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Finding Aid for the Frank Telford Papers ca. 1938-ca. 1984
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Frank Telford Papers,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1938-ca. 1984
    Collection number: 303
    Creator: Telford, Frank
    Extent: 10 boxes (4.75 linear ft) 1 flat box
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Performing Arts Special Collections
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Abstract: Frank Telford was best known as radio and television writer, producer, and director. The collection consists mostly of scripts for a variety of radio and television projects and as well as a small number of film related projects in which he was involved.
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Advance notice required for access

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Performing Arts 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.

    Preferred Citation

    Frank Telford Papers(Collection 303). Performing Arts Special Collections, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Biographical Note

    Frank Telford was born on February 2, 1915. He earned a BA in speech at Wayne University and produced a radio adaptation of Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities to earn an MA (1938). He got his start in entertainment during WWII as a writer/combat correspondent for NBC and Life Magazine. In 1941, Telford received a grant from the government to produce the weekly radio program You Can't Do Business With Hitler. Through the 1940s Telford was active in writing, producing, and directing numerous radio programs including Crime Acts, Mollie Mystery Theatre, Schlitz Playhouse, and The Whistler.
    Telford moved to television in 1954 as director of The Stranger, a weekly program that aired on the Dumont Television Network. In 1959, he produced the television series The Virginians, and The Wide Country. Additionally, he worked for NBC on the television series The Outlaws and The Americans, for which he won a Golden Mike Award in 1961. In 1968, Telford made the transition to motion pictures, writing and producing the film The Bamboo Saucer and later co-authoring the screenplay for Hello Down There (1969).
    The 1970s and 1980s proved to be Telford's most prolific period of writing for television. During this time Telford wrote scripts for a number of popular television series including Chips, Gemini Man, Hawaii Five-O, Ironside, Mannix, Murphy Brown, Police Woman, and The Young Rebels. He also served as the executive story editor for Joe Forrester and Wonder Woman. Telford died of cancer in Los Angeles, CA on May 19, 1987.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of materials related to the career of radio and television writer, producer, and director Frank Telford. The collection includes script material and concepts, a small amount of printed materials, a small number of photographs, and a small amount of what appears to be writings by others that were submitted to Telford. The script materials and concepts document Telford's involvement in radio, television, and motion pictures. The radio projects include scripts for You Can't Do Business With Hitler (ca. 1940s) and the Molle Mystery Theatre (1947-48). The television materials include scripts from programs including, Chips (1979-81), Hawaii Five-O (1979), Ironside (1970-71), Mannix (1969-74), Police Woman (1975-1977), and the Dumont television network series The Stranger (1954-55), among others. Additionally there are concepts (outlines) for projects that may have been unproduced. The motion picture projects include a small number of concept outlines and scripts for what appears to be unproduced as well as produced projects including, Hello Down There and Project Saucer (believed to have been released as Bamboo Saucer). The printed material includes press clippings related to Telford and/or projects with which he was involved. There are also a small number of unidentified photographs that appear to be related to television or radio projects; a very small amount of correspondence; and Telford's proposal for a book of cartoons satirizing politics. Also included are a small amount of writings by others which appear to have been submitted to Telford including a book manuscript titled, The Eye In The Emerald believed to have been written by John Telford.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. Book Project
    • Series 2. Correspondence
    • Series 3. Motion Picture Projects
    • Series 4. Photographs
    • Series 5. Printed Materials
    • Series 6. Radio Projects
    • Series 7. Stage Projects
    • Series 8. Television Projects
    • Series 9. Writings Submitted to Telford

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Telford, Frank--Archives.
    Radio producers and directors--United States--Archival resources.
    Radio writers--United States--Archival resources.
    Television producers and directors--United States--Archival resources.
    Television writers--United States--Archival resources.

    Genres and Forms

    radio scripts
    television scripts