Betty Bronson papers, 1920-1970

Finding aid prepared by Arts Special Collections Staff, pre-1999; initial EAD encoding by Julie Graham; machine-readable finding aid created Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575
(310) 825-4988
spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
Online finding aid last updated 10 January 2017.


Title: Betty Bronson papers
Collection number: PASC 158
Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 4.0 linear ft. (8 boxes and 2 flat boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1928-2009
Abstract: Betty Bronson was an actress whose career began in Hollywood's Silent Era and spanned several decades. She is best remembered for her role as Peter Pan in the 1924 version of the film, Peter Pan. The collection consists of materials related to Bronson's career and includes clippings, photographs, correspondence, scrapbooks, and personal and professional ephemera.
Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Creator: Bronson, Betty, 1907-1971

Conditions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Conditions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

COLLECTION CONTAINS AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS: Audiovisual materials in this collection will require assessment and possible digitization for safe access. To review these audiovisual materials, you must notify the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk in advance of your visit.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 709491 

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Betty Bronson Papers (Collection PASC 159). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Larry Lauerhass, 1983 and 1985.

Biography/History

Elizabeth Ada Bronson was born November 17, 1906, in Trenton, New Jersey. She started her film career in 1922, but appeared only in supporting roles. Her career took off when she was selected by Sir James Barrie to play the title role in in the first film version of his play, Peter Pan (1924). She was given top billing in a number of films, including Are Parents People? (1925), The Cat's Pajamas (1926), and A Kiss for Cinderella (1926). When the silent version of Ben Hur was filmed, she appeared in a cameo role. Bronson made the transition to sound motion pictures, and was featured in The Singing Fool (1928) and The Medicine Man (1930). Paramount hoped to build her up as a successor to Mary Pickford, but changing public tastes forced her into more mature roles which diminished her popularity. She retired in 1932 to start a family but returned in 1937 to appear in the Gene Autry western, Yodelin' Kid from Pine Ridge (1937). She made several stage appearances at the Pasadena Playhouse and Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara. In the 1960s, she re-emerged as a character actress and appeared in a television shows such as Dr. Kildare, My Three Sons, and Run for Your Life and films including Blackbeard's Ghost (1968), and Evel Knievel (1971). Betty Bronson died in 1971.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of material related to the career of actress, Betty Bronson. Included are clippings, photographs, correspondence, scrapbooks, writings by Bronson, and personal and professional ephemera. Projects represented are Are People Parents?, Ben Hur, Blackbeard's Ghost, Day in Court, Little Orchid Annie, Sabrina Fair, and Peter Pan, among others. The correspondence contains fan letters and a small amount of business and/or personal letters, notes and cards. The writings by Bronson include material for an article on the Hearst Ranch, titled Hearst Castle: Then and Now and a scrapbook of Peeping Pixie columns written by Bronson for the Pasadena Independent.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is arranged in the following series:
  • Biographical and Personal
  • Projects
  • Photographs
  • Printed Material
  • Correspondence
  • Scrapbooks
  • Writings

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Bronson, Betty, 1907-1971 -- Archives
Actresses--United States--Archives.

Container List

 

Biographical and Personal

Scope and Content

Series consists of personal and biographical items such as an address book, two diaries, identification cards, a passport, and resumes.

Organization and Arrangement

There is no specific arrangement to the series.
Box 5, Folder 55

Address book and passport. 1928 and undated.

Scope and Content

Passport in leather carrying and appears related to 1928 trip to Europe.
Box 5, Folder 61

Composite card (later career) and biographical information. undated.

Box 4, Folder 54, Box 4, Folder 53

Diaries (2 items). 1947.

Box 5, Folder 59

Identification cards and ephemera. 1941, 1969, 1970.

Scope and Content

With two matchbooks with photos, Peter Pan clipping, and engraving plate for Miss Betty Bronson.
Box 2, Folder 34, Box 3, Folder 42

Resumes. ca. 1960s.

Box 5, Folder 60

Who's Who of American Women galley and certificate of recognition. early-1960s.

 

Projects. ca. 1920s-ca. 1970.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

SERIES CONTAINS AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS: Audiovisual materials in this collection will require assessment and possible digitization for safe access. To review these audiovisual materials, you must notify the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk in advance of your visit.

