[ Laurence Olivier: Michael Stroud reveals 'Larry's last words'. ] Typed Letter Signed ('Michael') to the costume designer Ivan Alderman, reporting an anecdote about Laurence Olivier's death told to him by the actress Anna Cartaret.

Michael Stroud (1934-2015), actor with the National Theatre, and director [ Laurence Olivier [ Lord Olivier ] (1907-1989), actor and director; Ivan Alderman (1910-2002), costume designer ]
Publication details: 
70 St James, Shaftesbury, Dorset. 29 July [ 1989 ].
SKU: 20418

2pp., 8vo. In envelope addressed to 'Mr Ivan Alderman, | 2 Brook Green Flats, | Dunsany Road, | London W14'. In good condition, lightly aged. He begins by complaining about his phone bill ('I am now WRITING to everyone – for 19p.'), and reports that he has done 'a day's filming for some pulp book that Central are making into a TV movie with Angela Lansbury: THE SHELL SEEKERS.' He was filming in the Cotswolds with 'some old chums […] including Anna Cartaret [actress born in 1942], who I think is such a lovely person though why she married Morahan, [director Christopher Morahan (1929-2017)] we will never know. | ANYWAY . . . Anna said that Joan [i.e. Joan Littlewood, Olivier's wife] had asked her personally to attend the funeral, which she duly did and said it was wonderful but weepy and VERY emotional. | Afterwards, over sherry and buns or whatever goes on, she found herself chatting with a nice young chap who turned out to be a male nurse and was looking after Larry for his final couple of weeks. Anna said that he was left-alone in his latter days. The family being elsewhere. | Anyway . . . this nurse said that Larry was in a coma for most of the time but did come out of it every now and then and seemed to know what was going on.' The nurse 'thinks he heard Larry's last words'. He describes the circumstances in which Olivier 'opened the famous black eyes' and reveals what the words are reported to have been, exclaiming 'Isn't that wonderful? I love it. […] Anna said she thinks that was the last thing he said but I suppose only Joan and the family would know that but it is all ghastly and I just still feel a void in my life as if the sun went out and things just are not what they were three weeks ago. [Olivier had died on 11 July.] WHAT a wonderful thing that we knew him and had worked with him. Ah me.' He concludes with news of the actor Michael Kitchen (b.1948) and 'wee Jack Kitchen' his 'beautifully behaved' son, a drunken lunch with 'Annie' and 'Peter' (who 'smashed up their super dooper car'), and how the actress Joan Hickson (1906-1998) 'wants to move near here'.