Alfred Brenner Papers

Finding aid created by Writers Guild Foundation Archive staff using RecordEXPRESS
Writers Guild Foundation Archive
7000 West Third Street
Los Angeles, California 90048
(323) 782-4680

Descriptive Summary

Title: Alfred Brenner Papers
Dates: 1954-1978
Collection Number: WGF-MS-012
Creator/Collector: Brenner, Alfred, 1916-2011
Extent: 6 linear feet.
Repository: Writers Guild Foundation Archive
Los Angeles, California 90048
Abstract: The Alfred Brenner Papers, 1954-1978 consists of materials relating to the career of screenwriter, Alfred Brenner. The materials represented include scripts, as well as related production and development material for television and film. The bulk of the collection consists of scripts and related materials for television series such as Ben Casey, The Eleventh Hour, Mannix, and The United States Steel Hour, among others.
Language of Material: English


Available by appointment only.

Publication Rights

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

Preferred Citation

Alfred Brenner Papers. Writers Guild Foundation Archive

Acquisition Information

Gift of the Brenner family, June 12, 2014.

Biography/Administrative History

Alfred Brenner was an Emmy-award winning screenwriter who wrote for episodic television and film, in addition to authoring plays, articles, and the writer’s guide, The TV Scriptwriter's Handbook. Alfred Brenner was born on April 10, 1916 in Trenton, New Jersey. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he majored in journalism. At Madison, he also met his future wife Elizabeth Cizon, who went on to serve as the first librarian for the Writers Guild Foundation. Alfred Brenner began writing professionally in New York in the 1950s, contributing to such one-hour television dramas as Kraft Television Theatre, Studio One, Alcoa Theater, Armstrong Circle Theatre, Appointment with Adventure, Justice, and The United States Steel Hour. During this period, Brenner’s teleplay, “Survival,” written for The United States Steel Hour, was recognized as one of “Best Television Plays 1957” by The Harcourt, Brace Awards.
 In the late 1950s Brenner relocated to Los Angeles, where he continued to write for television. In 1959 he was awarded an Emmy for best writing (with Ken Hughes) for “Eddie,” a half-hour drama written for Alcoa Goodyear-Theatre, which also earned him a nomination for a WGA Award in 1960. In addition, Brenner continued to work on a number of television programs, including Arrest and Trial, Ben Casey, Checkmate, Ironside, Mannix, McMillan and Wife, The New Breed, The Nurses, and The Rough Riders, among others. However, he is most frequently associated with the NBC series The Eleventh Hour, a medical drama that aired for two seasons and centered around issues in mental health and psychiatry. Alfred Brenner also wrote several feature length screenplays. While many of these were never realized, his screenplay, Key Witness, (co-written with Sidney Michaels) was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in 1960. Over the years Alfred Brenner continued to write for television and theater, in addition to authoring The TV Scriptwriter’s Handbook, and teaching writing courses through UCLA Extension. Alfred Brenner died in California on July 17, 2011 at the age of 95.

Scope and Content of Collection

The Alfred Brenner Papers, 1954-1978 is organized into two series. Series I consists of Alfred Brenner’s television work, dating from 1954-1978. This series contains scripts, as well as corresponding production and development materials, and some undated materials. The television series represented include Alcoa-Goodyear Theatre, Arrest and Trial, Ben Casey, Checkmate, Convoy, The Eleventh Hour, Ironside, Mannix, McMillan and Wife, The New Breed, The Nurses, The Rough Riders, Studio One, Swiss Family Robinson, and United States Steel Hour, among others. Several scripts include various drafts, with or without annotations, while production and many development materials contain handwritten story notes, outlines, correspondence, certificates of authorship, inter-office communications, newspaper clippings, and even doodles by Brenner. Series II consists of Alfred Brenner’s film work, dating from 1959-1976. This series contains scripts, as well as production and development materials for produced films, such as Key Witness and Kitten with a Whip. Additionally the series contains scripts and development material for many of unproduced films. Several scripts include various drafts, with or without annotations, while production and development materials may consist of treatments, handwritten story notes, correspondence, and newspaper clippings.

Indexing Terms

Alfred Brenner--Archives
Television writers
Emmy Awards
Made-for-TV movies
United States Steel hour (Television program)
Writers Guild of America--Awards
Hughes, Ken, 1922-2001
Dales, Arthur
Michaels, Sidney
Ross, Jerome, 1911-2012
Spelling, Aaron
Gordon, William D.
Riesner, Dean, 1918-2002
Doherty, James
Dennis, Robert C.
Brinkley, Don
Lindsay, Kathleen
Lindsay, Robert Howard
Hailey, Oliver
Thompson, Robert E.
Calitri, Charles