Organization and Arrangement

The series is arranged alphabetically by project titles.

Scope and Content

The bulk of the series is clippings and photographs documenting motion picture, television, and stage projects in which Bronson was involved. Represented are Are People Parents?, Ben Hur, Blackbeard's Ghost, Day in Court, Little Orchid Annie, Sabrina Fair, and Peter Pan, among others. Additionally included is a small amount of publicity ephemera. Additional project related material may be found in the Photographs and/or Printed Material series.
Box 9

Photograph scrapbook containing stills from Betty Bronson films. ca. 1924 - ca. 1930s.

Language of Material: English

Scope and Content

Are Parents People?, Ben Hur, Everybody's Acting, The Golden Princess, A Kiss for Cinderella, Not So Long Ago, Open Range, [Paradise For Two?], Peter Pan, and unidentified.
Box 2, Folder 35

Contract: AFTRA Exclusive Agency contract Under Rule 12-B between Bernyce Cronin Agency and Betty Bronson. 1971 March 30.

Box 2, Folder 35

Contract: Theatrical Motion Pictures Artists' Manager contract between Bernyce Cronin Agency and Betty Bronson. 1971 March 30.

Box 9, Folder 3

Are Parents People? stills (2 copies). ca. 1925.

Box 1, Folder 7

Are Parents People? clippings. 1925-1926.

Box 1, Folder 2

Ben Hur clippings. 1926.

Box 5, Folder 63

Ben Hur publicity ephemera. ca. 1926.

Scope and Content

The Making of Ben Hur (2 copies), Egyptian Theatre special preview tickets, and USC School of Medicine premiere invitation.
Box 4, Folder 49

Betty Bronson Red Hollywood scrapbook prospectus by Betty Bronson, William K. Everson and Johnny Aitchison. undated.

Scope and Content

Type script pages, red folio cover and facsimile of letter from Desi Arnaz regarding the show.
Box 2, Folder 33

Black Beards Ghost call sheets. undated.

Box 6, Folder 70

Blackbeard's Ghost final shooting script. 1966 Oct 6.

Scope and Content

With shooting call, production requirements and revised pages.
Box 7

Blackbeard's Ghost photographs and press release. undated.

Box 11

Blackbeard's Ghost stills. undated.

Box 5, Folder 58

Books with Betty prospectus for television program (2 copies). undated.

Box 1, Folder 3

The Cat's Pajamas clippings. 1926.

Box 10, Folder 97

The Cat's Pajamas publicity ephemera. undated.

Language of Material: English
Box 2, Folder 36

Companionate Marriage program (Criterion). 1928.

Box 12

Cradle Song (Montclair) playbills and reviews. ca. 1933.

Box 6, Folder 68

Day in Court script (#159). undated.

Box 6, Folder 66

Day in Court script (#248). undated.

Box 6, Folder 66

Day in Court script (#455). undated.

Box 5, Folder 58

Day in Court script (#566). undated.

Box 2, Folder 36

East River Romance playbill (John Drew Memorial Theatre) (4 copies). undated.

Scope and Content

With an announcement ad found on Mr. Prohack playbill.
Box 7, Folder 75

Evel Knieval three page script excerpt (part of house mother). undated.

Box 9, Folder 3

Everybody's Acting still (5 copies and 1 negative). ca. 1920s.

Box 1, Folder 9

Everybody's Acting clippings. 1926.

Box 6, Folder 73

The Gay Little Spinsters (The Handsome Burglar) story and script by Jay Ingram. undated.

Box 1, Folder 8

The Golden Princess clippings. 1926.

Box 6, Folder 69

Grindle and the Boodle revised final draft screenplay by Jay Sommers. 1963 Aug 1.

Box 2, Folder 37

Half Shot at Sunrise and Just Imagine clipped advertisements. 1930 Oct 14.

Box 2, Folder 37

Harvey playbill (Labero Theatre). 1963.

Scope and Content

Autographed by cast; with review, and Bronson biography .
Box 6, Folder 71

Iron Kiss (The) script by Samuel Fuller. 1963 Sep 9.

Box 2, Folder 37

Junior League Follies review from the Asheville Times. 1935 May 18.

