Melvyn Douglas Papers, 1892-1983

Summary Information

Title: Melvyn Douglas Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1892-1983

  • Douglas, Melvyn, 1901-1981
Call Number: U.S. Mss 100AN; Micro 1181; Disc 102A; Disc 192A

Quantity: 8.0 c.f. (15 archives boxes and 2 flat boxes), 3 reels of microfilm (35mm), 19 disc recordings, memorabilia, and photographs

Wisconsin Historical Society Archives / Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research
Contact Information

Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Historical Society (Map)

Papers, mainly 1938-1981, of an award-winning actor pertaining to his stage, screen, and television career and to his many political and humanitarian concerns. Theatrical files range in completeness with the most extensive relating to his performances in The Best Man (1960), First Monday in October (1975), Inherit the Wind (1955), Juno (1959) and Time Out for Ginger (1952), and to his production of Call Me Mister with Herman Levin in 1946. Documentation on these includes correspondence, contracts, clippings and scrapbooks (available only on microfilm), and miscellaneous production information. Material on his early motion picture work is scarce, but there are scripts and related materials for Being There (1979), I Never Sang For My Father (1970), and Tell Me a Riddle (1980), as well as for his television work on “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” (1967). The collection also includes stills and photographs for many productions in which Douglas appeared. General correspondence, mainly 1938-1950, pertains to Douglas' political activities especially as a member of the Motion Picture Democratic Committee, Americans for Democratic Action, and the American Veterans Committee; work for the White House Conference on Children in a Democracy; and his controversial appointment to the Office of Civil Defense in 1942. There is also material on his military service during World War II. Among the prominent correspondents are Robert W. Anderson, Brooks Atkinson, Ralph Bellamy, Kermit Bloomgarden, Hume Cronyn, Paul H. Douglas, William O. Douglas, Abba Eban, Clark Eichelberger, James T. Farrell, Elmer Gertz, Donald Hyatt, Harold Ickes, Lady Bird Johnson, Loring Mandel, Burgess Meredith, Worthington Miner, Louis Nizer, George Norris, Paul O'Dwyer, Joseph L. Rauh, Robert Redford, Walter Reuther, Eleanor Roosevelt, James Roosevelt, Benjamin Spock, Barrie Stavis, Daniel J. Tobin, Dan Totheroh, and Walter Wanger. Also part of the papers are scripts and recordings for radio broadcasts, speeches and writings, financial records, memorabilia and biographical miscellany, photographs, and research material (some available only on microfilm) compiled by Douglas biographer Tom Arthur.

Language: English

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