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Finding Aid for the True Boardman papers, 1904-1998
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: True Boardman papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1904-1998
    Collection number: 213
    Creator: Boardman, True
    Extent: 36 boxes (17 linear ft.)6 flat boxes
    Abstract: True Boardman began his career as a child actor in silent films. He went on to write for radio and television, including Silver Theatre and The Virginian. The collection includes script material, photographs, assorted writings, and a small amount of memorabilia, printed materials, and family papers related to Boardman's career.
    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.

    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], True Boardman papers (Collection 213). Performing Arts Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


    True Eames Boardman was born Oct. 25, 1909 in Seattle, Washington. He received an A.B. from UCLA in 1934 and an MA from Occidental College in 1971. He began his career as a child actor in silent films working with performers like Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford. After several years of acting in film and theater, he began a radio career writing radio drama for programs including Silver Theatre and Lux Radio Theatre. During the Red Scare in the late 1940s, Boardman worked for companies like General Electric and AT&T writing and producing documentaries. He made the transition to television in the late 1940s and went on to write for programs including Daktari, Ironside, My Three Sons, Perry Mason, Silver Television Theatre, and The Virginian. Later in life, Boardman lectured at various academic institutions and in the late 1990s returned to acting as Ralph Waldo Emerson in the one-man show, Apologia Pro Vita Sua. His memoir, When Hollywood and I Were Young, was published in 1995. True Boardman died on August 4, 2003.

    Scope and Content

    The collection consists of materials related to the career of actor, writer, and director True Boardman. The collection includes script material, photographs, assorted writings, and a small amount of memorabilia, printed materials, and family papers. The bulk of the script material includes material for a variety of produced and possibly unproduced radio and television projects in which True Boardman was involved possibly as a writer, co-writer, and/or director (1934-1977). Included are radio scripts for Cassandra, Family Theatre, Hollywood Star Preview, and Silver Theatre, among others. The television writings include Ironside and The Virginian, among others. There are also a very small number of scripts for theatrical and documentary/educational-type films. The photographs include a small number of stills as well as unlabeled, professional-type portraits/headshots of Boardman created throughout his long and varied career. The assorted writings, most of which are unpublished, include articles, plays, short stories and a manuscript for what appears to be an unpublished autobiographical work by Boardman titled, All More of Less True: A Mostly Hollywood Memoir. Additionally, there is a small amount of memorabilia and printed material including a match case given to Boardman by Rudolph Valentino in ca. 1926 and a small number of New York Drama: A Choice Collection of Tragedies, Comedies, Farces, Etc serial publications given to Boardman by Francis X. Bushman. The small amount of Boardman Family papers consists of photographs, press clippings, printed material, and scrapbooks related to True Boardman, Sr. (actor and father); Virginia True Boardman (actress and mother); Carro True Boardman (grandmother); and his wife, actress and writer Thelma Hubbard Boardman.

    Organization and Arrangement

    Arranged in the following series:
    1. Personal and Biographical Information
    2. Acting Career
    3. Radio Projects
    4. Television Projects Series
    5. Film Projects
    6. Memorabilia
    7. Photographs
    8. Printed Material
    9. Writings
    10. Boardman Family

    Indexing Terms

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


    Boardman, True -- Archives.
    Television writers -- Archival resources.
    Radio writers -- Archival resources.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    television scripts.
    radio scripts.