Mort Lachman Collection

Finding aid created by Writers Guild Foundation Archive staff using RecordEXPRESS
Writers Guild Foundation Archive
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Los Angeles, California 90048
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Descriptive Summary

Title: Mort Lachman Collection
Dates: 1943-1987
Collection Number: WGF-MS-082
Extent: 66.25 linear feet
Repository: Writers Guild Foundation Archive
Los Angeles, California 90048
Abstract: The bulk of the Mort Lachman collection consists of scripts and production documents from television shows and radio shows on which he worked, primarily as head writer for Bob Hope. Scripts range from The Bob Hope Show (radio and television) and specials to All in the Family, Beau James, Katie and Allie and other popular sitcoms. Additionally, this collection contains written jokes, monologues, and manuscripts written for Bob Hope's personal appearances and Lachman's extensive master joke file compiled over several decades.
Language of Material: English


Available by appointment only.

Publication Rights

The responsibility to secure copyright and publication permission rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Mort Lachman Collection. Collection Number: WGF-MS-082. Writers Guild Foundation Archive

Acquisition Information

Donated by Mort Lachman 10/24/2007

Biography/Administrative History

Morton Lachman is an Emmy winning writer and producer who is best known for his work with Bob Hope. Lachman was born in Seattle on March 20, 1918. He majored in journalism at the University of Washington and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. It was during World War II when he learned of his comedic writing talents writing for radio programs. After the war, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a radio writer and in 1947 was hired by Bob Hope to join his writing staff. Eventually in 1950, Hope made the transition from radio to television and Lachman continued to be his writer for 25 years. In addition to TV work, Lachman worked on Hope’s feature films and U.S.O Tours during the Vietnam War. Lachman would stay with Hope until 1975 but also produced and wrote other projects during this period. In the 1970s, Lachman was on the staff of All in the Family which earned him 2 Emmy nominations, an Emmy win and a Humanitas nomination. Lachman was also nominated for three Emmys while producing TV series Kate and Allie, a daytime Emmy winner for The Girl Who Couldn’t Lose, and was nominated five times for WGA Awards for co-writing Yours, Mine, and Ours, two for The Bob Hope Show, two Bob Hope specials. On March 17, 2009, Lachman died of a diabetes-related heart attack. He was survived by his wife Natalie Gittelson Lachman, a son, a stepson, two daughters, two stepdaughters, and his sister Doris.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Mort Lachman Collection is organized into seven series, the majority of which are complete scripts. See inventory for specific episodes and dates. Series I: Scripts for Bob Hope, 1947-1975, is comprised of produced Bob Hope television shows such as The Bob Hope Show, Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre, several Academy Award Shows, and Bob Hope Specials. Many scripts are bound with production documents from the individual show, including shooting schedules, cast and crew information and rundowns. Also included is a DVD made for Mort’s 90th birthday. It features interviews with him and archival interview clips with Bob Hope and Mel Shavelson and clips from Hope’s career. Series II: Other TV Shows and Series, 1962-1987, is comprised of two subseries. Subseries A: Produced Television Scripts, is comprised of produced television scripts such as All in the Family, Kate and Allie, Gimme a Break, and Sanford and Son. Subseries B: Unproduced Television Scripts, is comprised of unproduced television scripts and development material (primarily pilots) such as Byrd’s Nest, Chicago Grapevine with Oprah Winfrey, Family Battle and Wilde Oats. Many scripts are housed with production documents from the individual show, including shooting schedules, cast and crew information and rundowns, as well as story conference notes. Series III: Movie Scripts, 1952-1972, is comprised of movie scripts compiled by Lachman. Three of these scripts are written by Lachman which were Yours, Mine and Ours, Mixed Company, and Call Me Bwana. The remaining scripts feature Bob Hope, and and Lachman served as a contributor to the scripts but was not credited. Some titles are The Iron Petticoat, Paris Holiday, and A Global Affair. Many scripts are bound with production documents from and include shooting schedules, cast and crew information, storyboards and notes. Series IV: Radio Scripts, 1943-1964, is comprised of scripts of radio series’ The Bob Hope Show, Martin and Lewis, and a U.S.O Vietnam broadcast. Series V: Bob Hope Joke Files, 1948-1975, is comprised of binders of all Bob Hope jokes, monologues, sketches, songs and other material organized alphabetically by people and subjects and heavily indexed. Material was written for television shows and specials, overseas Armed Forces trips, Academy Awards and more. Series VI- Manuscripts and Published Material, 1966-1974, is comprised of manuscripts of books written and published by Bob Hope. Material relates to his books The Five Women I Loved, The Bob Hope Vietnam Story, The Last Christmas Show, I Owe Russia $1200, and several articles published in TV Guide, Saturday Evening Post, and Harper's Bazaar. This also includes articles and clippings about Bob Hope. Series VII-Public Appearances, 1960s-1974, this consists of various joke notebooks, speeches, press releases, sketches and scripts from a variety of Hope’s public appearances, including a script for the 1972 Republican National Convention.

Indexing Terms

Hope, Bob, 1903-2003
United Service Organizations (U.S.)
Television scripts
Television Writer
Comedy Writers