Mason Adams papers

Finding aid prepared by UCLA Library Special Collections staff; additional processing by Doug Johnson, October, 2016; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575
(310) 825-4988
Online finding aid last updated 5 July 2017.

Title: Mason Adams papers
Collection number: PASC 215
Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 7.8 linear feet (11.5 boxes, 3 cartons, 1 LP box)
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1977-1993
Date (inclusive): 1937-2006
Abstract: Mason Adams was an actor whose career spanned film, radio, television, and theater. The collection consists of scripts related to Adams' acting career, video and audio tapes, and a small amount of personal material.
Language of Materials: Materials are in English.
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: Adams, Mason

Conditions Governing 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.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

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. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Mason Adams Papers (Collection PASC 215). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4435863 

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mason Adams, 2000.

Processing Information

The collection was reprocessed in 2016 in order to describe the bulk of the non-script material.


Mason Adams was born Mason Abrams in Brooklyn on February 26, 1919. He received his master's degree from the University of Wisconsin in the early 1940s before returning to New York, where he taught speech for several years at the Neighborhood Playhouse on East 54th Street. It was in the 1940s that he also started his acting career.
He appeared on many major radio programs including Inner Sanctum, Theatre Guild of the Air, and Superman, and he played the title role of Pepper Young in Pepper Young's Family. He has numerous stage credits spanning from his Broadway debut as Joe Rigga in Get Away Old Man (1943) to his last play, The Man Who Had All the Luck (2002). Among his film credits are 9 to 5 (1980), F/X (1986), and Son-In-Law (1993).
He also lent his voice to documentaries and commercials. His distinctive voice became synonymous with the J.M. Smucker Company, which featured him in its commercials for more than 30 years. Adams died on April 28, 2005, in New York City.

Scope and Content

The collection consists largely of film, television, and stage scripts related to the career of actor Mason Adams. However, most of the scripts are for projects that never reached fruition, or that Adams did not appear in. There is only a single script for Adams' Emmy-nominated role on Lou Grant (CBS, 1977-1982), but the entire run of the short-lived sitcom Knight & Daye (NBC, 1989) is present. There is a significant amount of audiovisual material, representing demo reels and appearances by Adams in different media. There is also a small amount of other material, such as clippings, contracts, photographs, and publicity material. Of particular interest might be the detailed notes Adams kept for an acting class he took in 1937.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in the following series:
  • Series 1. Motion Picture Projects
  • Series 2. Television and Radio Projects
  • Series 3. Theater Projects
  • Series 4. General Files
  • Series 5. Audiovisual Materials
Folders are in the order determined by the previous archivist.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Adams, Mason--Archives.
Film scripts.
Television scripts.

Container List


Series 1. Motion Picture Projects.


Consenting Adults (Buena Vista, 1992).

Box 9, Folder 9

Script by Matthew Chapman. August 20, 1991.

Biographical/Historical note

E. G. Marshall played the role Adams was considering.

The Empty Mirror (Lions Gate, 1999).

Box 5, Folder 9

Script. November 10, 1994.


The Final Conflict (20th Century-Fox, 1981).

Box 9, Folder 1

Second draft script by Andrew Birkin. October 1, 1979.


F/X (Orion, 1986).

Box 8, Folder 9

Revised final draft screenplay by Robert T. Megginson and Gregory Fleeman. February 14, 1985.

Box 8, Folder 10

Publicity and stills. 1986.


It's My Turn (Columbia, 1980).

Box 1, Folder 8

Script A Perfect Circle by Eleanor Bergstein. November, 1979.


Kid Butterfly (unproduced).

Box 10, Folder 1

Screenplay by Doug Jacoby. 1991.


9 to 5 (Twentieth Century-Fox, 1980).

Box 1, Folder 9

Final draft script Nine to Five by Colin Higgins. December 12, 1979.


Road Trip (Dreamworks, 2000).

Box 9, Folder 10

Script by Todd Phillips & Scot Armstrong. August 5, 1999.


Son in Law (Buena Vista, 1993).

Box 5, Folder 4

Script by Fax Bahr & Adam Small and Shawn Schepps. November 4, 1992.

Box 5, Folder 5

Script by Fax Bahr & Adam Small and Shawn Schepps [lightly annotated]. November 4, 1992.

Box 5, Folder 7

Script by Fax Bahr & Adam Small and Shawn Schepps [annotated]. December 15, 1992.

Box 9, Folder 2

Publicity and stills. 1993.

Box 5, Folder 6

Shooting schedule. 1992-1993.



Box 1, Folder 3

Unidentified script. undated.


