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Legends of Hollywood Stamp Series

Updated on April 24, 2017

Hollywood Legends Get Their Own Stamps From the US Postal Service!

In 1995, legendary Marilyn Monroe was the first installment in the Legends of Hollywood commemorative stamp series issued by the USPS. This stamp series is dedicated to actors, actresses and directors who have made a lasting impact on the motion picture industry and whose work have enchanted and captivated audiences of all ages.

Since that first release, other popular classic Hollywood stars like Humphrey Bogart, Lucille Ball, Cary Grant and Gary Cooper, have joined Marilyn's ranks and become members of this exclusive club.

This page highlights the 18 stamps in this series and offers up a variety of information about the stamp as well as the performer.

Marilyn Monroe

  • Issue Date: June 1, 1995 on what would have been her 69th birthday
  • Denomination: 32 cents
  • Artist: Michael J. Deas
  • Selvage art: Shows a large portrait of the lovely actress.
  • The Stamp: Inspired by a 1950 photograph of Marilyn. But, Deas did make a few modifications. Monroe's hand and her shoulder are actually a composite that are based on other photographs of Hollywood's greatest blond sex symbol.
  • I must admit that, while I think that picking Marilyn for the first entry in this series was a good move, I am not too thrilled with the artwork. I just don't find this a very flattering rendering of Marilyn.
  • Notable films: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), The Seven Year Itch (1955), Bus Stop (1956), Some Like It Hot (1959)

James Dean

  • Issue Date: June 24, 1996
  • Denomination: 32 cents
  • Artist: Michael J. Deas under the direction of Carl T. Herrman
  • Selvage Art: Based on a photograph of Dean taken by photographer Roy Schatt in 1954 in New York City. Dean, in the photograph had a cigarette in his mouth, but was edited out to comply with the USPS policy of never allowing smoking to be depicted on any of their stamps.
  • The stamp has a rather dark and stormy looking background which is meant to emphasize Dean's reputation as a brooding figure who spent much of his time as a loner. Dean's very brief career touched a cord with American's youth and his mystique only seemed to grow after his death in a car crash at age 24 on September 30, 1955.
  • Notable Films: East of Eden (1955), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Giant (1956)

Humphrey Bogart

  • Issue Date: July 31, 1997
  • Denomination: 32 cents
  • Artist: Michael J. Deas working under the direction of Carl Herrman
  • Selvage Art: One of Bogart's most famous and memorable roles was in the 1943 film Casablanca as Rick Blaine. Deas used a photograph from the movie as a reference for the selvage art. He deleted the four other actors that were present and removed the cigarette from Bogart's hand.
  • The Stamp: Inspired by a photograph used as publicity for Bogart's 1944 film, The Big Sleep.
  • Notable Films: The Maltese Falcon (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Sabrina (1954)

Alfred Hitchcock

  • First Day of Issue: August 3, 1998 in Los Angeles, California
  • Denomination: 32 cents
  • Artist:Richard Sheaff
  • Selvage Art: Black and white photograph of Hitchcock wearing a suit.
  • Stamp: Features a black and white photograph of Hitchcock with his trademark caricature over his right shoulder which is actually die cut into the face of the stamp.
  • Notable Films: The 39 Steps (1935), Rebecca (1940), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Spellbound (1945), To Catch a Thief (1955), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963)

James Cagney

  • First Day of Issue: July 22, 1999 in Burbank, California.
  • Denomination: 33 cents
  • Artist: Thomas Blackshear working under the direction of Howard Paine.
  • Selvage Art: Shows Cagney in a scene from the 1942 film Yankee Doodle Dandy for which he received an Oscar for Best Actor.
  • Stamp: Inspired by a portrait of Cagney.
  • Even though he was a classic tough guy on film, Cagney always considered himself nothing but a "song and dance man". He was also a founding member of the Screen Actor's Guild and was president of the Guild from 1942-44.
  • Notable Films: Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), White Heat (1949), Mister Roberts (1955)

