Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
William Bast papers LSC.2290
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (226.05 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement

  • Title: William Bast papers
    Identifier/Call Number: LSC.2290
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 44.4 linear feet (111 boxes)
    Date: 1956-2005
    Abstract: William Bast was a television and film writer, as well as a friend and biographer of James Dean. The William Bast papers consists largely of scripts written over the course of more than forty years.
    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: Bast, William

    Restrictions 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.

    Restrictions 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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], William Bast Papers (Collection 2290). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 8024758 

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Paul Huson, 2015.


    William Bast was born in Wisconsin in 1931. While attending college at UCLA he shared an apartment with James Dean. Later, he and Dean moved to New York City independently of one another and roomed together there as well. In 1956, a year after the actor's death, Bast published the first biography of Dean. In the 1960s Bast began writing for television, both in Hollywood and in London. He worked in a variety of genres, including medical dramas ( Ben Casey), science fiction ( The Outer Limits), and crime shows ( Hawaii Five-O). In the 1980s he created, with his partner Paul Huson, the short-lived series Tucker's Witch and The Colbys, a spin-off the wildly popular program Dynasty. Bast and Huson continued their collaboration throughout the 1990s, writing several television movies. In 2006 Bast published a second biography, Surviving James Dean, in which he revealed that their relationship had occasionally been sexual in nature. William Bast died in Los Angeles on May 4, 2015.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists mostly of scripts written by William Bast across his career, both produced and unproduced. Projects from early in his career tend to be represented by only a single script, while later projects often have several drafts, some heavily annotated. These later projects are often accompanied by agreements, research material, and some production documents. There is a very small amount of personal correspondence. There is also very little about James Dean, and most of what is present is in the context of the television movie based on Bast's first biography.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. Television productions
    • Series 2. Feature film productions
    • Series 3. Unproduced material
    • Series 4. General files

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Bast, William -- Archives
    Television Scripts
    Television writers--Archives.