Box 1, Folder 4

A Kiss for Cinderella clippings. 1926.

Box 1, Folder 1

Little Orchid Annie clippings. 1930s.

Box 2, Folder 37

Little Orchid Annie playbills (Geary Theatre, San Francisco and Hollywood Playhouse). 1930.

Box 1, Folder 10

The Locked Door clippings. 1929.

Box 2, Folder 37

Lovers in Quarantine playbill (Savoy Players) (3 copies). 1930.

Box 7, Folder 87

Lux Video Theatre: The Night of January 16th press release and photograph. ca. 1950s.

Box 3, Folder 45

Merv Griffin Show appearance contract. 1970 Dec 23.

Box 2, Folder 36

Misalliance playbill (Gilmor Brown Memorial Theatre) (4 copies). 1962.

Box 7

Misalliance (Pasadena Playhouse) photographs (5 items). undated.

Box 7

Murder in a Pullman script by Harry Adler. undated.

Box 7

The Naked Kiss photographs and clippings. undated.

Box 10

The Naked Kiss press book. undated.

Box 1, Folder 11

Not So Long Ago clippings. 1926.

Box 1, Folders 5-6

Paradise for Two clippings. 1926.

Bin 10, Folder 97

Peter Pan publicity in The Film Bulletin (front cover and inside back cover). 1924 Dec.

Box 2, Folder 27

Peter Pan clippings. ca. 1924.

Box 7, Folder 88

Peter Pan letter re. photographs. undated.

Box 10

Peter Pan Betty Bronson MOMA reel to reel tape. 1969 May 5.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Audiovisual materials in this collection will require assessment and possible digitization for safe access. To review these audiovisual materials, you must notify the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk in advance of your visit.
Box 12

Peter Pan photographs (3 items). 1920s and 1960s.

Box 9

Peter Pan stills (34 items and 1 negative). ca. 1924.

Language of Material: English
Box 5, Folder 58

Peter Pan placard. undated.

Box 7, Folder 81

Peter Pan stills (3 items). undated.

Box 12

Walt Disney's Peter Pan from the Motion Pictures Peter Pan Big Golden Book (2 copies). c. 1952.

Box 6, Folder 67

Radio script material. ca. 1940s.

Scope and Content

Pages titled: Another Language, Coquette, Cynara, Game of the Love and Death, Gilmore War Letters, Golden boy, Heartbreak House, Mary Turner (Within the Law), The Shining Hour, Stepdaughters of War, Stife, Dot (The Noose), Teresa (The Cradle Song) .
Box 6, Folder 66

Run for Your Life: Kiss Me as You Go teleplay by Howard Browne (2 copies). 1965 July 13.

Box 3, Folder 44

Sabrina Fair clippings, reviews, and programs/playbills (Cameo Playhouse and Pasadena Hall Theatre). 1960.

Scope and Content

With Actors Equity contract.
Box 8, Folder 1

Sabrina Fair clippings and program (Cameo Playhouse). 1960.

Box 7

Sabrina Fair photograph and negative. undated.

Box 2, Folder 36

Sabrina Fair playbill (Cameo Playhouse). undated.

Box 10, Folder 97

Sabrina Fair publicity and playbill (Cameo Playhouse). undated.

Box 6, Folder 72

Shannon: Bonds of Friendship final draft script by Philip Saltzman. 1961 Sep 27.

Box 2, Folder 36

South Shore Players playbill (John Drew Memorial Theatre). undated.

Box 2, Folder 36

Sunday Night Varieties playbill (Lobero Theatre). undated.

Box 2, Folder 37

Twelfth Night playbill (Pasadena Community Playhouse News) (2 copies). 1931.

Box 11

Unidentified audio reel tapes (2 items). undated.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Restricted Access: Audiovisual materials require assessment and possible digitization for safe access. To review these audiovisual materials, you must notify the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk in advance of your visit.
 

Photographs. ca. 1920s and ca. 1960s.

Scope and Content

The bulk of the photographs are mostly unidentified publicity photographs related to Bronson's career. Photographers include Edward Thayer Monroe, Melbourne Spurr, Kenneth Alexander, and Field Studios among others. Additionally included is snap shot of actresses Lilian and Dorothy Gish. See also Project Series for photographs that are related to known projects.

