Thesp was collector of Hollywood memorabilia

Character actor Hal Riddle, an avid collector of Hollywood memorabilia, died June 17 in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 89.

Riddle appeared on numerous TV shows throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s, including “The Fugitive,” “Little House on the Prairie,” “The Waltons,” “Days of Our Lives,” “Green Acres,” “The F.B.I.” and “Eight is Enough.”

His fascination with Hollywood began when at the age of 11, he wrote a letter to silent film actress Billie Dove. She sent him an autographed photo and he went on to collect more than 1,700 movie-related items.

While living at the Motion Picture & Television Fund, Riddle met and developed a close friendship with Dove, and later delivered the eulogy at her funeral. Stories about Riddle and Dove’s friendship were published in The New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Weekly.

Riddle started his career in showbusiness in summer theater in Pennsylvania.

In 2001, he donated his collection to his alma mater, Kentucky’s Murray State U. The collection spanned 70 years of Hollywood history, including letters from Anthony Hopkins, Harpo Marx and Governor Ronald Reagan; autographed pictures from Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, and posters from films such as “Gone With the Wind,” “A Street Car Named Desire,” and “From Here to Eternity.”

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