Hollywood loves sequels. So do stamp collectors, which is why Canada Post is proud to honour the accomplishments of four more performers who found fame and fortune in movie town with a second set of stamps dedicated to Canadians in Hollywood. This quartet of domestic rate (52¢) stamps stars Marie Dressler, Raymond Burr, Norma Shearer and Chief Dan George.
Designed by John Belisle and Kosta Tsetsekas of Vancouver's Signals Design, the stamps use images created by Neal Armstrong, the artist who painted the images for the first set of stamps. The background of each stamp is evocative of each star's career: Dressler's shows a scene inspired by a photograph of the tugboat Arthur Foss, featured in the film Tugboat Annie, as the garbage-barge and tugboat Narcissus. Burr's has the Perry Mason courtroom, Shearer's features an art deco scene that is reminiscent of many of her films, and George's depicts a plains scene from Little Big Man.
"Neal has done a great job of capturing the essence of each actor and creating a sense that this is a sequel," says Belisle. "We also wanted to connect the audience to these stamps, so we used illustrator Adam Rogers to craft the souvenir sheet and official first day cover. Adam created a vintage feel that gives a real impression of being in a theatre watching a movie. The crowd is at the front, and the stamps sit right on the screen."
In keeping with the desire to bring the audience into the design, the cancels depict a bag of popcorn and a soft drink with a straw.
"The cancels connect the audience to the silver screen and help to create a real movie experience," says Belisle.
Chief Dan George: Finding fame at 60
Chief Dan George, born in July 1899 in North Vancouver, is perhaps the only Hollywood icon to have been discovered as a 60-year-old bus driver. As a younger man, he took whatever work he could find to support his wife and six children. His break into acting came in the early 1960s when the actor who played Ol' Antoine in the CBC series Cariboo Country fell ill and a replacement was needed. The story goes that George's oldest son, Bob, who had a small part in the show, suggested they use a real aboriginal in the role and introduced his father. George immediately brought the character to life, and became a driving force behind the series' success. When Disney studios adapted the series into the movie Smith!, George once again took the role of Ol' Antoine and was thrust into the Hollywood spotlight.
George subsequently played Old Lodge Skins in Little Big Man, a milestone American film. His performance won him an Academy Award nomination, a Golden Globe nomination, the New York Film Critics Award and the National Society of Film Critics Award. George acted in numerous other films, including The Outlaw Josey Wales, Harry and Tonto, and Americathon. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1971.