Series 2. Television and Radio Projects.


Adam (NBC, 1983).

Box 3, Folder 2

Shooting script by Allan Leicht. May 17, 1983.


American Teacher Awards (Disney).

Box 5, Folder 3

One-minute profiles. December 1, 1992.


Appearances (NBC, 1990).

Box 4, Folder 14

Script. 1990.


Bliss (unproduced).

Box 2, Folder 10

Pilot script "O Sweet Mystery of Love" by Chip Keyes & Doug Keyes. February 23, 1983.


CBS Afternoon Playhouse (CBS, 1978-1983).

Box 2, Folder 7

Script "Secret Agent Boy" by John Francis Whelpley. September 13, 1982.


Civil Wars (ABC, 1991-1993).

Box 5, Folder 1

Script "Chute First, Ask Questions Later" by George Malko. January 17, 1992.


Class of '96 (Fox, 1993).

Box 9, Folder 5

Script "Episode #1" by John Romano. July 6, 1992.


Cocaine: One Man's Seduction (NBC, 1983).

Box 2, Folder 6

Script Cocaine: Another Man's Poison by Barry Schneider, from an original story by David Goldsmith and Barry Schneider. August 27, 1982.


Code Name: Foxfire (NBC, 1985).

Box 3, Folder 3

Teleplay "Quicksilver: Slay It Again, Sam" by Richard Chapman and Bill Dial from a story by Joel Schumacher, Bill Dial, and Richard Chapman. October 29, 1964.


Diagnosis: Murder (CBS, 1993-2001).

Box 9, Folder 6

Script pages "Open and Shut" by Jacquelyn Blain. July 8, 1997.

Biographical/Historical note

Robert Stack played the role Adams was considering.

Enemy (unproduced).

Box 6, Folder 2

Script by David S. Goyer, based on the Dark Horse Comics character. January 12, 1995.


Every Wednesday (unproduced).

Box 1, Folder 1

Script by Clyde Ware and Gloria Gonzalez. undated.


The Exit Elves (unproduced).

Box 6, Folder 1

Second draft script "Intermission" by Nancy Miller. January 5, 1995.


Family Matters (ABC, 1989-1997; CBS, 1997-1998).

Box 4, Folder 17

Shooting script "Citizen's Court" by Regina Stewart Larsen [annotated]. August 21, 1991.


The Fantastic World Of D.C. Collins (NBC, 1984).

Box 3, Folder 1

Second draft script by Martin Cohan and Phil Margo. May 2, 1983.


For the People (unproduced).

Box 9, Folder 7

Script by Janice Hendler and Larry Brody and Jack Guss. 1982.


Goodnight, Beantown (CBS, 1983-1984).

Box 2, Folder 8

Script "First Episode" by A. J. Carothers. December 10, 1982.


The Great Defender (Fox, 1995).

Box 5, Folder 8

First draft script by Frank Renzulli and George Schenck & Frank Cardea. December 3, 1993.


Knight & Daye (NBC, 1989).

Organization and Arrangement

Scripts are listed in order of broadcast.
Box 4, Folder 8

Shooting draft script "Sugar Mama" by Kevin Kelton. April 12, 1989.

Box 4, Folder 9

Shooting draft script "New York! New York? " by Bob Pekurny. April 19, 1989.

Box 4, Folder 10

Shooting draft script "Still Motile After All These Years". May 1, 1989.

Box 4, Folder 11

Shooting draft script "Stalk Radio" by Art Everett. May 10, 1989.

Box 4, Folder 12

Shooting draft script "Good-bye Mr. Scrimshaw" by Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel. May 17, 1989.

Box 4, Folder 7

Shooting draft script "The Last Honest Man In America" by Barry Rubinowitz. April 5, 1989.


Law and Order (NBC, 1990-2010).

Box 7, Folder 5

Script pages. February 10, 2004.


Lifestories (NBC, 1990).

Box 4, Folder 16

Script "Life & Death: Colon Cancer" [annotated]. 1990.


Broadcast as "Don Chapin," with Robert Prosky playing the role Adams had considered.

Lou Grant (CBS, 1977-1982).

Box 2, Folder 4

Script "Execution" by April Smith [cover inscribed by cast]. September 15, 1981.

Box 7, Folder 3

Correspondence. 1977-1981.

Box 7, Folder 4

Clippings. 1980-1981.


Matlock (NBC, 1986-1992; ABC, 1992-1995).

Box 4, Folder 5

First draft script "The Heiress" by Diana Kopald Marcus. February 24, 1988.


Metropolitan Hospital (unproduced).

