Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Gloria Goldsmith Papers
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
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.
16 boxes, 20 linear feet
The responsibility to secure copyright and publication permission rests with the patron.
Open for research. Available by appointment only.