Since most of the autographs here (over 95%) are from actors, let me just say this, as an intro to this INTRO - "Hollywood devours actors like most whales devour plankton." - Bruce Willis, circa 1989. God bless you, Bruce. That's exactly right. And a lot of people devour actor autographs.
- Click on name in the left-hand menu. The celebrity's autograph page will open at the right.
- Look down below the autographed image for more information; the Source of the photo is usually in person or by mail.
- Check below the image to see if there is an underlined link that says "View More Autographed Images of [Celebrity Name]." If so, you can click on it to see more! The gallery will navigate back to the original image of each celebrity.
- To go back to the main menu of the site, scroll down to the bottom of the Autograph Menu bar and click HOME.
- The photos come from my (Andrew Ramage) collection and the collections of some of my colleagues.
- General info on autographs: How do we know that the ones we didn't see signed are authentic? Well, we don't. But, the more autographs a person signs, and the more signatures you can find to compare with, the greater the likelihood that it's the real thing. I have not posted a single autograph here that doesn't match a paper trail of verified, in-person autographed signatures - or in some cases, I've seen their 'real' signature so many times that I am able to spot a fake immediately (check out the signature of actor M. Emmet Walsh - it's impossible to duplicate.) Most of the signatures come from actors who are now semi-retired or fully retired, and attend autograph shows and answer by-mail signature requests. Except for the very famous actors whose signatures appear here, most do not have employees working for them. They handle their mail themselves. The bigger-name actors sometimes sign by mail, but not often. John Travolta is one of maybe four or five "huge" Hollywooders who insist on signing every piece of fan mail - and given his schedule, it's pretty amazing. The items sometimes come back with funny-looking signatures that don't match in-person ones. Those items are usually discarded and you won't find any of them on this website. When you see "Source: Unknown", it means only that I don't know where it came from. It could've been a signed slip of paper left on the bench at a bus station, for all I know! But it does match other verified signatures by the particular actor.
You will see no C of A's (Certificates of Authenticity) here. C of A's are meaningless. Why? Anyone can write up a C of A saying that Jimmy Stewart, for instance, signed a certain photo/piece of paper/other item. So, a helpful piece of advice: when you see autographed items on eBay and the seller professes that all of his/her items come with a C of A, think nothing of it, and scrutinize their auctions as closely as possible. The stuff they're selling is probably not legit.
In the Gallery here, you can see a great number of autographed postcards from the collection of Herman Darvick. Herman is a historian and authenticator (he knows fakes when he sees them) and former autograph show promoter, and he knows genuine autographs when he sees them. He sent out these cards in the mid 1980s with typed instructions to each celebrity, asking them to write dialogue on the cards and sign their name and also the name of the character they played on TZ. Herman had amazing good luck with this project, which is still in progress! He attended both of our TZ Conventions, then held two more of his own, and acquired another 80-something new actors to his collection.
So, in general, the only way to verify if the signature is real is to see it signed yourself. Dealers who sell autographs can never prove to buyers that they've got 100.0% kosher items. Here at The Twilight Zone Museum, we strive for a figure of 99.5% accuracy (or greater!) We hope you enjoy this one-of-a-kind, wholly unique, collection of autographs from celebrities who had roles on The Twilight Zone.
Anyone interested in autograph collecting, especially by mail, can contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to answer any questions. I don't only collect "Twilight Zone" items. I collect signatures from musicians, Nobel prize laureates, composers, everybody whose work I like.
How to collect
Autograph collecting has been around since the dawn of time, ever since man learned how to write. Sadly, with the advent of the Internet, the whole memorabilia industry has undergone a sudden downturn. There are more fakes and forged signatures than ever, coming not only from dealers, but from people desperate to make money. But, you can still make collecting a hobby and build a good collection. You just have to know how to do it. If you don't know how, you stand to lose a lot of money and waste a lot of time.
