Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Leonard Freeman Collection
Collection Number: WGF-MS-003
Freeman, Leonard, 1920-1974
Extent: 12.3 linear feet
Writers Guild Foundation Archive
Los Angeles, California 90048
Abstract: The Leonard Freeman Collection, 1967-1980 contains a complete set of scripts and accompanying production materials for the
original television series Hawaii Five-O from the personal collection of series creator Leonard Freeman. Nearly every script
is supplemented with production reports, call sheets, cast and crew lists, shooting schedules, censorship notices, and other
Language of Material: English
Available by appointment only.
The responsibility to secure copyright and publication permission rests with the researcher.
Leonard Freeman Collection. Writers Guild Foundation Archive
Gift of the Rose Freeman Estate, September 6, 2012
Leonard Freeman was a film and television writer and producer best known as the creator of the crime drama series Hawaii Five-O,
which aired on the CBS network from 1968-1980. Born on October 31, 1920 in Sonoma County, California, Freeman’s early writing
credits include the stories for the film dramas STEEL TOWN (1952) and THE ALL AMERICAN (1953). Freeman also wrote episodes
for several television anthology programs throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, penning installments for Four Star Playhouse
(1954), Matinee Theater (1956), The 20th Century Fox Hour (1956), Fireside Theater (1956), Men of Annapolis (1957-1958), Target
(1958), Lux Playhouse (1958-1959), Alcoa Theater (1957-1959), The David Niven Show (1959), Goodyear Theater (1959), and The
Barbara Stanwyck Show (1961). From 1961-1962, Freeman wrote and produced episodes for Route 66. This weekly drama followed
the cross-country travels of Tod Stiles (played by Martin Milner) and Buz Murdock (played by George Maharis) in their iconic
In 1961. Freeman partnered twice with director Gordon Douglas. He wrote the screenplay for CLAUDELLE INGLISH and co-wrote
with Leigh Brackett the western GOLD OF THE SEVEN SAINTS starring Clint Walker, Roger Moore, and Letícia Román. He later
returned to the western genre by writing and producing HANG ‘EM HIGH (1968) starring Clint Eastwood.
Though Freeman may have first dipped into the world of police dramas by writing an episode of The Detectives in 1959, his
crowning achievement was the development and long-term success of Hawaii Five-O, whose pilot entitled “Cocoon” first aired
as a two-hour TV movie on September 20, 1968. Detective Lieutenant Steve McGarrett (played by Jack Lord) and his elite Hawaiian
state police unit would go on to bring down international secret agents, organized crime syndicates, and other island delinquents
for twelve seasons (1968-1980) – a television procedural crime tenure unsurpassed until 2003 by Law and Order. Freeman passed
away in 1974 during Hawaii Five-O’s sixth season.
Scope and Content of Collection
The Leonard Freeman collection is organized into the following series: Series I is comprised of television scripts and production
materials. Aside from the original pilot (for which production materials are available), the entire Hawaii Five-O series
(276 scripts in all) is represented in 71 bound volumes. Nearly every script is supplemented with production reports, call
sheets, cast and crew lists, shooting schedules, and other studio memoranda such as occasional story critiques from Freeman
and other producers as well as meticulous censorship notices from the CBS Network.
Television producers and directors