Edward G. Robinson

  • First Day of Issue: October 24, 2000 in Los Angeles, California
  • Denomination: 33 cents
  • Artist: Drew Struzan working under the direction of Howard Paine
  • Selvage Art: Black and white publicity photo from the Warner Brothers 1931 film Five Star Final
  • Stamp: Inspired by a black and white photo taken of Robinson by Elmer Fryer.
  • Known for playing tough guy roles, Robinson, in real life, was known to be a soft spoken, well cultured man who spoke several languages and who loved to collect art.
  • Notable Films: Five Star Final (1931), Smart Money (1931), Tiger Shark (1932) Key Largo (1948), A Hole in the Head (1959)

Lucille Ball

  • First Day of Issue: August. 6, 2001 which would have been her 90th birthday
  • Denomination: 34 cents
  • Artist: Drew Struzan working under the direction of Derry Noyes
  • Selvage Art: A still from her I Love Lucy television series.
  • Stamp: Inspired by a black and white photo of Lucille taken around 1955.
  • Ball was nominated for 13 Emmys and won four.
  • Notable Films: The Dark Corner (1946), Fancy Pants (1950), The Fuller Brush Girl (1950), The Long, Long Trailer (1954), Yours, Mine, Ours (1968)

Cary Grant

  • First Day of Issue: October 15, 2002, in Los Angeles, California
  • Denomination: 37 cents
  • Artist:Michael Deas working under the direction of Carl Herrman
  • Selvage Art: Shows Grant in the famous scene of being chased by a crop duster in the film North By Northwest. The photograph was altered in that the crop duster has been repositioned and clouds have been added to the background.
  • Stamp: Inspired by a black and white publicity photo of Grant from 1951, perhaps 1952, that was taken by Warner Brothers' photographer, Bert Six.
  • Notable Films: She Done Him Wrong (1933), Topper (1937), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Suspicion (1941), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Charade (1963)

  • First Day of Issue: June 11, 2003 in Los Angeles, California
  • Denomination: 37 cents
  • Artist:Michael Deas working under the direction of Terry McCaffrey
  • Selvage Art: Shows a still of lovely Audrey from her film Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Stamp: Inspired by a still of Hepburn from her film, Sabrina
  • Notable Films: Roman Holiday (1954), Sabrina (1954) Funny Face (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), Charade (1963), My Fair Lady (1964)

John Wayne

  • First Day of Issue: September 9, 2004, Los Angeles, California.
  • Denomination: 37 cents
  • Artist:Drew Struzan under the direction of Derry Noyes.
  • Selvage Art: Shows Wayne as Ethan Edwards from the 1956 film, The Searchers.
  • Stamp: Inspired by a black and white publicity photo taken of Wayne while filming the 1962 movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
  • Notable Films: Reap the Wild Wind (1942), Angel and the Badman (1947), Red River (1948), The Searchers (1956), Rio Bravo (1959), True Grit (1969), Big Jake (1971)

Henry Fonda

  • First Day of Issue: May 20, 2005 in Los Angeles, California on what would have been his 100th birthday
  • Denomination: 37 cents
  • Artist: Drew Struzan working under the direction of Derry Noyes
  • Selvage Art: Shows Fonda in his most iconic role, that of farmer Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath
  • Stamp: Inspired by a photograph taken of Fonda by Frank Powolny in 1941
  • Notable Films: Jezebel (1938), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), The Fugitive (1947), Mister Roberts (1955), 12 Angry Men (1957), Midway (1976), On Golden Pond (1981)

Judy Garland

  • First Day of Issue: June 10, 2006, in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, New York on what would have been her 84th birthday.
  • Denomination: 39 cents.
  • Artist: Tim O'Brien working under the direction of Ethel Kessler.
  • Selvage Art: Shows Garland in her signature role, Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.
  • Stamp: O'Brien' s portrait is based on publicity photo of Judy for her role in A Star is Born
  • Notable Films: The Wizard of Oz (1939), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Easter Parade (1948), A Star is Born (1954), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

