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.
Raymond Burr: A true philanthropist
Raymond Burr is perhaps best known for his roles as lawyer Perry Mason in the television show of the same name and wheelchair-bound chief of detectives Robert Ironside in Ironside. However, before his small-screen triumphs, Burr enjoyed considerable success on the big screen. Born in New Westminster, British Columbia, in May 1917, Burr started his stage career at the age of 10, when he starred in a church play. At 17, he began touring with Toronto's Berkeley Players, and got his big break in 1944 in a production of Duke in Darkness.
Burr went on to appear in numerous films, usually in the role of the archetypal "heavy," but proved he could be equally as compelling as a hero when he starred as reporter Steve Martin in Godzilla: King of the Monsters (1956). He also devoted much of his time and energy to charitable and humanitarian causes, including CARE, the Cerebral Palsy Association and the B'nai B'rith.