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Richard Derr Papers 1929-1983

MS SC PA-8


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Derr, Richard, 1917-1992
Title: Richard Derr Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1929-1983
Quantity: 8 Boxes (3.0 Linear Feet)
Abstract:This collection contains memorabilia, programs, scripts, photographs, and books documenting Richard Derr's acting career. These items date from 1929 to about 1983.
Identification: MS SC PA-8
Language: Material in English
Repository: Arizona State University Library. Rare Books and Manuscripts
Arizona State University Library
P.O. Box 871006
Tempe, AZ 85287-1006
Phone: (480) 965-4932
E-Mail: archives@asu.edu
Questions? Ask An Archivist!

Biographical Note

Richard LeMar Derr (1917-1992) was an actor whose career spanned stage, film, and television. During World War II, Derr spent three years with the Air Transport Command as a navigator. After graduating from Norristown High School (Pennsylvania) in 1933, Derr worked as a bank clerk while pursuing his theatre interests with "The Dramateurs," a Norristown amateur little theatre group. He then appeared at the Hedgerow Theatre, a repertory theatre in nearby Moylan, Pennsylvania. His acting career blossomed after appearing with Joe E. Brown in Elmer the Great. In 1948, Derr played John in a touring production of John Loves Mary. He made his Broadway debut as Lt. Henderson in The Traitor, receiving a Theatre World Award in 1948/49 for this performance. He also appeared in numerous other stage productions, including Grand Tour (1951); Dial 'M' for Murder (1952); Plain and Fancy (1955); Maybe Tuesday (1958); Mister Roberts (1959); and Invitation to a March (1960).

Derr's film career developed simultaneously. He screen debut was in 20th Century Fox's Man at Large (1941). He was the lead actor in When Worlds Collide (1951) and also appeared in Secret Heart (1946); Joan of Arc (1948); Guilty of Treason (1949); Terror is a Man (1959); The Drowning Pool (1957); and others.

Among the many television programs that Derr has appeared on are F.B.I., Marcus Welby, M.D., Barnaby Jones, Philco Theatre, Studio One, and Circle Theatre. Derr, who also held a real estate broker's license, was an associate of the Beverly Hills Realty Company and a member of the Beverly Hills Realty Board.


Scope and Content Note

This collection contains memorabilia, programs, scripts, photographs, and books documenting Richard Derr's acting career. These items date from 1929 to about 1983.

Series I: Personal includes personal and biographical information. Of particular interest are materials showing Derr's high school days in Norristown, Pennsylvania and programs from "The Dramateurs," an amateur little theatre group.

Series II: Professional contains programs, scripts, and "acting editions" showing Derr's professional acting career in theatre, film, and television. Many of these items contain notations because Derr performed in these plays or films.

Series III: Photographs consists of 397 photographs of Richard Derr, many of which are promotional portraits taken during different phases of his acting career. Also included are scenes from various plays and films that Derr appeared in (arranged alphabetically by title).


Arrangement

This collection consists of eight boxes divided into three series:
Series I: Personal
Series II: Professional
Sub-Series A: General
Sub-Series B: Scripts
Sub-Series C: Acting Editions
Series III: Photographs
Series IV: Oversized Materials

Restrictions

Access Restrictions

To view this collection, make an appointment at least five business days prior to your visit by contacting Ask an Archivist or calling (480) 965-4932. Appointments are available from Monday through Friday from 9-5, on a first come, first served basis, on the ASU Tempe or West campuses.

Copyright

Arizona State University does not own copyright to this collection. Distinctive Collections recognizes that it is incumbent upon the researcher to procure permission to publish information from this collection from the owner of the copyright.


Related Material

Thirty-six pieces of sheet music have been interfiled with music from the Gene Blakely Collection:

Books, other acting editions (books written in play form), and a video cassette titled "When Worlds Collide" are catalogued separately.

