Correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, clippings, diaries, audiocassettes, and other material documenting the life, family,
and professional career of Harold Fairbanks (1935-2014), a Los Angeles-based journalist and film critic who wrote for the
Advocate, Update, Entertainment West, and Newswest.
Harold Fairbanks was born George McKay Spence in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1935. He attended the State University of Iowa (approx.
1954-1958) where he was involved in film programming on campus. He moved to Los Angeles in 1959 where he began a career in
film, working as a projectionist, film programmer for schools, booker in a film exchange, film editor, technician, and publicist.
In addition, he helped produce two low-budget features. He assumed the name Harold Fairbanks for his career in journalism.
He worked as a movie reviewer for the Advocate, where he often reviewed gay erotic films; and then became the Entertainment
Editor for Newswest (1975-1977). In the 1980s, Fairbanks began writing obituaries while a staff writer for Update, bringing
a more journalistic approach by interviewing friends and survivors rather than relying on biological family who would often
exclude details of homosexuality and AIDS from the obituary ("AIDS Obituaries: The Newspaper Quilt [draft]," by Karen Ocamb,
LA Times Sunday Magazine). Fairbanks died in 2014.
15.8 Linear Feet
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The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.