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Mark Solomon Papers
WGF-MS-131  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Mark Solomon Papers consist of produced and unproduced scripts, sketches, plays, musicals, production materials, newspaper clippings, and music relating to the career of screenwriter and composer Mark Solomon. The bulk of this collection consists of scripts and related materials for television sitcoms including Alice, Grace Under Fire, and Newhart, along with other television programs like Diagnosis Murder, TV movie Spinning Out of Control, unproduced projects and pilots like Ruth Harper, and original music compositions.
Background
Mark Solomon was born on November 1, 1947 in Hartford, Connecticut. While pursuing a Fine Arts degree from the University of Connecticut in the late 1960s, he met writing partner Mark Egan. They moved to Los Angeles together, writing, composing, and performing in plays, musicals, and live comedy revues. Their first big break came in 1974 when comedian Ruth Buzzi bought a sketch called “The Autograph” from their show Wazzat?. Solomon and Egan continued to write sketches for Buzzi and spec scripts for new sitcoms of the time. In 1979, CBS asked them to write a Christmas episode for the sitcom Alice. Solomon and Egan spent the next 6 years writing and producing for Alice. During this time Mark Solomon also met dancer and artist Cary Snur, whom he married in 1982. After Alice ended in 1985, Solomon and Egan worked on unaired pilots like Ruth Harper, and short-lived series like Eisenhower & Lutz. Their next major project was in 1988, when they were brought on as the executive producers and head writers of seasons seven and eight of Newhart. Together with Bob Bendetson, they wrote the series finale episode, “The Last Newhart.” The twist ending received widespread critical and audience acclaim, earning Solomon, Egan, and Bendetson a 1990 Emmy nomination in Outstanding Comedy Writing. Solomon and Egan received a CBS pilot deal for Ruth Harper, which never aired. In 1991, they were also asked by CBS to write the Bob Newhart 19th Anniversary Special. In the mid-90s Mark Egan moved back to Connecticut, leaving Solomon to work as a solo writer. He wrote episodes for Temporarily Yours and Hollywood Off-Ramp, co-executive produced and wrote for season five of Grace Under Fire. He started exploring formats outside of the half-hour sitcom. writing episodes and composing music for seasons seven and eight of Diagnosis Murder. In 2001, he wrote the TV movie Spinning Out of Control for E! Network, which featured Kathie Lee Gifford and Howie Mandel in lead roles. Mark and Cary Solomon retired and moved to Ojai, California, where they remained active and artistic participants in the community. Mark continued to compose music, including the “P.D. Song,” which addressed his own struggles with Parkinson’s Disease. Mark Solomon died on November 6, 2019, at the age of 72.
Extent
10 linear feet, 8 boxes
Restrictions
The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Availability
Available by appointment only.