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Gabrielle Upton Papers
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The Papers of Gabrielle Upton contain scripts for many of the television episodes and feature films she wrote, both produced projects and unproduced pilots and feature films.
Gabrielle Upton, née Houghton, was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1921. She got her start acting and writing radio plays for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Married in 1940, she and her husband, actor and sound man Julian Upton, moved briefly to Winnipeg and Toronto then to Los Angeles in the early 1950s. She and her husband taught for a time at the Geller Theatre Workshop. Upton’s screenwriting career spanned the 1950s to the 1980s and she worked steadily across genres and formats. In 1951 and 1952, she was part of a Ken Krippene-led expedition in Peru to film The Lost Emeralds of Illa-Tica for producer Sol Lesser and RKO. 1953, she wrote and starred in the episode “Sheila” of the CBS anthology series Schlitz Playhouse, and went on to write for many anthology shows of the time including The Christophers, The Loretta Young Show, Ford Television Theatre, Douglas Fairbanks Presents, The Web, DuPont Theater and General Electric Theatre. She also wrote episodes of dramatic TV series such as Wire Service. Upton is best known for writing the screenplay adaptation for the 1959 Columbia Pictures film Gidget, which spawned many sequels and teen stories. Her other film credits include co-writing the 1962 film Escape from East Berlin and co-writing the 1967 film Brown Eye, Evil Eye. Also in 1967 Upton is credited with co-writing the screenplay for the German-French comedic film Zärtliche Haie aka Tender Sharks. Throughout the 1960s, Upton continued to write episodes of anthology shows such as Alcoa’s One Step Beyond, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Best of the Post. She also wrote episodes for dramatic TV series’ Ben Casey, Saints and Sinners, Convoy, The Virginian, High Chaparral, and The Big Valley. Upton moved into daytime television and served as head writer on CBS’ Guiding Light from 1966-1968, Secret Storm from roughly 1969-1974, Search for Tomorrow in 1974, and Love of Life from 1976-1978. She earned three WGA Award nominations during this time for Best Television Writing in Daytime Serials. She sometimes wrote under the pseudonym Gillian Houghton for soap opera work. In the 1980s, Upton and her husband moved back to British Columbia where she continued to create film and TV proposals, including extensive work on a proposed soap opera titled Victoria in the early 1990s. Upton died September 13, 2022 in Santa Rosa, CA, survived by her daughter Greer Upton.
5 linear feet (4 boxes)
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The collection is open for research.