Merle Oberon papers

Special Collections
Margaret Herrick Library © 2014

Descriptive Summary

Title: Merle Oberon papers
Date (inclusive): 1911-1979
Date (bulk): mid-1950s to mid-1970s
Collection number: 39
Creator: Oberon, Merle
Extent: 1.8 linear feet of papers. 4 linear feet of photographs.
Repository: Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Languages: English

Important Information for Users of the Collection


Available by appointment only.

Publication rights

Property rights to the physical object belong to the Margaret Herrick Library. Researchers are responsible for obtaining all necessary rights, licenses, or permissions from the appropriate companies or individuals before quoting from or publishing materials obtained from the library.

Preferred Citation

Merle Oberon papers, Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Wolders, 1986


Merle Oberon was a British (Indian-born) actress active in film from 1929 to 1973. She is best known for her role as Cathy in WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939). From 1939 to 1945 Oberon was married to her mentor, producer Alexander Korda. She subsequently wed cinematographer Lucien Ballard. Divorced from Ballard, Oberon was married to industrialist Bruno Pagliai from 1957 to 1973. The Pagliais played host to many international figures at their home in Acapulco, Mexico. She married actor Robert Wolders in 1975. Oberon was nominated by the Academy for her performance in THE DARK ANGEL (1935).

Collection Scope and Content Summary

The Merle Oberon papers span the years 1911-1979 (bulk mid-1950s-mid-1970s) and encompass 5.8 linear feet. The collection consists of 11 scripts, 12 scrapbooks, two photograph albums, correspondence, foreign language press clippings, handwriting samples, five disc recordings, miscellaneous items, and photographs. The photograph series consists of approximately 3,000 black-and-white and color photographic prints, negatives, slides, transparencies, and contact sheets. Included are scenes from film and television productions, off-camera photographs for film and radio, portraits of Oberon, and autographed photographs collected by the actress.


Arranged in the following series: 1. Production files; 2. Subject files; 3. Scrapbooks; 4. Photographs, subseries A-E as follows: A. Motion picture production; B. Television production; C. Radio production; D. Biography; E. Subject.

Indexing Terms

Oberon, Merle , 1911-1979--Archives.