Chayefsky, Paddy, 1923-1981.
Billy Rose Theatre Division
- 124.9 linear feet (283 boxes)
Collection is open to the public. Materials in this collection may only be reproduced with permission of the copyright holder. Advance notice may be required.
Primarily documenting the career of playwright and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky, the Paddy Chayefsky papers consist of correspondence, material relating to productionof his works, draft and development material for unproduced works and other writings, office papers, vital records, financial and legal records, photographs, and research material. Some personal material is also included in the collection, including correspondence, childhood mementos, and photographs; however, the emphasisis clearly on Chayefsky's work rather than his person. Of note among the extensive correspondence are letters, notes,and cards between Paddy and his wife Susan Chayefsky, as well as other family members. Other significant correspondents include production designer Ted Haworth, Fred Coe, Eddie Fisher, Harold Hecht, Alfred Hitchcock, Theodore (Teddy) Kollek, Burt Lancaster, Josh Logan, Arthur Schlessinger Jr., and Jule Styne. The collection isrich in material pertaining to Chayefsky's works for stageand screen dating back to his earliest production, No T.O.For Love, which was written during his recuperation from injuries sustained in Germany in 1945. Production materialoften includes extensive drafts and revisions of scripts, story development notes, casting files, ephemera and clippings, and production-related correspondence.Most thoroughly documented are his later works, in particular The Latent Heterosexual, The Hospital, Network, and Altered States. Relatively little material relating to hisradio scripts and Philco-Goodyear teleplays is available in the collection. Also abundant in the papers is materialrelating to collaborations and adaptations ultimately aborted, or completed without Chayefsky's participation. Chayefsky rigorously annotated the research material he collected, and such notes give a window into the writer's thought processes as he laid the groundwork for his productions. Cumulatively, the papers give tremendous insight into the working life of one of America's celebrated writers.
Paddy Chayefsky (1923-1981), was a successful television writer, playwright, and screenwriter, perhaps best known for his early works which focused on the lives of ordinarypeople, as well as other works with a more satirical bent. Born Sidney Aaron Chayefsky in the Bronx, he took on thenickname Paddy after he joined the United States Army, where he also experienced his first success as a dramatic writer. By the early 1950s, Chayefsky had begun writing for radio and television, adapting a series of scripts forCBS Radio's Theatre Guild of the Air and writing original teleplays for the Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, including Marty, Middle of the Night, and A Catered Affair. Despite his success in the medium, Chayefsky abandoned television writing in 1955 in favor of screenwriting and Broadway theater. His first film (and the first television play to be successfully remade as a full length motion picture), Marty, won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1955, and earned him his first of three Academy Awards for Best Screenplay. A theatrical version of Middle of the Night opened on Broadway in 1956 and was a financial and critical success. Notable among Chayefsky's other screenplays were The Hospital (1971), Network (1976), and Altered States (1981), which proved tobe his final completed project. First published as a noveland subsequently adapted for the screen, Chayefsky referred to it as "an updated Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Although the film version was popular with audiences, Chayefsky had numerous disputes with director Ken Russell during the production of the film and had his name removedfrom credits; the screenplay was credited instead to Sidney Aaron. Ill heath interfered with Chayefsky's ability to complete numerous other scripts that were in development before the time of his death.
Controlled Access Terms
- Chayefsky, Paddy, 1923-1981.
- Chayefsky, Susan -- Correspondence.
- Coe, Fred, 1914-1979 -- Correspondence.
- Fisher, Eddie -- Correspondence.
- Haworth, Ted -- Correspondence.
- Hecht, Harold, 1907-1985 -- Correspondence.
- Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-1980 -- Correspondence.
- Kollek, Teddy, 1911- -- Correspondence.
- Lancaster, Burt, 1913-1994 -- Correspondence.
- Logan, Joshua -- Correspondence.
- Schlesinger, Arthur M. (Arthur Meier), 1917-2007 -- Correspondence.
- Styne, Jule, 1905-1994 -- Correspondence.
- Dramatists -- United States.
- Screenwriters -- United States.
- Television writers -- United States.
- Drafts (documents)
- Financial records.
- Motion picture plays.
- Scripts (documents)
- Television writers.
Additional Creator Names
- Chayefsky, Susan.
- Coe, Fred, 1914-1979.
- Fisher, Eddie.
- Haworth, Ted.
- Hecht, Harold, 1907-1985.
- Hitchcock, Alfred, 1899-1980.
- Kollek, Teddy, 1911-
- Lancaster, Burt, 1913-1994.
- Logan, Joshua.
- Russell, Ken, 1927-2011.
- Schlesinger, Arthur M. (Arthur Meier), 1917-2007.
- Styne, Jule, 1905-1994.
- Chayefsky, Paddy, 1923-1981. Altered states.
- Chayefsky, Paddy, 1923-1981. Hospital.
- Chayefsky, Paddy, 1923-1981. Latent heterosexual.
- Chayefsky, Paddy, 1923-1981. No T.O. For Love.
- Chayefsky, Paddy, 1923-1981. Network.
- Altered states (Motion picture)