The UCLA Library announced today that it has received one of the most coveted literary archives of the 20th century, the papers of Sidney Sheldon. Sheldon donated the collection, which encompasses manuscripts, scripts, research materials and correspondence relating to his more than 200 television scripts, 25 major motion pictures, six Broadway plays, 18 novels and a memoir. It will be housed in the Arts Library Special Collections, allowing future generations of writers unprecedented insight into one of the most prolific and popular writers of modern times.
"We are delighted to receive this unique collection reflecting Sidney's career as a master storyteller," said University Librarian Gary E. Strong. "Its contents complement the UCLA Library's holdings in literature and in film and television writing and will provide a rich resource for researchers in Southern California and around the world."
Also announced was this year's winner of the Sidney Sheldon Scholarship Award for Screenwriting. The 2006 award has been conferred upon Santa Monica resident Yule Caise for his script "Snail Trails," a coming-of-age story about an eight-year-old boy and his single mother living in a basement apartment in Oakland in 1967 and the impact on their lives of the Black Panther Party and the shooting and arrest of its founding leader, Huey P. Newton.
"Sidney Sheldon's career demonstrates that it is the story and the power of the word that is at the center of great theater, film and television," said Robert Rosen, dean of the School of Theater, Film and Television. "We are extremely proud of his association with the school."
As a screenwriter, Sheldon won an Oscar for "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer." He also wrote the screenplays for "Easter Parade" and "Annie Get Your Gun," won a Tony for the musical
"Redhead," and created the television shows "The Patty Duke Show," "I Dream of Jeannie" and "Hart to Hart." Sheldon has sold more than 300 million books.
Beginning with "The Naked Face" in 1968, Sheldon reinvented himself as one of the world's most successful popular novelists, with bestsellers to his credit including "The Other Side of Midnight," "Rage of Angels" and "The Stars Shine Down." His autobiography, "The Other Side of Me," was published in 2005.
About the collection
The majority of the collection relates to Sheldon's 18 novels and includes manuscripts, research, notes, drafts and galleys for books from his first, "The Naked Face" (1969), to "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" (2004). There are also scripts for motion picture and television projects, many based on his books; short stories and plays; clippings; fan mail and personal correspondence; personal photographs; and printed ephemera.
The Arts Library Special Collections houses rare and unique materials in the visual and performing arts, with particular strengths in film and television, radio, Los Angeles theater and art. Major collecting areas include archival records of leading Southern California film and television studios; artists' books; motion picture publicity ephemera such as photographs and publicity stills, posters, lobby cards and press kits; film, television and radio scripts; personal papers of prominent writers, directors, producers and performers; West Coast theater playbills; and women in entertainment. These primary sources support research and instruction by UCLA students and faculty and also are used by scholars and researchers from around the world.
About the scholarship
With the intention of encouraging young writers, in 2004 Sheldon established a fund of $50,000 to support the annual $5,000 award program, which alternates each year honoring a screenwriter or playwright at UCLA.
Currently an M.F.A. screenwriting student at UCLA, Caise grew up in Berkeley, Calif., working as a child actor, studying at the American Conservatory Theatre and starring as Marcus on the PBS series "Up and Coming." He graduated from Harvard University, where he wrote and directed the award-winning film "Shoes." His film "Boys' Night Out" has played festivals worldwide. As a writer, Caise has penned numerous screenplays, most notably "Free of Eden" for Showtime, directed by Leon Ichaso and starring Sidney Poitier. He also wrote the theatrical release "Way Past Cool," directed by Adam Davidson, executive produced by Milos Forman and Norman Lear, and based on the celebrated young adult novel by Jess Mowry. Caise was a 2005 Screenwriters Showcase winner at UCLA for his script "Snake Dreaming."
Consistently ranked among the leading institutions in the nation, the School of Theater, Film and Television is unique in the world in that it brings together the arts of theater, film and television in one academic institution. UCLA's reputation as an outstanding training ground for the theater, film and television professions and for critical scholarship is based on its long tradition of fostering creative growth, encouraging experimentation and ensuring artistic freedom. Many of the most respected names in the entertainment and communication arts, and the world of scholarship, are UCLA alumni.