Signature Study Series #1 - Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing
The careers of both Sir Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing started long before the 20th Century Fox insistence that Star Wars could not be made without at least 2 recognized film celebrities in the cast. Thanks to Peter & Alec agreeing to appear, the film was green-lit.
Decades before Star Wars, both of these gentlemen were working on stage and in film, earlier versions of their signatures, each with fuller more easily read autographs. In my own collecting of their scribbles, I have kept my collection to the time frame of the films that I love, and that period leading up to their passing. Peter passed in 1994, long before the rush of Star Wars autograph collectors, and Alec passed in 2000, just 3 or 4 years into that same hoopla. Alec was unimpressed with the fandom and even mentioned in his autobiography that he was throwing away autograph requests and fan mail from the USA, unopened.
These signature studies can be seen as incomplete because they are really only covering the late 1970's until their deaths, but I hope they will serve to show how one celebrity (Alec’s) autograph can remain unchanged right to the end, yet another (Peter’s) can undergo drastic changes. Peter, over 20 years of missing his lost wife and suffering from failing health shortened his signature.
Alec spent his last years throwing away fan mail, while Peter signed autographs on his deathbed to be sure that his secretary/assistant could still send responses to autograph requests after he was gone. Two well respected actors and two completely different views towards their fans.