Box 5, Folder 10

First draft script by Al Aidekman & Rob Dames & Bob Farrelly & Lloyd Garver & Brian Levant & Jeffrey Pohn & Leonard Rips & Bennett Yellin. February 11, 1994.


Morningstar/Eveningstar (CBS, 1986).

Box 3, Folder 6

Revised final draft script "A Rose For Alice" by Paul W. Cooper. February 4, 1986.

Box 7, Folder 2

Publicity. 1986.


Murder Can Hurt You! (ABC, 1980).

Box 2, Folder 1

Final shooting script by Ron Friedman and Ben Joelson and Art Baer. February 27, 1980.


Pepper Young's Family (NBC Radio, 1932-1959).

Box 9, Folder 4

Clippings. 1956-1958.


Rage of Angels: The Story Continues (NBC, 1986).

Box 3, Folder 5

Script by Robert L. Joseph. February, 1986.

Box 7, Folder 7

Script pages by Robert L. Joseph. 1986.


Raising Caines (NBC, 1995).

Box 6, Folder 3

Third draft script by Bob Brush. January 3, 1995.


Rise and Shine (unproduced).

Box 5, Folder 2

Revised second draft script by Josh Brand & John Falsey. March 3, 1992.


Rockenwagner (unproduced).

Box 4, Folder 13

Second draft script by Charles H. Eglee and Channing Gibson. November 27, 1989.


Screenplay (BBC, 1986-1993) [UK].

Box 7, Folder 6

Script "Buying a Landslide" by David Edgar. 1992.


There Goes The Neighborhood (unproduced).

Box 2, Folder 5

First draft pilot script. March 16, 1983.


This Is The Life (Syndicated, 1952-1988).

Box 2, Folder 11

Script "In Search of Morgan Avery" by Richard Wendley. April 4, 1983.


Tomorrow's Child (ABC, 1982).

Box 2, Folder 3

Revised script Genesis by Jerry McNeely. February 9, 1981.


Top of the Hill (CBS, 1989).

Box 4, Folder 4

Script The Lame Duck by Stephen J. Cannell. December 23, 1987.


Valdez (unproduced).

Box 9, Folder 8

Script "Pilot" by Jeff Valdez and Ed Decter & John J. Strauss. 1995.



Box 9, Folder 3

Scripts and contracts. 1992-2004.

Scope and Content Note

Contains material on a variety of television, radio, and corporate narrations; includes material for Smucker's, the American Parkinson Disease Association, and Wyse Advertising, among others.

The West Wing (NBC, 1999-2006).

Box 6, Folder 4

Script pages for episodes 7-10; schedules. 1999.


When In Rome (unproduced).

Box 4, Folder 6

Revised second draft script by Kimberly Hill. February 10, 1988.


Where are My Children? (ABC, 1994).

Box 5, Folder 11

Revised script by Michael Zagor. March 8, 1994.


Whip Valentine (unproduced).

Box 4, Folder 15

Revised second draft script by Tony Blake & Paul Jackson. March 7, 1990.


Wilk, Max shows.

Box 7, Folder 1

Treatments. 1982.


Who Is Julia (CBS, 1986).

Box 3, Folder 7

Final draft script by James S. Sadwith, based on the novel by Barbara S. Harris. May 19, 1986.

Box 3, Folder 8

Final draft script by James S. Sadwith, based on the novel by Barbara S. Harris [annotated]. May 19, 1986.


Series 3. Theater Projects.


Adlai, Alone.

Box 10, Folder 2

Script by Herbert Mitgang. undated.


Appearances Are Deceiving.

Box 10, Folder 3

Script by Thomas Bernhard. 1983.


Are You Sure?.

Box 2, Folder 9

Script by Sam Bobrick. January 12, 1983.


Baby On Board.

Box 4, Folder 3

Script by Peter Stone. March 16, 1987.


The Co-op Chronicles.

Box 8, Folder 5

Script and contract. 2002.

Box 8, Folder 6

Script by Charles Grodin. 2002.

Box 8, Folder 7

Script pages. undated.



Box 2, Folder 2

Script by Chuck Workman. 1981.


The Downside.

Box 1, Folder 6

Script by Richard Dresser. undated.



Box 1, Folder 5

Script by Thomas Whipple Hammond. 1988.


A Few Stout Individuals.

Box 10, Folder 4

Script by John Guare [autographed by Guare]. 2002.


The Japanese Foreign Trade Minister.

Box 10, Folder 5

Script by Murray Schisgal. 1991.



Box 10, Folder 6

Script pages by Sinclair Lewis and Lloyd Lewis. undated.


