These papers represent the professional and activist work of playwright and screenwriter Gloria Goldsmith. A founding member
of Women in Film and two-term President of the organization, she spent decades working to increase professional opportunities
for women in the entertainment industry. Her overlapping personal, professional, and creative interests are represented in
these papers, including scripts, correspondence, and administrative documents from various organizations.
Gloria Goldsmith was born in 1926 in New York City and grew up in a Jewish family with parents who were active in left wing
politics. Seeing them, and especially her mother, stand up for their beliefs influenced Goldsmith’s creative and activist
work as an adult. She graduated from the Carnegie Mellon drama program (then called Carnegie Tech), and then returned to New
York City. Working as a teacher to make ends meet, her true passion was writing, and she was a member of the Actor’s Studio
Writer and Director’s Unit and the New Dramatists Guild. The recipient of both a Rockefeller Grant for playwriting and a Ford
Foundation Grant, in 1960 her play Friday Dinner on Middleneck Road was chosen to be part of the CBS Repertoire Workshop.
Soon after, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television, while also continuing to work as a playwright.
In addition to writing, Goldsmith dedicated her time to feminist and political causes. A founding member of Women in Film,
established in 1973, Goldsmith also served two terms as President of the organization from 1978 to 1980. Under her leadership
she expanded membership to include women in New York and internationally. In later years she helped found the Women in Film
Foundation and the Women in Film Festival. Her commitment to these, and other feminist organizations was ongoing, and included
participating in the Writer’s Guild of America Women’s Committee, The Institute for the Study of Women and Men, The Women’s
Cinema Group, and others. Throughout her life she also contributed her time to political and community groups, including the
West Hollywood Fine Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities Media Arts Committee, and Southern California
Americans for Democratic Action.
Goldsmith was married to Allen Golden as a young woman in New York and had two daughters before divorcing. In 1984 she and
her daughter, artist Gera Golden, were hit in their car by a drunk driver. Golden was killed and Goldsmith suffered physical
injuries as well as mental and emotional trauma. This affected her ability to work for many years and influenced her writing
and activist work. She lived in West Hollywood until her death in 2018 and was survived by a daughter and grandson.