The Library Chronicle of the University of Texas at Austin [New Series Number 40

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Austin, TX: University of Texas, 1987. First Edition. Laid in is a type letter signed by the quarterly's senior editor, Dave Oliphant, on stationery from the university, addressed to Ruth Ford. Oliphant responds to Ford's approval of a recent article he wrote on the archive of actor Zachary Scott, Ford's first husband. Oliphant has also included a Xerox copy of a letter from another admirer of the Scott article, John Dooley, librarian of Bryn Mawr College, trusting the letter to be of interest to Ruth Ford. Also laid in is a "with compliments" slip from the publisher.

Included is a copy of the Chronicle from 1970 (New Series Number 2), with an article on the reference materials found in the basement at William Randolph Hearst's' "Journal-American" (1937-1966). Among the materials were various clippings, photographs, and negatives of celebrities, artists, and writers. Zachary Scott was featured prominently in the newspaper, and two negatives are highlighted (both show Scott with wife, Ruth Ford).

Ruth Ford was an American stage and film actress, sister to the bohemian surrealist Charles Henri Ford. She began her career as a model for the likes of Harper’s and Mademoiselle, and early on was a member of Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre. With Welles’ help she went on to land work in Hollywood. Her best known films include “The Keys of the Kingdom” (1944), Anthony Mann’s “Strange Impersonation” (1946), and Frank Perry’s “Play It As It Lays” (1972).

Her persona was as important—if not more important—than her career in film and on the stage. For more than 40 years, her apartment in the Dakota, the gabled, fortress-like building on 72nd Street, welcomed the likes of William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, Terrence McNally, Stephen Sondheim, and Truman Capote. A chance encounter between Arthur Laurents in her Manhattan living room led to the pair’s collaboration on “West Side Story.”

Two faint dampstains to the copy containing the TLS, else both volumes Near Fine in printed wrappers.

From the estate of Ruth Ford.


[Book #127979]

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