Accarezzame
Album of Cole Porter Songs
All of You
Baby, Talk to Me
Bells Are Ringing
Bidin' My Time
Bois Epais
By Myself
Early Italian Songs and Airs
Excerpts from the Musical Brigadoon
Girl that I Marry
I Met a Girl
I Can't Get Started
I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan
I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face
I've Got a Crush on You
If Ever I Would Leave You
It's All Right with Me
Just in Time
Kismet
Long Before I Knew You
My Defenses Are Down
My God and Father, While I Stray
Pick Yourself Up
Put on a Happy Face
Quiet Girl
Rosie
Seventy-Six Trombones
Solos from Oratorios and Cantatas
Song of the Flea
Things Are Looking Up
This Was Nearly Mine
Vocal Selections from Oklahoma
Vocal Selections from The Pajama Game
Volare
You'll Never Get Away From Me

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Derr, Richard, 1917-1992 -- Archives.

Subject(s)
Male actors -- United States -- Archives.
Motion picture actors and actresses -- United States -- Archives.
Television actors and actresses -- United States -- Archives.
Theater -- United States.


Administrative Information

Credit Line

Richard Derr Papers, MS SC PA-8. Arizona State University Library: Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Provenance

Richard Derr's estate donated these papers to Special Collections in August of 1992 (Accession #2003-03019).