There are right and wrong ways to collect. Having collected regularly since early 1999 and having accumulated around 2,500 signatures (a small number, really), I know what I am doing. I have a few expert friends - all established dealers in LA - who I confirm my stuff with when I'm in doubt. But again, I reiterate, the only way to make sure it's 100% legit is to see it signed in person. There are many autograph shows around the country. A list of these can be found at AutographCollector.com. Some of these shows are good, some are average, some are bad. The good promoters of these shows will have a celebrity headcount of fifty or less … preferably less. The good shows also have good memorabilia dealers in attendance. Some organizations, including The Hollywood Show (www.hollywoodshow.com) held 4 times a year in Southern California, exist merely to "pack 'em in like sardines" (both the collectors and the celebrities), so that the staff can capitalize off the admission fees and make a profit. Shows like this are called "smorgasbord shows" and I don't recommend them at all. The people who run them tend to have the same celebrities back over and over again, for the benefit of those who didn't attend the last show they were at. Mind you, most of the "celebrities" who attend these kinds of shows are a mixed bag of old actors, voiceover artists, singers, and even heirs of big-namers (such as the son of the trainer who trained Lassie and even Mrs. James Arness was known to attend and sell her husband's signed photos.) Some do it for the money, and some do not. There is not a lot of money to be earned unless the celebrity is a big name, like Don Knotts or Jane Russell. At most shows, the "little fish" actors feed off the collectors who come to get the signatures from the "big fish" actors. Most celebrities who do shows do it for the opportunity to be back in the limelight for a couple days and talk with fans in person. The Chiller Theater conventions on the East Coast are quite large as well, as are many of the Creation Entertaniment Star Trek/Sci-Fi/Space conventions. These are bigger organizations with big budgets. The Creation shows tend to have an atmosphere amenable to "geeks 'n freaks," but you can have a good time there if you find a celebrity or two or three to chat it up with and talk about their work. I can almost guarantee you if they were in Twilight Zone, they'll have great stuff to say about that time period and working on that show at MGM.
Don't go to smorgasbord shows if you can avoid them. Get the celebrities' signatures through the mail or through a reputable dealer. Or pay someone else to get the autographs for you. At least then you won't be giving money to unworthy show promoters.
Priscilla Barnes, best known as Teri Alden, the third and final roommate on "Three's Company" and also 007 Bond movies, signs and displays photos at local autograph show.
But friends, here's the thing - most actors DON'T do autograph shows! They're usually swarming with people and not every celebrity likes attending them because the atmosphere is so unsavory. Nearly ALL of the actors who attend these things sign by mail for FREE!!! Yet at shows, they charge up to $30 per signature. If you're nice, and slip $5 or $10 in with your envelope, your item WILL be signed and returned - along with the money. It usually works. Some have websites that you can order signed photos from; these are usually spendy investments that you can do without. Get your own photos (from eBay, Moviestore.com, etc., an online memorabilia dealer, a memorabilia store - they're usually cheap, around $5-10) and send them out for the signatures. The autographs will, 99 times out of 100, be free of charge. Collecting doesn't have to be expensive. Take it from me - I've saved thousands of dollars. There's a warm glow that comes with getting stuff back in the mail. Like getting a birthday gift in your mailbox.
The mail is generally the 'second best' method, but it can be just as good as getting signatures in person. Only the big cheeses like Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner (who think they're worth $100 per signature), plus the down-and-outs who think they're worth $30 per signature (even though they haven't worked in 30+ years), will send your stuff back unsigned (or they'll just throw it away or keep it.) I heard a story that Larry Hagman, Barbara Eden, and Bill Daily (the stars of the ever-popular TV show "I Dream of Jeannie") were all trying to top each other at a recent Chiller convention, to see who could get the most money out of a fan for an autograph. Supposedly Ms. Eden was charging $50 just to sign people's Jeannie bottles. All of this is insane - and the best thing to do is ignore and avoid those kinds of celebrities.
I guess somebody (probably the Assistant) didn't have enough rent money for that month!
There is one TZ actress, who shall remain nameless, who went so far as to keep the two rare shots I sent her instead of keeping one and signing/returning the other one to me. The next week, I saw her at an autograph show, wearing tons of make-up and what looked like a gunny sack, looking desperate. On her table were individual stacks of about 20 different shots, one of which were copies of the picture I sent her. I sent her a letter and called her on it, only to have the letter come back 'REFUSED.' Such is Hollywood. What's worse - this lady is a virtual nobody and probably doesn't get more than five such requests per year. For me, getting signatures back from these lesser actors was reason enough to start collecting. Why? Because VERY few people out there have ever asked them to sign anything! And most of them were actually very good actors and don't deserve to be called 'nobodies'. 50 years from now, their signatures will be awesome to behold, even if they aren't worth any money. Which leads me to my next point....