Organization and Arrangement

There is no specific arrangement to the series.
Box 11

Betty Bronson headshots (later career) (35 items and 5 negatives, some duplicate copies). undated.

Box 9

Betty Bronson headshots (early career, 4 signed) (28 items, some duplicates). [ca. 1960s?].

Language of Material: English
Box 7

Betty Bronson publicity photographs (early career, 6 items). 1920s, ca. 1960s, ca. 1970s.

Scope and Content

With Arthur Bronson headshots by Preston Duncan (3 items).
Box 7

Betty Bronson publicity photographs (later career, 9 items). undated.

Box 12

Betty Bronson photographs (20 oversize items). ca. 1925-ca. 1930.

Scope and Content

Photographers include Edward Thayer Monroe, Melbourne Spurr, Kenneth Alexander, Field Studios and others.
Box 3, Folder 39

Betty Bronson and Dorothy and Lilian Gish snapshots (2 items). ca. 1965.

Scope and Content

With letter from Bill [Indecipherable name].
Box 7

Betty Bronson Lauerhass and Ludwig Lauerhass portraits and headshots (22 items and 3 negatives). undated.

Language of Material: English

Scope and Content

Most are by photographer by John Engstead. Three items are from a later period.
 

Betty Bronson portraits and headshots (oversize, 20 items). ca. 1925-ca. 1930s.

Language of Material: English

Scope and Content

Photographers include Edward Thayer Monroe, Melbourne Spurr, Kenneth Alexander, Field Studios and others.
Box 7

Betty Bronson with others at unidentified events photographs (3 items). undated.

Scope and Content

In department store, at luncheon with L. Lauerhass, and signed photograph of Vivian Duncan.
Box 7

Time Life photographs of Betty Bronson at The Museum of Modern Art (6 items). 1969.

 

Printed Material. ca. 1920s-ca. 1960s.

Scope and Content

The bulk of the bulk of series consists of clippings and magazines with articles about or mentions of Betty Bronson and her career. See also the Project Series for clippings that are related to known projects.

Organization and Arrangement

There is no specific arrangement to the series.
Box 9, Folder 1

Betty Bronson portrait cover for Town and Country by Onestus Uzzell (3 copies of tear out). 1933 Sept 15.

 

Crayon caricature of Mr. and Mrs. Lauerhass. undated .

Language of Material: English
Box 1, Folders 12-21

Betty Bronson related clippings. 1920s.

Scope and Content

Articles pertaining to Bronson and her career. With items about Ben-Hur, Everybody's Acting, Paradise, Kiss For Cinderella, The Cat's Pajamas, among other write ups.
Box 2, Folders 22-26, 29-31, 33

Betty Bronson related clippings. 1920s-1960s and undated.

Scope and Content

Mostly related to: resuming career, showing of early Bronson films (with programs and flyers), Black Beards Ghost, The Best Has Yet to Be, television, marriage announcements, family life, birth of son, and obituaries,
Box 11

Betty Bronson related clippings. 1920s, 1930s and 1960s.

Language of Material: English
Box 2, Folder 32

Clippings (may not be related to Bronson). undated.

Box 10, Folder 97

Film Fan Monthly with piece about Bronson written by William Everson. 1971.

Language of Material: English
Box 12

Magazines with Bronson mentions. 1920s.

Scope and Content

Theatre Magazine and Daily Variety.
Box 5, Folder 64 and 65

Magazines with Bronson mentions. 1960s and 1970s.

Scope and Content

With Daily Variety, Film Society, Horizon, Life Movie, Hollywood Reporter, Hollywood Spectator, New Yorker, Photoplay, Rob Wagner's Script, TV Guide, and TV Week (Evening Outlook).
Box 10

Playbills and TV Guides. undated, 1960s.

Box 5, Folder 62

The Rogue Song world premiere program. undated.

Box 4, Folder 47

Sheet Music. undated.

Scope and Content

Peter Pan (I Love You); Hold Your Man; Easter Parade; and Someday I'll Find You.
Box 11

Where are They Today? (Hollywood Reporter article about Bronson). 1969 July 29.

Language of Material: English
 

Correspondence.

