Speculation on the Next 10 Legends of Hollywood Stamps

I did a similar thread 10 years ago (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=298460&highlight=stamp).

Buoyed by the general indifference it received, I’m giving it another go.

The main difference, is instead of listing the 10 people I think should make it, I’m listing the 10 I think are most likely to make it.

In approximately decreasing likelihood, I’m guessing the next 10 will include:

  1. Elizabeth Taylor
  2. Clark Gable
  3. Marlon Brando
  4. Lauren Bacall
  5. Jack Lemmon
  6. Spencer Tracy
  7. Shirley Temple
  8. Andy Griffith*
  9. Sidney Poitier**
  10. Kirk Douglas**

*Granted, he’s known mainly for TV, but that didn’t stop the USPS from including Lucille Ball in 2000
**Yes, they’re still alive, but they’re old and the USPS has basically eliminated the post-death waiting period (see, for instance, this year’s stamp for Maya Angelou one year after her passing).

Some actors and actresses worthy of the series that I suspect the USPS will commemorate in some other way:

-Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers: will be included in a set honoring Hollywood’s dancers. If they go for a set of six stamps, I suspect they’ll fill it out with the Nicholas Brothers, Eleanor Powell and either Gregory Hines or Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson

-Marlene Dietrich: Probable joint stamp issue with Germany

-Orson Welles: Will be included in a second ‘Famous Directors’ block of four. Possible candidates to round the set out: Cecil B. DeMille, Stanley Kubrick and Mike Nichols.

-The Marx Brothers: Might continue to be ignored. Might get a stand alone stamp. Might be included in another set of ‘famous comedians.’ If the later, potential candidates to round out the set include the Three Stooges, Burns & Allen, and Mae West.

-Robin Williams: I would have had him fairly high in the 10 most likely list, except the USPS’s page for the Legends of Hollywood series describes the series as honoring “Famous Golden-Age film stars.” I suspect the USPS will either do a stand-alone stamp for him or include him in a set of stand-up comedians. My suspicions lean towards the stand alone, mainly because the USPS is likely to consider as too controversial some of the people you’d almost have to include in a stand-up comedians set, like George Carlin and Richard Pryor.

USPS confirmed this year’s LoH issue is Shirley Temple (#7 on your list).

This does not preclude other actors/actresses being announced later, though they won’t be official part of the LoH series. Elizabeth Taylor, for instance, may be listed separately as a performer/philanthropist like Paul Newman was last year.

Similarly, someone like Bojangles Robinson might get included in part of their various “person of color” series (like the recent Jose Ferrer stamp) instead of LoH. The recording artist stamps might include someone from the movies, too–so far, only Sarah Vaughan has been announced, but perhaps Lennon and/or Harrison might make the cut.

As to your other suggestions–I’m pretty certain Astaire and Kelly would each get their own sheets. They’re way too iconic, IMHO. But your “dancer” idea is good, though we just had a choreographer issue a few years ago (which included Bob Fosse) so who knows.

Two silent stars conspicuously missing are Lilian Gish and Mary Pickford.

I doubt Lemmon or Bacall will come before any of these (or any of the other deceased on your list). The Marx Bros are long overdue (though Groucho did get his in the Classic TV issue a few years back, for “You Bet Your Life”) though the other blocks of comedy stamps were designed by Al Hirschfeld, who’d be sorely missed in any new release.

Other names worth considering: Joan Crawford, Burt Lancaster, Rock Hudson, Barbra Stanwyck.

All of those seem like possible stamps. I hope Leonard Nimoy will get one soon, too.