Container List

Series I: Personal
BoxFolder
11 Biographical Information
12 Passport and Health Record
13 School Work, English Paper, Sentence Diagraming
14 Stewart Junior, 1929-1930
Derr was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper of Stewart Junior High, Norristown Pennsylvania.
15 High School Theatrical Productions, Norristown High School and A.D. Eisenhower High School, 1933
16 Hi-Eye, 1932-1933
Norristown High School newspaper. Richard Derr served as business manager in 1932 and reporter in 1933.
17 High School Speeches
Typescript of a Hi-Y Club (YMCA) speech by Derr on "clean sports" at Calvary Baptist Church (1931 November 15). Also typed notes of words said at a National Honor Society program. Derr was President of that organization and served as class Vice-President.
18 Commencement Programs and Invitation, Norristown High School, 1933
Derr graduated from high school at the age of 16.
19 NHS Emblem
110 Newspaper Clippings from Norristown, Pa., 1931-1933
111 The Dramateurs Programs, 1937-1938
After graduating from high school in 1933, Richard Derr held a banking position of clerk at a Norristown bank. He studied with the American Institute of Banking, completing a 4 year course in 3 years. For 3 years, Derr acted with "The Dramateurs", a Norristown amateur theatrical group, doing the standard "little theatre" plays of the period. He then joined the Jasper Deeter's Hedgerow Theatre, a repertory theatre nearby.
112 "Town Hall Tonight" and "He Ain't Done Right by Nell" Programs, 1942 February 14
113 Miscellaneous: Speed Read Course of Lessons
114 Miscellaneous: 150th Anniversary of the Founding of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 1934
115 Miscellaneous
Church service program; "The Future as Revealed in Cards".
116 American Institute of Banking, Philadelphia Chapter. Publications, 1934; 1938
In May of 1934, Richard Derr of Norristown-Penn Trust received a "pre-standard" certificate resulting from his studies. He was among three students who tied for first place with the highest averages, earning a $15.00 prize. Mentioned in the 1938 publication was the performance of Richard Derr and "The Dramateurs", p. 182.
Series II: Professional
Sub-Series A: General
BoxFolder
117 The Actor's Prayer
118 "The Drowning Pool/Ryan's the Name", 1974
Room list, call sheet, general location information, and shooting schedule.
119 "Firefox" Call Sheet and Script, 1981
120 Mister Roberts, Warwick Musical Theatre Souvenir Program
121 Plain and Fancy Souvenir Book
122 "When Worlds Collide"
Cover letter dated 30 November 1950, Notes on back. Newsclip "Barbara Rush Feminine Lead in Worlds Collide."
123 "Epitaph for George Dillon," Theatre Program, Capri Theatre Inc., Atlantic Beach, Long Island, NY, 1959 July 21-26
Sub-Series B: Scripts
BoxFolder
21 Darling-Darling by Anita Loos, 1954 July 21 (Typescript Carbon with Notations)
22 Dial 'M' for Murder by Frederick Knot (Typescript with Notations)
23 The Drowning Pool, screenplay by Tracy Keenan Wynn, 1974 September 16 (Final Pages Shooting Script with Revision)
24 The Grand Tour by Elmer Rice, 1951 (Typescript with Notations)
25 Invitation to a March, 1960 (Typescript with Notations)
26 A Phoenix Too Frequent by Christopher Fry (Typescript)
27 Plain and Fancy, 1955 (Typescript with Notations)
Book by Joseph Stein and Will Glickman, music by Albert Hague, lyrics by Arnold Horwitt. On verso: "Congratulations- a great script- And thanks for holding it together so perfectly." Joe Stein.
BoxFolder
31 Terror Is a Man, 1959 (Film Script with Notations)
Title on script: "Beast from the Isle of Night".
32 The Traitor (Typescript with Notations)
33 The Traitor (Typescript Carbon)
34 WKRP in Cincinnati, 1981 December 11 (#1020; First Draft, Typescript)
35 WKRP in Cincinnati, 1981 December 14 (#1020; Typescript)
36 WKRP in Cincinnati, 1981 December 16 (#1020; Final Shooting Script; Typescript)