James Stewart

  • First Day of Issue: August 17, 2007 at Universal City, CA
  • Denomination: 41 cents
  • Artist: Drew Struzan working under the direction of Phil Jordan.
  • Selvage Art: Shows Stewart from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington the 1939 film for which Stewart won his first Oscar nomination for best actor.
  • The Stamp: Inspired by a publicity still of Stewart from the film The Stratton Story.
  • Notable Films: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1939), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Harvey (1950), Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958)

Bette Davis

  • First Day of Issue: September 18, 2008 at Boston University, Boston Massachusetts
  • Denomination: 42 cents
  • Artist: Michael J. Deas working under the direction of Richard Scheaff.
  • Selvage Art: A black and white photo of Bette from the film Jezebel.
  • The Stamp; Inspired by a black and white still of Bette taken while she was filming All About Eve in 1950.
  • Notable Films: Dangerous (1935), Jezebel (1938)The Little Foxes (1941), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Mr. Skeffington (1944), All About Eve (1950), The Virgin Queen (1955), Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962), Return From Witch Mountain (1978)

Gary Cooper

  • First Day of Issue: September 10, 2009 in Los Angeles, California
  • Denomination: 44 cents
  • Artist: Kazuhiko Sano
  • Selvage Art: Based on a still from High Noon (1952) which was an Oscar winning role for Gary who played Marshal Will Kane.
  • The Stamp: Inspired by a black and white portrait taken of Cooper by George Hurrell around 1940.
  • Notable Films: A Farewell to Arms (1932), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Sergeant York (1941), The Fountainhead (1949), High Noon (1952), Friendly Persuasion (1956)

Katharine Hepburn

  • First Day of Issue: May 12, 2010 in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. It would have been Hepburn's 103rd birthday.
  • Denomination: 44 cents
  • Artist:Derry Noyes
  • Selvage Art: Shows Hepburn as she appeared in the Broadway play West Side Waltz in 1981 for which she received a Tony nomination.
  • The Stamp: Shows a lovely young Katherine in a publicity still from Woman of the Year (1942) as photographed by Clarence S. Bull. Hepburn worn an Oscar for her role in the film. She was nominated 12 times during her career, bringing home four Oscars total.
  • Notable Films: Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Woman of the Year (1942), The African Queen (1951), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1961), On Golden Pond (1981)

Gregory Peck

  • First Day of Issue: April 28, 2011
  • Denomination: 44 cents but marked a Forever stamp (a forever stamp is always equal in value to the current First Class one ounce-rate).
  • Artist: Drew Struzan working under the direction of Phil Jordan.
  • Selvage art: It shows Gregory with his Acadamy Award for his role in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • The Stamp: Inspired by a portrait of Gregory taken from his Oscar winning role as, Atticus Finch, in To Kill a Mockingbird. In this 1962 film, Finch is a defense lawyer working hard to defend a black man falsely accused raping a white woman.
  • The American Film Institute named Finch as the greatest hero in motion picture history! This was Gregory's favorite movie role.
  • Notable roles: Spellbound (1945), The Yearling (1946), Roman Holiday (1953), Cape Fear (1961) To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), The Omen (1976)

Charlton Heston

Charlton Heston Forever Stamp Dedication

  • First Day of Issue: April 11, 2014
  • Denomination: 49 cents but marked a Forever stamp (a forever stamp is always equal in value to the current First Class one ounce-rate).
  • Artist: Drew Struzan working under the direction of Greg Breeding.
  • Selvage art: The pose shows Heston from one of his greatest and most memorable movie roles, the 1959 Biblical epic Ben-Hur. The pose, originally captured in black and white was later hand tinted shows him in his costume for the chariot race scene, which has to be one of the most exciting and memorable action sequences of any film ever made.
  • The Stamp: Inspired by a photograph taken of Heston by his wife, Lydia Clarke Heston.
  • Heston's career spanned over 70 years with more than 70 films to his credit. Though nominated for many awards, over the years, his only Oscar win was for his role in Ben-Hur. He passed away at age 84, on April 5, 2008.
  • Notable films: The Ten Commandments (1956), Ben-Hur (1959), El Cid (1961), Planet of the Apes (1968), Soylent Green (1973)