Scope and Content

The bulk of series consists of fan letters, cards, and notes to Bronson. Cards and notes correspondents include Francis X. Bushmans, Marion Davies, James Wong Howe, Tyrone Power, Norma Shearer, Cameron Shipp, Richard Watts, and Robert Young, among others. Additionally, there is a small amount of business and/or personal letters, requests, and items from W. K. Everson.

Organization and Arrangement

There is no specific arrangement to the series.
Box 2, Folder 35

Bronson claim vs. Mary Hart. 1931.

Scope and Content

Addressed to Actors Equity Association, New York City with letter of transmittal and affidavits of Betty Bronson and William J. Cocke.
Box 4, Folder 46

Cards and notes (some addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Lauerhass). 1930s, 1950s, 1960s, 1971.

Scope and Content

Correspondents include Francis X. Bushmans, Marion Davies, James Wong Howe, Tyrone Power, Norma Shearer, Cameron Shipp, Richard Watts, and Robert Young, among others. Photograph signed to Betty from Lida.
Box 7

Everson, W.K. correspondence. 1962-1974.

Scope and Content

With notes on Betty Bronson's Hollywood Scrapbook, notes on Bronson's book, Bronson filmographies, and programs to film presentation.
Box 3, Folder 38

Fan Letters (58 items). 1930s-1970s.

Box 3, Folder 45

Letters to Bronson. 1929, ca. 1930s, ca. 1950s-early 1970.

Scope and Content

Mostly business related, with a small number of personal items and/or requests, and ephemera. Small amount of correspondence between Ludwig Lauerhass and others.
Box 11

Letters to Bronson. 1958, 1960s, early-1970s.

Scope and Content

Semi-business and personal. Small number to Ludwig Lauerhass.
 

Scrapbooks.

Scope and Content

The series comprises three scrapbooks documenting Bronson's career. Included are newspaper and magazine clippings and a scrapbook of Peeping Pixie columns written by Bronson for the Pasadena Independent .

Organization and Arrangement

There is no specific arrangement to the series.
Box 8, Folder 3

Peeping Pixie columns written by Bronson for the Pasadena Independent (clippings). 1948-1949.

Box 5, Folder 57

Scrapbook of clipped magazine photographs of Bronson. undated.

Box 5, Folder 56

Scrapbook of newspaper and magazine photographs. 1920s.

Scope and Content

With items for Peter Pan and others.
 

Writings. 1928, 1961 and undated.

Scope and Content

The Writings series includes samples of personal writings by Bronson such as exercises for a writing class, an oversize journal with a small number of entries, and material for an article on the Hearst Ranch, titled Hearst Castle: Then and Now. See also the Scrapbook series for writings representing Bronson's weekly column for the Pasadena Independent with the byline, The Peeping Pixie.

Organization and Arrangement

There is no specific arrangement to the series.
Box 8, Folder 2

[Journal writings] in oversize decorative journal. 1928.

Scope and Content

Holographic writings; not all pages contain writing.
Box 10

Hearst Castle story and correspondence. undated.

Box 3, Folder 39

Hearts Castle: Then and Now. undated.

Scope and Content

Submission for publication letters from Bronson and responses from various companies; registration of manuscript; photocopy review for The Kiss.
Box 3, Folder 40

Hearst Castle: Then and Now. ca. 1960s.

Scope and Content

Typed manuscript pages: carbon of complete article, working copy on yellow paper, loose pages, tour booklets of San Simeon, clipping, and facsimile of letter from James Finan of Readers Digest.
Box 3, Folder 41

Hearst Castle: Then and Now. undated.

Scope and Content

Returned copies of manuscript with responses from LIFE and Westways magazines.
Box 4, Folder 52

Untitled holograph manuscript pages on the 1930s. undated.

Box 4, Folder 48

Writing samples by Bronson. undated.

Scope and Content

Holograph writings on pad. Some may be related to The Yacht and Cruise of the Nadina 11.
Box 5, Folder 58

Writing samples [by Bronson?]. undated.

Box 3, Folder 43

Writing samples by Bronson [for writing class?]. undated.

Scope and Content

With what appears to be The Yacht and pages from Cruise of the Nadina 11,
Box 10

Writings samples by Bronson [for Famous Writers school assignments?]. undated.