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|Title||Finding aid for Papers of Catherine Turney, 1761-1998 (bulk 1934-1985).|
|Biographical Note||Catherine Turney was born on December 26, 1906 in Chicago. Her family moved to Pasadena in 1921. She graduated from Bishop's School of La Jolla, California in 1924. After graduation, Turney attended the Columbia School of Journalism for a year where she took courses in playwriting, stage work, and short story writing. Due to illness, Catherine Turney returned to Pasadena where, in 1928, she began classes at the Pasadena Community Playhouse under the direction of Gilmore Brown. It was here that she began writing plays for production on stage. Her first play, "Bitter Harvest" about Lord Byron's alleged incestuous affair and daughter, was performed locally in 1933. In 1936, the play was opened in London starring Eric Portman and was soon hailed a success. She also wrote plays and programs for radio in the 1930s. She married Cyril E. Armbrister in 1931 and they divorced in 1938. She married Clifford Guthrie "George" Reynolds on February 18, 1940 and they divorced in 1949. After two unsuccessful marriages, Turney never married again, but she did have a long-term relationship with California artist Lenard Kester. Her success with "Bitter Harvest" prompted MGM to offer her a writing contract for 1936-1937. She went back to the stage in 1937, writing "My Dear Children" with Jerry Horwin, starring John Barrymore, and other plays that were produced in Chicago and New York. World War II brought a shortage of writers in Hollywood and Warner Bros. story editor Jim Geller offered her a contract in 1943. At Warner Bros., Turney developed a reputation for being a woman's writer and wrote for Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, and Joan Crawford. She went back to MGM in 1948, but is not credited for her work there. She wrote three movies independently in the 1950s, "No Man of her Own" for Paramount Pictures, "Japanese War Bride" for Joseph Bernhard Productions Inc., and "Back from the Dead" for Emirau Productions Inc. From the late 1950s to the early 1960s, Turney wrote for television. Her credits include, "Maverick" "General Hospital" "Alcoa Presents" and "The Wonderful World of Disney." In the late 1950s she turned her attention to fiction and biographies. Her first novel, The other one, was published in 1952 and was made into a motion picture in 1957. Her most famous published work, published in 1974, is her biography of Elizabeth Medora Leigh, the third daughter of Augusta Leigh and the reputed daughter of Lord Byron. Titled, Byron's daughter, Turney spent years researching, writing, and then defending her first scholarly work. Despite her prolific writing in a variety of mediums, Catherine Turney spent much of her life suffering from financial troubles. She did, however, have a great many friends who admired and respected her. She died in 1998.|
|Scope and Content||There are 711 items in the manuscript section which are arranged alphabetically by author and then title. Materials without author and title are arranged alphabetically by type. Oversize materials are located in boxes 34 and 35. The manuscripts consist of various screenplays, television and movie treatments, biographies, and novels, both published and unpublished, written by Turney throughout her career (some written with co-authors such as Jerry Horwin and Stephen Longstreet). The collection includes an unproduced screenplay, written for Bette Davis titled "Angel Manager." A version of the screenplay for "Of Human Bondage" is located in the manuscripts. Also included is one of the first scripts for "Japanese War Bride" originally titled "East is East." There are materials related to Turney's first play, "Bitter Harvest" including two published copies with Turney's edits, and her most successful play, "My Dear Children." The manuscripts section also contains drafts of Byron's daughter and Turney's research notes for that book. Other manuscripts include: a draft of her biography "The Patriarch" which was intended to illuminate the lives of the women in George Washington's life; a fictional trilogy regarding early California entitled "Light in the Spring" "Manifest Destiny" and "Fruit of the Vine;" and a biography of Aimée Dubuc de Rivery entitled "The Beautiful One." Research notes and materials for her biographies and novels are listed under "Note cards" and "Notes." There are reviews of Turney's biographies and novels, two interviews with Catherine Turney, and poetry written by Turney while she attended Bishop's School. Of note are seventeen drawings by the artist Stephen Longstreet. There are also manuscripts relating to the creation and early days of the Pasadena Community Playhouse and two manuscripts regarding Catherine Turney's experiences with John Barrymore in the 1930s while he played the leading role in "My Dear Children." Correspondence consists of 1,782 items arranged alphabetically by author. The majority of the correspondence is either to or from Catherine Turney. The topics range from business matters regarding her scripts and book deals to personal matters. Many of the letters to and from publishing companies are requests and permissions for the use of copyrighted material in Catherine Turney's published works. The most common topic of her business correspondence in the late 1970s was her dispute with the heirs of Lord Byron regarding her use of the book Lord Noel Byron and the Leighs. The financial and legal debates prevented her from finishing her work on George Washington for the bicentennial. Catherine Turney corresponded with