Ingrid Bergman

  • First Day of Issue: August 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
  • Denomination: Forever stamp (a forever stamp is always equal in value to the current First Class one ounce-rate).
  • Jointly issued by the U.S. Postal Service and Posten AB of Sweden.
  • Artist: Kristen Monthei
  • Selvage art: Artist Kristen Monthei colorized a still of Bergman from her classic film, Casablanca.
  • The Stamp: Inspired by a 1940 photo of Bergman taken by Laszlo Willinger.
  • Bergman won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, and the Tony Award for Best Actress.
  • Notable films: Casablanca (1942), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) Gaslight (1944), Notorious (1946), Anastasia (1956)

Shirley Temple

  • First Day of Issue: April 18, 2016, Los Angeles California at the Geffen Playhouse at 10886 Le Conte Ave,
  • Denomination: Forever stamp (a forever stamp is always equal in value to the current First Class one ounce-rate).
  • Artist: Tim O’Brien. Stamp designed by USPS art director Ethel Kessler.
  • Selvage art: Black and white photo of Temple from the 1933 film Managed Money which was part of the Frolics of Youth film series.
  • The Stamp: Inspired by a publicity photo of Temple, at age 7, for the 1935 film Curly Top.
  • Temple was discovered, at age 3, by director Charles Lamont and appeared in his short films for Educational Pictures and in the Tower Productions. Signed by Fox in 1934 she quickly became a star.
  • Notable films: Little Miss Marker (1934), The Little Colonel and Curly Top (1935), Captain January (1936), Wee Willie Winkie and Heidi (1937), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938), and The Little Princess (1939).

© 2015 Glory Miller

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  • profile image

    DickP 8 weeks ago

    What are the issue dates for:

    2017 Elizabeth Taylor

    2018 Fred Astaire

    2019 Gene Kelly

    2020 Jean Simmons

  • profile image

    Patrick 2 months ago

    After a year are they still available

  • profile image

    Lawrence Luk 3 months ago

    1. 2017 Elizabeth Taylor

    2. 2018 Fred Astaire

    3. 2019 Gene Kelly

    4. 2020 Jean Simmons

  • profile image

    janis heinrich 3 months ago

    very helpful list. I am getting back into collecting after 10 years.

  • profile image

    David Shapiro 4 months ago

    How is it possible that not one of the following giants of the industry have not as yet appeared on a stamp in the "Legends of Hollywood" series.......Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, Barbara Stanwyck, Spencer Tracy, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Errol Flynn, William Holden, or Burt Lancaster?? I'm sure there are a great many others among whom to make a choice, but the aforementioned......every one of them......were TRULY legendary in the history of Hollywood! This particular series could go on for at least another 20 years, with the many personalities who might be considered for the honor!

  • profile image

    Spencer Shannon 4 months ago

    looking over the now much larger & growing list, it's still ridiculous that *"THE GREAT: SPENCER TRACY"-(l900-l967)

    STILL NAS NO STAMP!?

    I'm aware what happened longtime ago in regard to his remaing family & all, because Iknew them

    Postal service had (2) prototypes for *Tracy ("Boys Town" & or "Edward, My Son")

    & Joe Tracy butted in-0(*Spence's grandson)

    (please not only reply, but try & do something about this outrageous omission!)

  • Glorymiller profile image
    Author

    Glory Miller 2 years ago from USA

    Thanks for the kind words, it is appreciated!

  • brianlokker profile image

    Brian Lokker 2 years ago from Bethesda, Maryland

    Excellent hub! I love this stamp series, and you've done a beautiful job of presenting it here.

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