Attitude is an important part of autograph collecting. Expect to lose a few of the items you send out here and there. Expect long, long delays from some actors, because many of them are still working. I've had a few that came back as long as one to three years after the fact. Expect to get a forged (secretarial) signature every so often if you send out a lot of stuff. You can save your item by erasing the
signature with common lighter fluid (liquid butane) or use a Pentel Clic-eraser. There is a code of ethics that goes along with collecting, as well. Nobody really follows it, but I'll just say this: DON'T COLLECT STUFF FOR THE PURPOSE OF SELLING/RESELLING IT. There are many reasons why you should not do this. First of all, dealers and celebrities alike are now very wise to those who do try to re-sell. But here is the thing - those who re-sell don't often make a significant profit. Unless the person who signed it is dead (or otherwise extremely, extremely hard to obtain), the item has little value. And if you buy a vintage autograph, you'd better be darned sure that it's not a fake, or else you're out tens or hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Even 10 bucks can buy a few groceries!! Anyhow, the signatures of living actors aren't worth even a fraction of those of deceased actors. Once someone's dead, they can't sign anymore. So, you might as well hang onto it. If you run into financial ruin and/or totally lose interest in collecting and just want to get rid of your collection right away in hopes of cashing in, don't. Hang onto it. The longer you do, the more profit you will eventually see. A dollar today is always worth more than a dollar tomorrow. I read a book about investing awhile back and actually, one of the first chapters of the book had an entire (although rather short) chapter devoted to collectibles. The author of the book talked to many people who tried to get money by cashing in on memorabilia collections, in hopes of getting six figures into their bank accounts. It said, in a nutshell, "If you have collectibles, don't count on generating a big bankroll by laying out tons of money to collect them. Invest that money. Autographed baseballs and photos and sports cards are fun but chances are that they are not going to generate much income for you." Indeed, that's true. So, if you collect autographs, you collect them because having them means something to you, and therefore, you're willing to shell out whatever it costs to own them. FYI - the individual who bought 90% of my "Twilight Zone" collection was wealthy. He had a net worth of many many millions. He could afford to buy it, and (I assume) had no intention of re-selling it. Why? Because if he himself tried to sell it, he'd have to find someone willing to pay far more than he did in order to see a sizeable profit...and I seriously don't think anyone out there would pay something like $40,000 for a box of "Twilight Zone" photos!!
And if you're very wealthy, $40,000 is chump change.
As far as really turning a profit on your collection - that's pretty much a myth unless you have a mammoth collection of extremely valuable autographs that someone else is willing to pay a lot of money for. Dealers often pay cents on the dollar per photo when they buy peoples' autograph collections. I was reading a book about investing recently and there was a specific short chapter about buying memorabilia and hoping to cash in on it later. It said in a nutshell, "Don't do it. Buy the memorabilia if you can afford it and because you want it. Your memorabilia is not going to appreciate in value even half as much as putting your cash into an investment account would have, and that's the truth." A friend, who is not a collector, but who does invest in stocks, once attended an autograph show with me. His first comment to me was "Andrew, jeez, some of these people just look semi-homeless and downright grungy...and yet they're shelling out hundreds if not thousands of dollars for autographs?? How can they afford it?" And my answer was, "They spend what little they have on this stuff because it's their whole life." This almost seems to imply that autograph collecting is for the rich and the poor, and not for the middle class. And based on the dozen or so conventions I have attended, that seems to be very much the case, although the distribution is definitely skewed to the left (more on the side of the lower middle class.)
Hopefully the above has shed some light on the subject of collecting.
This photo was taken off a VHS tape or DVD, and printed out on an inkjet printer, and sent to Robert Redford to sign. Its owner obviously does not intend on re-selling it. This item is a little on the pathetic side, but it obviously fulfilled the person's collecting needs!
Don't buy autographs off eBay/other online auctions unless you consult a reputable dealer first … or make sure the signature matches those of a paper trail. The lesser known the celebrity is, the greater the chance the signature wasn't forged. No one is going to go out of their way to forge the signature a character actor from the early days of TV. It just doesn't happen. Secondly, make DAMN sure you're not getting a pre-print (a photograph-style copy of an original autograph). Sellers LOVE to sell pre-prints and put this important fact in tiny typeface on the auction page. I recommend AutographWorld.com as the one-and-only reputable dealer online. I've never seen a fake on that website. Their catalog prices are a bit higher usually, but they also have auctions where nice stuff goes for cheap.
Autograph guides that give you prices as to how much a particular celebrity is worth - these are pretty much useless. I am not sure how the dollar figures are reached … the algorithm used must be either very basic or very complex. Some guides say that an authentic signature of W.A. Mozart is worth $45,000 while others say it's worth over $100,000. Who's to say which is correct? They've probably sold for anywhere in between both prices...or perhaps much less at different periods of time. I know a guy who found a Greta Garbo signature on an old movie poster in a junk shop for $8.00. He later sold it for over $10,000 to a dealer. Is Greta worth only $8? Doubtful.
Hopefully this information will help you. If you have questions, again, don't hesitate to contact me. Regards, -Andrew