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.
Marie Dressler: The first female star of film comedy
Marie Dressler was born Leila Marie Koerber (some sources say von Koerber) in Cobourg, Ontario, on November 9, although the year of her birth is less certain. But, whatever year she was born, Dressler was destined to become the first female star of film comedy. Her show business career began with the Nevada Stock Company, which she followed by work with opera companies, stage work in the eastern United States and appearances on Broadway. She reached the pinnacle of her stage career with a performance for King Edward VII in London, after which she made her move into film comedy, starring in Tillie's Punctured Romance, the first feature-length comedy ever made.
During her career, Dressler appeared in more than 40 films, including Min and Bill (1930) for which she won an Oscar for Best Actress, Anna Christie (1930), Dinner at Eight (1933) and Tugboat Annie (1933). She earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and was the first woman to be featured on the cover of TIME magazine (August 7, 1933).