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Finding Aid for the Allyn Joslyn papers, 1920s-1970s
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Allyn Joslyn papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1920s-1970s
    Collection number: 293
    Creator: Joslyn, Allyn, d. 1981
    Extent: 18 Boxes(9 linear ft)2 Flat Boxes
    Abstract: Versatile character actor Allyn Joslyn's acting career spanned from the 1920's to the1970's. The collection documents Joslyn's professional accomplishments as an actor and entertainer, and includes scripts for motion pictures, television, radio, and stage; press clippings focused on Joslyn's career; photographs (mainly stills) from various film, television, and stage productions; and a small amount of correspondence and ephemera.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Performing Arts Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Performing Arts Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Audio materials in this collection are restricted and require advance notice for use.

    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

    [Identification of item], Allyn Joslyn Papers (Collection 293). Performing Arts Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


    Allyn Morgan Joslyn was born in Milford, PA. There is conflicting information about the date of his birth; it has been reported as July 21, 1901 and July 21, 1905. As a teenager, he began his career on the live stage and acted in many plays throughout the 1920s and '30s. In 1935, he starred on Broadway in George Abbott's production of Boy Meets Girl. His role as Robert Law brought accolades and led him to Hollywood.
    Joslyn made his motion picture debut in They Won't Forget (1937). (The film also marked the first film appearance of Lana Turner.) Over the next several decades, Joslyn acted in numerous motion pictures for all of the major studios, often in comedic roles. Notable motion pictures in which Joslyn appeared include Only Angels Have Wings (1939), My Sister Eileen (1942), Heaven Can Wait (1943), and Titanic (1953), among others. Joslyn played the role of Mortimer Brewster in the original Broadway production of Arsenic and Old Lace (1941); however, the role was played by Cary Grant in the film version (1944). While working in both theater and motion pictures, he was actively writing and acting in radio shows.
    Joslyn's television career included lead roles in the series, The Eve Arden Show, where he had an ongoing role as George Howell (1957-58), and McKeever and the Colonel where Joslyn starred as Colonel Harvey Blackwell (1962-63). He was a regular on The Ray Bolger Show (1953-54) and also made many guest appearances in a variety of television productions throughout the 1950s and '60s. These include The Addams Family, Rawhide, The Untouchables, and several programs for Ford Theatre. Joslyn made his final film appearance in The Brothers O'Toole (1973). He died of cardiac failure on January 21, 1981 at the Motion Picture and Television Country House in Woodland Hills, CA.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of scripts, press clippings, photographs, correspondence, and memorabilia documenting the career of actor and entertainer Allyn Joslyn. The bulk of the collection is comprised of scripts for motion picture, television, radio and stage projects featuring/including Joslyn and/or items which may have been submitted to Joslyn for his consideration. Included are scripts for My Sister Eileen (1942), Heaven Can Wait (1943), The Eve Arden Show (1957-58), and McKeever and the Colonel (1962-63), among others. There is also a small collection of stills from selected motion picture, stage and television productions, including Boy Meets Girl, No Time for Comedy, and McKeever and the Colonel, among others.
    The press clippings include a mixture of reviews, publicity, and promotional write-ups about Joslyn and/or the various projects or events in which he was involved during his career. There is also a small amount of correspondence that includes letters, telegrams, and/or cards related to both personal matters and professional activities. The memorabilia is from events or performances that Joslyn was either involved with or attended. Additionally, there is a small number of entertainment-related magazine publications that do not appear related to Joslyn's personal or professional life.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Motion Picture Projects
    2. Radio Projects
    3. Stage Productions
    4. Television Projects
    5. Correspondence
    6. Memorabilia
    7. Publicity Stills and Photographs
    8. Press Reviews and Publicity
    9. Publications

    Indexing Terms

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


    Joslyn, Allyn, d. 1981 -- Archives
    Actors - United States -- Archival resources

    Genres and Forms of Material

    television scripts.
    Film scripts.
    Motion picture stills.