Rare Ian Hendry Autograph From The John Verzi Collection

Above: Ian Hendry signed 4″ x 6″ index card from the John Verzi collection. Date of in-person acquisition noted in pencil on the back of May 25, 1976.

This autograph is up for auction on eBay, with the lot ending on 14th June 2019. Details can be found here.

The Magic Of An Autograph

There is a certain fascination with collecting autographs. As a child, I had several autograph books which were filled with famous footballers and celebrities. As a keen Ipswich Town supporter, I used to go to watch the first team train at Portman Road, where I met [Sir] Bobby Robson, Kevin Beattie, Allan Hunter, Paul Mariner, John Wark and many more of the greats who signed my book. Those were the golden years at the club before the decline set in. Still, I was blessed to have witnessed it all.

During the day we spent preparing for the filming of Ian’s This Is Your Life in 1978, I went around with my miniature ‘Red Book’ collecting the autographs of all the guests.

Picture: My This Is Your Life autograph book from March 1978.

My sister collected autographs too, writing to the TV stars of the 70s and receiving wonderful signed and dedicated photographs in the post from household names such as Bruce Forsyth, Dick Emery and The Two Ronnies – Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett.

There is no doubt something very magical about an autograph. A piece of memorabilia that captures a moment in time, something very personal and, perhaps, just a little bit of the aura, talent and ‘magic’ that made the person a public figure.

The John Verzi Autograph Collection

This Ian Hendry autograph is part of one of the largest in-person autograph collections to surface in the last 25 years.

Picture: John Verzi, pictured here with Glenda Jackson, was a long-time in-person collector who resided in Los Angeles.

John Verzi was clearly an interesting character. Beginning in the 1950s and continuing for more than four decades, he tracked down thousands of notables in all fields of achievement, occasionally accompanied by friends, and requested their autographs.

Some of these autographs were on photographs, some on pages of old “Stars of the Photoplay” books, but primarily on approximately 24,000 index cards and album pages. He frequently noted the date the autograph was obtained on the back of the photo or index card. He was able to obtain signatures of numerous stars of the 1980s and 1990s at the outset of their careers when they were flattered to be asked for their autograph and responded with legible signatures.

Here are just a few samples from his enormous collection:

Picture: Clarke Gable autograph from the John Verzi collection


Picture: Bruce Lee autograph from the John Verzi collection

Picture: Ian Flemming autograph from the John Verzi collection

Ian Hendry Autograph Gallery

The gallery below showcases a number of good examples of Ian Hendry’s autographs – including a few on promotional stills from films such as Repulsion [1965] and Live Now Pay Later [1962] – both of which are now in my personal collection.

In one early autograph – dedicated to ‘Fay’ from the late 1950s – you will notice that Ian’s signature includes his middle initial ‘M’ – for Mackendrick. Mackendrick was a family surname, clearly from the Scottish side of the family! I think it may have been his grandmother’s maiden surname on his father’s side of the family.

He clearly dropped the use of the initial a short-time later and by the early 1960s, he had settled for the signature which he would use throughout the rest of his life.

Ian’s signature is distinctive and spontaneous with the bold, almost chiselled ‘I’ in Ian and the swirls around the ‘H’ in Hendry. If the autograph was dedicated to someone, in particular, it was invariably signed with ‘very best wishes’ or ‘best wishes’.

They are beginning to become quite collectable, due in part to the rediscovery of The Avengers ‘Tunnel of Fear’ episode in 2016, which raised awareness of his key role amongst the very passionate fan-base of the cult series.

Click on the thumbnails/ images to see the autographs in a larger lightbox.


The autographs above also include one other rarity, a signature by Ian Hendry dedicated to another Ian Hendry.

Picture: Ian Hendry meets Ian Hendry at the premiere of Live Now, Pay Later [1962]


You can read more about that other Ian Hendry’s meeting with our Ian Hendry which occurred during his visit to his hometown of Ipswich in 1962, for the premiere of his film Live Now, Pay Later.

Ian Hendry meets Ian Hendry


Until next time,

Neil Hendry
Editor, Official Tribute To Ian Hendry

Further Reading

A detailed account of the life and work of Ian Hendry in the new biography:

Read: ‘Send in the Clowns – The Yo Yo Life Of Ian Hendry’ by Gabriel Hershman

Send In The Clowns - The Yo Yo Life of Ian Hendry

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