Sub-Series C: Acting Editions
BoxFolder
41 Affairs of State, A Comedy in Three Acts, by Louis Verneuil. New York: Samuel French, 1952
42 Dream Girl, Comedy in Two Acts by Elmer Rice. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 1946
43 Epitaph for George Dillon, A Play in Three Acts by John Osbourne and Anthony Creighton. New York: Criterion Books, 1958
44 Happy Birthday, A Play in Two Acts, by Anita Loos. New York: Samuel French, 1947
45 John Loves Mary, Comedy in Three Acts, by Norman Krasna. New York: Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 1947
46 Laura, Play in Three Acts by Vera Caspary and George Sklar. New York: Dramatists Play Service, 1948
47 Mister Roberts, A Play by Thomas Heggen and Joshua Logan. New York: Random House, 1948
48 The Philadelphia Story, A Comedy in Three Acts by Philip Barry. New York: Samuel French, 1942
49 Plain and Fancy: A Musical Comedy by Joseph Stein and Will Glickman. New York: Random House, 1953
Has personal note to Derr from Stein and pictures of him in the cast.
Series III: Photographs
BoxFolder
51 Early Portraits (Small; 3 Items)
52 Hedgerow Studio Portrait, circa 1938-1940 (2 Items)
53 Portrait in Uniform, circa 1941 (4 Items)
54 Photograph in Uniform (by Forbes) (1 Item)
55 Portrait in Uniform, ATC on Hat, circa 1942-1943 (2 Items)
56 Portrait (Small; 1 Item)
57 Portraits (Plaid Shirt and Suit Coat) (2 Item)
58 Portraits (Striped T-shirt) (3 Items)
59 Portraits (Checked Shirt) (5 Items)
510 Portrait (Printed Tie and Striped Suit Coat) (1 Item)
511 Portrait (Printed Tie and Striped Suit Coat) (3 Items)
512 Portraits (Solid Tie, Striped Shirt, and Checked Jacket) (2 Items)
513 Portraits (Solid Tie, Striped Shirt, and Jacket) (2 Items)
514 Sitting on Stairway Marked "GYM" (2 Items)
515 Portraits by Bloom (Chicago) (3 Items)
516 Portrait by Bloom (Chicago) (1 Item)
517 Portrait by Clarence Bull, 1946 (1 Item)
Promotional photo #4887 for Secret Heart.
518 Portrait by Clarence Bull, 1946 (1 Item)
Promotional photo #4890 for Secret Heart.
519 Portrait by Clarence Bull, 1946 (1 Item)
Promotional photo #4888 for Secret Heart.
520 Portrait (with Moustache and Dark Suit), circa 1946-1947 (4 Items)
521 Portraits (with Moustache, Dark Suit, and Paisley Tie), circa 1946-1947 (4 Items)
522 Portraits, MGM, by Clarence S. Bull (Seated in Chair), circa 1947-1948 (2 Items)
523 Portrait, MGM, by Clarence S. Bull, circa 1947-1948 (1 Item)
524 Portraits by G. Maillard Kesslere, circa 1951 (4 Items)
525 Portraits by Maurice Seymour (3 Items)
526 Portraits by Maurice Seymour(Tweed Jacket and Dark Tie), circa 1958 (2 Items)
527 Portraits (Tweed Jacket and Dark Tie), circa 1958 (3 Items)
528 Portraits by Maurice Seymour (Tweed Jacket and Dark Tie), circa 1958 (3 Items)
529 Portraits by G. Maillard Kesslere, NYC (Dark Suit Jacket) (3 Items)
530 Portraits by Talbot on Broadway (Dark Suit and Paisley Tie) (2 Negatives; 5 Items)
Similar to promotion photos for Invitation to a March (1960) and Maybe Tuesday (1958).
531 Portraits by Talbot (Dark Suit and Paisley Tie), circa 1958, 1960 (2 Items)
532 Portraits by Talbot (Wool Jacket and Dark Tie) (1 Negative; 2 Items)
533 Portraits by Talbot (Wool Jacket and Dark Tie), circa 1960 (1 Negative; 5 Items)
Similar to promotion photos for Invitation to a March (1960) and Maybe Tuesday (1958).
534 Portraits, Promotion for Maybe Tuesday (1958) and Invitation to a March (1960), 1958, 1960 (4 Items)
Credit: Friedman-Abeles, NY.
535 Portraits, Friedman-Abeles, NY, circa 1960 (4.5" x 6.5"; 4 Items)
536 Portraits (Dark Suit Coat and Striped Tie) (1 Negative; 4 Items)
537 Portraits (Proofs; 5 Pages)
538 Portraits (1 Negative; 4 Items)
539 Portraits (1 Negative; Items)
540 Portraits (Dark Turtleneck Sweater) (Proofs; 6 Pages)
BoxFolder
61 Portrait (Dark Turtleneck and Brick Background) (1 Item)
