage career. The articles, like the lady herself, are full of life, wit and wisdom.
A treasure trove of memorabilia, the collection includes her personal copy of the script to Coco which contains hand-scribbled lyrics probably as dictated to her in rehearsal from famed lyricist, Alan Jay Lerner. There is a fan letter from Judy Garland following a performance of The Millionairess in 1952, in which Garland gushes "I've always said you were our leading actress" then suffers an apparent mood swing and goes on to proclaim "I am getting fat and pregnant and mean." There is also an absolutely hilarious journal entry recorded by Kate during the 1950-51 tour of As You Like It in which she recounts being arrested for speeding in Oklahoma. She is hauled into a police station and complains to a small-town lawyer "I have been arrested by this this moron," indicating the young arresting officer who was "very handsome in a dull sort of way." After what sounded like an all day affair, she pays a fine of $20 and promises "if I ever found an Oklahoma car in Connecticut I'd flatten all the tires."
Hepburn was known for her progressive politics but rarely spoke of them publicly, however, the collection also includes a brief hand written curtain speech about the Kent State shootings delivered during the run of Coco at the request of a fellow actor. In it Hepburn says of the four slain students "they were our kids and our responsibility. Our generation are responsible and we must take time to pause and reflect and do something."
The collection will be available to the public at the Library for Performing Arts at Lincoln Center in February.