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BEN TURPIN - CHECK SIGNED 09/29/1921 - DOCUMENT 283478

BEN TURPIN
$300 check signed in 1921 by comedian Ben Turpin, who was known for playing suave, sophisticated and severely cross-eyed characters
Check signed "Ben Turpin". Black ink notations in unknown hand. 8½x3¼, perforated top and left edges. Sept. 29, 1921. Unnumbered check for $200 in "Cash", drawn from the Bank of Italy. Cross-eyed comic Turpin (1869-1940, born Bernard Turpin in New Orleans, Louisiana) joined Essanay shortly after the company began operating in 1907, but it wasn't until 1917, when he joined Mack Sennett, that he became a leading comedy star. He enjoyed his greatest success in a series of parodies of hit movies of the period, lampooning famous screen personalities. His films included Uncle Tom Without the Cabin (1919), The Shriek of Araby (1923), The Reel Virginian (1924) and A Harem Knight (1926). He derived much laughter from the contrast between his small size and ludicrous face and the dashing, sophisticated characters he portrayed. Turpin had insured his eyes with Lloyds of London against uncrossing. Lightly toned and creased. Signature and notations have bled lightly but are legible. Normal bank stamps and cancellation holes, which touch signature and notations. Folded four times and unfolded. Otherwise in fine condition.

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