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Legendary Hispanic Talent Honored on Forever Stamp

IMAGE: US Postal Service

U.S. Postal Service’s Distinguished Americans Stamp Series Inducts José Ferrer

 

NEW YORK — Today, multi-talented actor, director, writer, musician and producer José Ferrer’s life and accomplishments were commemorated on a First-Class Forever stamp by the U.S. Postal Service as part of its Distinguished Americans stamp series. The stamps, available nationwide today, can be purchased online at usps.com/shop, by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 or by visiting Post Offices.

The portrait featured on the stamp is an oil painting by Daniel Adel of Cold Spring, NY, based on a photograph of Ferrer under the art direction of Antonio Alcala of Alexandria, VA, who designed the stamp.

Ferrer, whose career spanned the worlds of theater, film, television and music, is considered to be one of the most accomplished talents of his generation and the first Latino to win the Oscar for Best Actor. Ferrer (1912-1992) won several Tony Awards for his work on stage and performed in more than 60 movies, garnering three Academy Award nominations. Arguably his most famous role was that of Cyrano de Bergerac for which he won both a Tony Award for Best Actor (1947) and the Oscar for Best Actor (1950) for his film portrayal of the same role. He remains one of the few actors to ever win both awards for playing the same character on stage and on film.

“Today, the Postal Service is pleased and proud to bestow upon José Ferrer — a groundbreaking Latino movie, theater and television performer and the first Puerto Rican actor to succeed in Hollywood — a new commemorative Forever stamp,” said Marie Therese Dominguez, vice president, Government Relations and Public Policy for the U.S. Postal Service. “Throughout an acting career that spanned more than half a century, Ferrer played a wide range of roles on both Broadway and on the silver screen. His accomplishments extended to many other genres of entertainment. He acted on radio, performed as an opera singer; co-authored a libretto and was a composer. And, as if all this weren’t enough, Ferrer wrote for theater and television, and directed and produced numerous plays, both on and off Broadway.”

Joining Dominguez to dedicate the stamp were his wife Stella Ferrer; Rafael Ferrer, voice over artist; Theodore Chapin, chairman of the Board of Trustees, American Theatre Wing; John Martello, executive director of The Players; Harold Smith Prince, Broadway producer-director; actors Frances Sternhagen and Christopher Lloyd; and Stephen Kearney, manager, Stamp Services, U.S. Postal Service. The Players serves primarily as a social club but is also a repository of American and British theater history, memorabilia and theatrical artifacts. Ferrer was a longtime member and received the organization’s prestigious“ Edwin Booth Life Achievement Award.”

Ferrer’s family moved the family to New York City when Ferrer was six from Puerto Rico. Always an excellent student, he passed the Princeton University entrance exam at age 15, but was considered too young to attend and spent a year in a boarding school in Switzerland. He entered Princeton at age 16 and graduated with the class of 1933. He conducted postgraduate work at Columbia University with the intention of becoming a language teacher. However, he had discovered his love of acting while in college, and in 1935, made his first appearance on Broadway, a one-line part in the play, “A Slight Case of Murder.”

Customers may view the José Ferrer Forever Stamp, as well as many of this year’s other stamps, on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for background on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others) and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

José Ferrer Stamp
Postmaster
421 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10199-9998

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes by mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by June 26, 2012.

How to Order First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic Catalog, online at www.usps.com/shop or by
calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service Catalog Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

Philatelic Products
There are four philatelic products available for this stamp issue:

  • 470261 First-Day Cover, $0.89.
  • 470265 Digital Color Postmark (DCP), $1.60.
  • 470291 Ceremony Program, $6.95.
  • 470299 Cancellation Keepsake (DCP w/Pane), $10.95

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation, 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office Boxes. The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency six consecutive years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

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