© 2002 by Sharon Rich. All rights reserved.
Left: one of four pages of a handwritten letter from Jeanette MacDonald to Irving Stone, dated August 24, 1929, in which she mentions having had a heart attack. This is just one of many revelations in her letters. Transcripts of her entire correspondence to Irving Stone is included in this book and dozens of pages of the original pages and telegrams have been reproduced. Below is a letter from 1927:
SEPTEMBER 13, 1927, LETTER WRITTEN FROM THE BELVEDERE HOTEL, NEW YORK
Do you miss me–I wonder–I’ve never missed anyone so much before–really seems a nuisance to come out from rehearsal and find no Big Irving.
Was terribly tired Sunday even tho I slept till 12:30 and had a terrific headache–I wonder why–do you think that little drink of wine would have been responsible? Anyway, I had to rehearse and danced for 2 ½ hrs steady. Much perspiration, etc. Stubbed toe and terribly sore arms. I have a new trick where I jump on the boys’ shoulders and they swing me–It’s not dangerous but the strain is all on my arms.
Nextly, (sic) I saw the ex and, my dear, I could hardly look him in the eye and when he made love to me I was very much afraid I’d ‘fess up but I know that wouldn’t have helped matters and every once in awhile during the evening I found myself thinking of you and you & me. Well, you can imagine.
Today and tonite we worked very hard and I’m very tired; I was out real early this afternoon and had my vocal lesson earlier in the day–And no Irving–isn’t that a break?
I can’t think of the many things I wanted to say to you because mother and my sister and brother-in-law are having a gab festival so I find it rather hard to concentrate. But I’ve endeavored to make this sound intelligent–
It was wonderful to see you again, just wonderful and I shall think of you so often–you’ll never know how much you mean to me–I guess boys don’t realize these things but it is true, dear. I hope you miss me half as much as I shall miss you.
Please answer as promptly as you have heretofore — that might help some.
Much love, Jeannette (sic)
PS: Ma sends regards. Jack Ottenheimer called me last nite and asked me to dine with him but I couldn’t go. Jam