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Title: Letters with Envelope
Identifier: 2005.4.178.1-3
Donor: Barbara Larson
Item Date: c.1924
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2005
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: Two small letters found inside a small envelope. (1) A paper envelope, 10 x 6.5 cm. The envelope is torn open at the top, and is slightly dirty on the back. Written on the front in pencil "For Santa love from Dora". (2) A folded note, 19 x 12.5 cm when unfolded. There is a coloured drawing of two girls blowing bubbles. Written below, in pencil, 'Dear Santa, "Thank you very much for the nice things. With love, from Dora". The letter is folded and fits inside the above envelope. (3) A folded note, 19 x 12.5 cm when unfolded. There is a coloured drawing of one girl blowing bubbles. Written below, in pencil, "Dear Santa, Babs wants to thank you very much for the nice things. With love, from Babs". The letter is folded and fits inside the above envelope.

History: Dora Sayers Caro (1915-2004) was born in Clarkson in 1915, to Beverly and Annie Sayers (née Harris). Dora lived close to Benares in a number of homes, including 'Skidoo', 'The Pines', and later 'The Log Bungalow'. During World War I, Dora lived at Benares with her mother and brother while her father was overseas as an officer.

Dora first started acting at age 10, appearing in school plays, and later in local stage productions. To gain experience, she found work at the University of Toronto’s Hart House Theatre, working with children’s theatre productions.

In 1936, at the age of 21, Dora moved to New York and found work with the touring company of "What Every Woman Knows". Dora’s first big break came a year after arriving in New York, in 1937's "Stage Door". She later appeared in the long-running Broadway production of "My Fair Lady". The pinnacle came in 1941, when Dora was chosen to be the understudy for the legendary Katherine Hepburn in "The Philadelphia Story".

The Tony award winning playwright, Moss Hart, took one of his shows to the American-occupied Pacific islands during World War II, to entertain the troops. Dora joined his cast for "The Man Who Came To Dinner". Dora also helped form the United Services Organization in 1941. The USO provided health and recreational facilities for soldiers and administered church services, but was best known for the travelling vaudeville reviews that entertained Allied troops in Europe and the Pacific during WWII.

Dora married actor Ralph Forbes (pronounced RAYF) in 1946. Forbes appeared in over 70 movies from 1921 to 1944. He and Dora met in 1942 during the stage production of Noel Coward’s "Private Lives". Ralph died 5 years after he and Dora married, in 1951. Dora later married Jim Caro in 1954 and retired from the stage. Jim and Dora were avid equestrians, as well as breeding and showing thoroughbred dogs. Dora and Jim lived in France and the Bahamas before settling in the United States. She lived in McLean, Virginia - near Washington D.C. - until her death in 2004.
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