many people involved in or associated with the film, literary and art worlds in both America and England. Notable participants include: L.E. Berman; Muriel Box; Shirley Burke; Virginia Scott Steele; Stephen Longstreet; John Collier; Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, and Joan Crawford; and Eric Portman. Also included are: Elaine Barrie Barrymore; John Barrymore; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Charles Scribner, Charles Scribner's Sons; Byron Society (American Committee); CBS; KABC; KHJ-TV; Jerry Horwin; Pasadena Playhouse Association; Screen Writers' Guild; and the Writers Guild of America, West. The ephemera section consists of 938 items arranged alphabetically by type and then subject where appropriate. The ephemera includes records pertaining to both of Turney's divorces, property that she owned in Pasadena, her contracts with movie and television studios, publishing agreements for books and magazine articles, and royalty statements. There are copies of magazines which published her work, research materials for her various works, and newspaper and magazine clippings regarding her works. Research materials for "The Patriarch" include photocopies of letters from George Washington, Martha Washington, and Nathanael Greene. The Catherine Turney Ephemera includes a wedding book from her second marriage and applications she filled out for the Producer-Writers Guild of America Pension Plan and Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital. Also included in this folder is a photocopy of her interview from the book Screenwriter by Lee Server. The ephemera pertaining to the Pasadena Community Playhouse consists of one brochure from 1937, three copies of the "Pasadena Playhouse Hall of Fame 1982" and two newspaper clippings regarding the 1979 fundraiser. There are photographs of Catherine Turney and her family as well as photographs of friends, including a personalized, autographed photo of Bette Davis. Subjects in this collection also include: Hermione Baddeley; Empress Josephine; Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; Percy Shelley; George and Martha Washington; Warner Bros.; actresses; literary agents; women authors; California fiction and history.|
|Notes||All inquiries about this collection should be directed to the Curator of Literary Manuscripts.|
|Provenance||Gift of Bettina Hanson Salter, April 27, 2005.|
Baddeley, Hermione, 1908-1986.
Byron, George Gordon Byron, Baron, 1788-1824.
Crawford, Joan, 1908-1977.
Dubuc de Rivery, Aimée, 1776-1817.
Josephine, Empress, consort of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French, 1763-1814.
Leigh, Augusta, 1784-1851.
Leigh, Elizabeth Medora, 1814-1849.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, 1797-1851.
Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 1792-1822.
Washington, George, 1732-1799.
Washington, Martha, 1731-1802.
Motion Picture Association of America. Production Code Administration.
Writers Guild of America.
Mildred Pierce (Motion picture)
Actresses -- United States.
Literary agents -- Correspondence.
Screenwriters -- United States.
Women -- California.
Women authors, American -- 20th century -- Archives.
California -- Fiction.
California -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
Contracts United States 20th century. (aat)
Drawings United States 20th century. (aat)
Letters (correspondence) United States 20th century. (aat)
Magazines United States 20th century. (aat)
Manuscripts for publication United States 20th century. (aat)
Photographs United States 20th century. (aat)
Research notes United States 20th century. (aat)
Screenplays United States 20th century. (aat)
Scripts (documents) United States 20th century. (aat)
Barrymore, Elaine Barrie.
Barrymore, John, 1882-1942.
Berman, L. E.
Box, Muriel, 1905-1991.
Collier, John, 1901-1980.
Longstreet, Stephen, 1907-2002.
Portman, Eric, 1903-1969.
Scott, Virginia Steele.
Scribner, Charles, 1921-1995.
Stanwyck, Barbara, 1907-1990.
Byron Society. American Committee.
Charles Scribner's Sons.
Columbia Broadcasting System, inc.
Columbia Pictures Corporation.
KABC-TV (Television station : Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.)
KHJ-TV (Television station : Los Angeles, Calif.)
Pasadena Playhouse Association.
Screen Writers' Guild, recipient.
Writers Guild of America, West.
|Department||Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery. Manuscripts Department.|
|Call Number||mssTurney papers|
|Physical Collection||Catherine Turney Papers.|
|Digital Collection||Finding Aids, Huntington Digital Library|
|Physical Description||44 p.|
|Digitization Specifications||Original finding aid converted into PDF document by B. Black, 2011-12-15.|
|Original Finding Aid||Finding aid prepared by Stephanie E. Clayton, May 13, 2009.|
|Citation Information||Finding aid for Catherine Turney Papers, Huntington Digital Library, San Marino, California.|
|Restrictions||Images in this collection are for scholarly research; please review the Huntington Library's copyright information: http://cdm16003.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/about. For purchasing images for publication please review our permission to publish policy: http://www.huntington.org/huntingtonlibrary.aspx?id=590.|
|Cataloging Notes||The collection is organized in the following manner: Manuscripts (Boxes 1-14); Correspondence (Boxes 14-26); Ephemera (Boxes 26-33); Oversize (34-35); and Volumes. The Huntington Library also has screenplay drafts of "Mildred Pierce" by Turney and some related letters (1944), HM 71516-71519. Several items were transferred to the Huntington's Rare Books Department.|