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Danny Thomas papers, 1953-1964, 1979
PASC 356  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement

  • Title: Danny Thomas papers
    Collection number: PASC 356
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 10.2 linear ft. (20 boxes and 1 shoe box)
    Date (inclusive): 1953-1964, 1979
    Abstract: Entertainer Danny Thomas is best remembered for his role in the television series Make Room for Daddy later known as the Danny Thomas Show. The collection consists primarily of script files documenting the popular television series Make Room for Daddy (1953-1956) and The Danny Thomas Show (1956-1964).
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.
    Creator: Thomas, Danny

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. 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.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Ronald Jacobs, 2010.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Danny Thomas papers (Collection PASC 356). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


    Muzyad Yakhoob, later changed to Danny Thomas, was born on 6 January 1914 in Deerfield, MI. Thomas first worked in local radio and nightclubs, under his Americanized name, Amos Jacobs, before becoming a hit as Danny Thomas at the 5100 Club in Chicago. It was at the 5100 Club that Abe Lastfogel, head of the William Morris Agency, saw and signed Thomas. Thomas went on to host his own radio program, The Danny Thomas Show, on CBS-Radio from 1944 to 1949. During this same time, Thomas made his motion picture debut in The Unfinished Dance (1946). He started his television career in the early 1950s on All Star Revue, and not long after, he was given the opportunity for his own television show. Loosely based on Thomas' own life, the television series Make Room for Daddy (1953-1956) later known as the Danny Thomas Show (1956-1964) was a sitcom about Danny Williams, a nightclub singer and comedian, and his family. It included cast members Jean Hagen, Sherry Jackson and Rusty Hamer. When Jean Hagen left the show at the end of the 1955/56 season, the series was renamed The Danny Thomas Show. Thomas spent the 1956/57 season playing a widower, but in the spring of 1957 Marjorie Lord and Angela Cartwright were added to the cast. The Emmy winning series was on air for eleven seasons and remained one of the top ten rated shows until it voluntarily left the air in 1964.
    Thomas met Sheldon Leonard during production on Make Room for Daddy. In the early 1960s the two formed Thomas-Leonard Productions, a company responsible for many successful series, including The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968) and The Dick van Dyke Show (1961-1966). Thomas went on to develop shows independently and also partnered with Aaron Spelling to produce shows such as The Mod Squad (1968-1973). In 1967 negotiations to purchase Desilu from Lucille Ball were unsuccessful, but he continued to produce projects as part of Danny Thomas Productions. He was the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career, including an Emmy, and was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. Thomas was also well-known for his charitable work and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor for his work establishing St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. Thomas died February 6, 1991 of a heart attack in Los Angeles, CA.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists primarily of script files related to the career of actor, comedian, and producer, Danny Thomas. Included are revised and annotated scripts for Make Room for Daddy (1953-1956) and The Danny Thomas Show (1956-1964). The scripts are a combination of loose files and bound volumes. Among the episodes is the pilot script for Make Room for Daddy. The scripts document the evolution of the two shows as well as the careers of television writers David Adler, Mac Benoff, Jack Elinson, Charles Stewart, Bob Fisher, Alan Lipscott, Arthur Stander, Henry Garson, and Garry Marshall, among others. Additionally, there is a reference card file representing eleven seasons of the show, in its different iterations, that document each episode with episode title, writer, cast list, film and release date, sponsor, and music. Also included are a small number of publicity stills and news releases (press releases) for the Danny Thomas Show and the pilot script for a Thomas show, Starting Fresh (1979).

    Organization and Arrangement

    The files are arranged by series name and episode titles.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Thomas, Danny.
    Actors - Archival resources
    Comedians - Archival resources