62 Portraits (Dark Turtleneck and Brick Background) (5 Items)
63 Portrait (Dark Turtleneck) (1 Item)
64 Portraits (Dark Turtleneck) (1 Negative; 4 Items)
65 Portraits (Dark Turtleneck) (1 Negative; 5 Items)
66 Photograph, Interior Apartment (4" x 3.25"; 1 Item)
67 Portraits (Sweater) (1 Negative; 3 Items)
68 Portraits (Wool Suit and Print Tie) (1 Negative; 5 Items)
Credit: Alexander Bender, NY.
69 Portraits (Wool Suit and Print Tie) (4 Items)
Credit: Alexander Bender, NY.
610 Portraits (Striped Jacket and Dark Tie) (4 Items)
611 Portraits by the Barskin Agency, Los Angeles (Wool Jacket and Dark Tie), circa 1966 (6 Items)
612 Portraits by the Barskin Agency, Los Angeles (Dark Suit Jacket), circa 1966 (1 Negative; 5 Items)
613 Portraits by the Barskin Agency, Los Angeles (With Glasses) (1 Negative; 4 Items)
614 Portraits with Small Photograph Inset by the Barskin Agency, Los Angeles, circa 1966 (4 Items)
615 Portraits (Striped Tie and Glasses), circa 1983 (4 Items)
616 Portraits (Leather Jacket), circa 1983 (3 Items)
617 Portraits, circa 1983 (6 Items)
618 Portraits by Don Schwartz and Associates, Los Angeles (Collage with Assorted Poses), circa 1983 (4 Items
619 Portraits by Norah Sanders Agency, Los Angeles (Assorted Poses), circa 1982 (Resume on Back; 8 Items)
620 Portraits by William Morris Agency, Inc., Beverly Hills, California (Assorted Poses) and Resume, circa 1983 (5 Items)
621 Printed Resume, Len Kaplan Agency, Los Angeles
622 Printed Resume with Corrections, Brooke-Dunn-Oliver Talent Agency, circa 1983
623 Castle in the Desert. Cast includes Charlie Chan (2 items)
624 Commandos Strike at Dawn, 1942 (3 Items)
625 Darling, Darling with Gypsy Rose Lee (5" x 7"; 1 Item)
626 Dial 'M' for Murder with Maurice Evans (5" x 7"; 1 Item)
627 Dream Girl toured with Judy Holliday, 1951 (1 Item)
628 Free as a Bird at the Grist Mill Playhouse (Toured with Edie Adams). Includes world premiere program, circa 1961 (3 Items)
629 A Gentleman at Heart with Cesar Romero, Carole Landis, and Milton Berle (1 Item)
630 Grand Tour with Beatrice Straight, 1951 (6 Items)
631 Guilty of Treason with Bonita Granuille, 1950 (1 Item)
632 Invitation to a March with Celeste Holme, James MacArthur, and Jane Fonda, 1960 (8 Items)
BoxFolder
71 Joan of Arc with Ingrid Bergman, 1948 (3 Items)
72 John Loves Mary, H.A. Hartwell Studio, Chicago. Jan Sterling, 1948 (4 Items)
73 John Loves Mary, Harry A. Atwell Studio, Chicago (11 Items)
74 Man at Large (3 Items)
75 Man Who Wouldn't Die (1 Item)
76 Maybe Tuesday Playbill and Clippings, 1958
77 Maybe Tuesday with Patricia Smith. Bob Golby Photograph, NY, 1958 (5" x 7"; 5 Items)
78 Maybe Tuesday with Patricia Smith. Friedman-Abeles Photo, NY, 1958 (1 Item)
79 Mr. Roberts, 1959 Summer (5 Items)
710 Plain and Fancy with Shirl Conway, 1955-1956 (4 Items)
711 Secret Heart with Claudette Colbert, 1946 (1 Item)
712 Secret Mission (1 Item)
713 Miscellaneous Unidentified Locations (19 Items)
714 Miscellaneous Productions, Friedman-Abeles photos, NY (4 Items)
715 Terror is the Man, 1959 (5" x 4"; 20 Items)
716 Terror is the Man, 1959 (5" x 4"; 20 Items)
717 Terror is the Man, 1959 (5" x 4"; 10 Items)
718 Terror is the Man, 1959 (10 Items)
719 Terror is the Man, 1959 (16 Items)
720 Terror is the Man, 1959 (Mostly 5" x 7"; 6 Items)
721 Terror is the Man (2.5" x 3.75"; 23 Items)
722 When Worlds Collide, 1951 (1 Item)
723 When Worlds Collide, 1951 (1 Item)
724 Miscellaneous Productions (6 Items)
725 Miscellaneous Productions (3 Items)
726 Portrait, Frank Gehrecke (2 Items)
727 Photograph, Ballet Dancer Ricky Starr (1 Item)
728 Portrait, Unidentified Male (1 Item)
Series IV: Oversized Materials
Box
8 Plaque. "Theatre World selects Richard Derr as one of the promising personalities of the 1948-49 season"
8 Star Trek Calendar. "The Stars Pick Their Favorite Episodes", 1987
8 Layout and Promotional Photographs for Norah Sanders Agency, Los Angeles