The Man Who Had All the Luck (Roundabout Theatre Company, 2002).


Also played at the Williamstown (MA) Theatre Festival in 2001.
Box 7, Folder 8

Research guide. 2002.

Box 7, Folder 9

Script material and program. 2002.

Box 7, Folder 10

Correspondence and contact lists. 2002.

Scope and Content Note

Includes handwritten letter from Chris O'Donnell.
Box 7, Folder 11

Clippings. 2001-2002.


Mortal Acts.

Box 10, Folder 7

Script by Tom Huey. undated.


Mountain (White Barn Theatre [Westport, CT], 1988).

Box 8, Folder 2

Scripts by Douglas Scott. 1986.

Box 8, Folder 3

Clippings. 1988.

Box 8, Folder 4

Correspondence. 1988.


My Father's Song.

Box 10, Folder 8

Script by Devon Amber. 2002.


My World and Welcome to It.

Box 8, Folder 8

Script material. undated.



Box 1, Folder 2

Script by Henry Denker. no date.


Pete and Jenny.

Box 1, Folder 4

Script by Hazel Chilstrom. undated.


The Rose Quartet (Circle Repertory Company, 1991).

Box 11, Folder 8

Publicity and correspondence. 1991.


The Sum of Us.

Box 3, Folder 4

Script by David Stevens. 1986.


The Time of Your Life (Mirror Repertory Company, 1986).

Box 8, Folder 1

Notes and contact sheets. 1985-1986.


Time Steps.

Box 1, Folder 7

Script by Gus Kaikkonen. 1978.


A Trip to Bountiful.

Box 10, Folder 9

Script by Horton Foote [autographed by Foote]. 2005.


The Value of Names.

Box 10, Folder 10

Script. undated.


Waiting in the Wings.

Box 10, Folder 11

Script by Noel Coward, revisited by Jeremy Sams. 1999.



Box 10, Folder 12

Unidentified script. undated.

Box 10, Folder 13

Unidentified script from Jonathan Bernstein. 2003.


Series 4. General Files.

Box 12, Folder 11

Abrams, Morris. 1982-1990.

Box 11, Folder 9

Acting notes. 1937.

Box 11, Folders 5-7

Articles and reviews. 1957-1991.

Box 11, Folder 4

Biographical information. circa 1957-2005.

Box 12, Folder 6

Biographical notes. undated.

Box 12, Folder 16

Books. 1945-1996.

Scope and Content Note

The Best Plays of 1943-1944 edited by Burns Mantle (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1945); Lou Grant by Douglass K. Daniel (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1996).
Box 4, Folder 1

Clippings. 1975-1987.

Box 12, Folder 7

Contracts. 1986-1999.

Box 12, Folder 14

Head shots. circa 1937-circa 2000.

Box 12, Folder 3

Letters from Adams. circa 1937-2003.

Box 12, Folder 2

Letters to Adams. 1980-2004.

Scope and Content Note

Includes note from Harold Prince.
Box 12, Folder 9

Membership. 1993-2001.

Box 12, Folder 1

Obituaries of Mason Adams. 2005.

Box 12, Folder 8

Pension. 1990-1998.

Box 6, Folder 5

Periodical - Columbus Monthly. December, 1978.

Box 4, Folder 2

Periodical - Manhattan, Inc.. November, 1987.

Box 11, Folders 1-3

Playbills and programs. 1984-2002.

Box 12, Folder 5

Sheet music. 1975.

Box 12, Folder 4

Speeches. circa 1977-2002.

Box 12, Folder 12

Stills. circa 1977-2001.

Box 12, Folder 13

Stills. circa 1937-1978.

Box 12, Folder 10

University of Wisconsin - diploma and certificates. 1939-1941.

Box 12, Folder 15

"Winning Orations of the Northern Oratorical League" - pamphlet. 1940.


Series 5. Audiovisual material.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

SERIES CONTAINS AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS: Audiovisual materials in this series 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.
Box 13

VHS tapes. 1983-2006.

Scope and Content Note

Thirty-three cassettes, mostly with various works featuring Adams.
Box 14

Video cassettes. 1988-1997.

Scope and Content

Twenty-six VHS cassettes and one Beta cassette of demo reels, theatrical performances, and unknown material.
Box 15

Audio and video tapes. 1985-1999.

Scope and Content Note

Video tapes of demo reels and unknown material; audio tapes of commercials, books on tape, and unknown material.
Box 16

Phonograph records. 1983.

Scope and Content Note

Five 2-LP sets of "A True Life Story - Soap Opera."