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Hurraye

September 05, 1987

It is a pity Mike Doud didn't do his homework before questioning Martha Raye's career in connection with her lawsuit against David Letterman (Saturday Letters, Aug. 29).

That career includes films spanning almost 30 years (from "Rhythm on the Range" in 1936 through "Monsieur Verdoux" opposite Charles Chaplin in 1964), her highly rated television hour in the 1950s, real running roles in TV's "McMillan and Wife" and "Alice," and on Broadway as Dolly Levi in "Hello, Dolly!"

More importantly, no one spent more time than Martha Raye did entertaining front-line troops during World War II and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. Three presidents, F.D.R., Ike and L.B.J., awarded her civilian citations of appreciation, and she was made an honorary colonel in the Green Berets for "valor above and beyond."

Raye and her more than 50-year career deserve our admiration. Letterman and his cheap shots at her expense, and his apology of "Come on, Martha, can't you take a joke?," won't cut it.

TOM CLARK

Bermuda Dunes

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