While acting in the Broadway production of "Arsenic and Old Lace," Von Stroheim writes to his daughter-in-law. He refers to the play towards the end of the letter. "We opened last night & as you can see from the criticism it went over allright (sic)." Von Stroheim played the role of the villain, Jonathan Brewster, after Boris Karloff left the play.
He addresses his daughter-in-law as "Poopsie." She was the wife of his son Josef (1922–2002) a sound editor who started out in photography. Von Stroheim offers advice to "Poopsie" after noting his birthday present to her should arrive in time. "I am so glad about your advancement & I hope you’ll keep up your interest in your work – particulairly [sic] now that you are in the Publicity Dept. I know – I just feel that you will make good because you are bright & unspoiled. Just don’t associate with punk kids who might get you into trouble. Keep up your interest in photography & continue to be a good mixer. That was one of my many shortcomings. I couldn’t mix & make friends...." He signs, "Your Dad." Von Stroheim was a masterful if uncompromising director and eventually left Hollywood for acting largely in Europe.
Von Stroheim, who emigrated to the US in 1909, continues to be recognized as one of most important 20th century directors especially for his silent era masterpiece, "Greed" (1924).