Research Catalog

Alexander H. Cohen papers

Title
Alexander H. Cohen papers, 1880-2003 (bulk 1938-2003)
Author
Cohen, Alexander H., 1920-2000.
Supplementary Content
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StatusVol/DateFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
Box 1Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 1Offsite
Box 2Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 2Offsite
Box 3Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 3Offsite
Box 4Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 4Offsite
Box 5Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 5Offsite
Box 6Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 6Offsite
Box 7Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 7Offsite
Box 8Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 8Offsite
Box 9Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 9Offsite
Box 10Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 10Offsite
Box 11Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 11Offsite
Box 12Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 12Offsite
Box 13Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 13Offsite
Box 14Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 14Offsite
Box 15Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 15Offsite
Box 16Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 16Offsite
Box 17Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 17Offsite
Box 18Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 18Offsite
Box 19Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 19Offsite
Box 20Mixed materialSupervised use *T-Mss 1969-001 Box 20Offsite

Details

Additional Authors
Description
189.75 linear feet (396 boxes)
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Appointment books.
  • Clippings.
  • Financial records.
  • Posters.
  • Press releases.
  • Programs.
  • Scores.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Television scripts.
  • Costume design drawings.
Access (note)
  • Collection is open to the public, with the exception of Boxes 52 and 53, which require permission of the Curator to access. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Biography (note)
  • American theater and television producer Alexander H. Cohen (1920-2000), whose multifaceted producing career spanned several decades introduced many innovations in marketing and audience development techniques.
Call Number
*T-Mss 1969-001
OCLC
NYPG06-A66
Author
Cohen, Alexander H., 1920-2000.
Title
Alexander H. Cohen papers, 1880-2003 (bulk 1938-2003)
Restricted Access
Collection is open to the public, with the exception of Boxes 52 and 53, which require permission of the Curator to access. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
Summary
Primarily documenting the career of theater and television producer Alexander H. Cohen, the papers consist of correspondence, contracts, financial records, office files, photographs, slides, scrapbooks, programs, scripts, datebooks, publicity material, clippings, production materials, scores, writings, posters, floor plans, and costume designs. There are also a number of personal papers, as well as some materials by and about Cohen's wife and professional partner, Hildy Parks, a writer, producer, and actress. The two are perhaps best known for producing the Tony Awards telecasts from 1967 to 1986 and for presenting the Night of 100 Stars telecasts The papers are especially rich in contracts and financial papers for Cohen's theatrical and television ventures, both produced and unproduced, most especially from the 1950s through his final production, Waiting in the Wings by Noel Coward (1999). However, several of the scrapbooks and a number of photos document Cohen's earliest theater productions from the 1940s. Although his theatrical ventures in America form the bulk of the collection, London productions are also represented. Cohen's hands-on approach to producing is reflected in his correspondence with playwrights, actors, and investors, as well as in script and casting notes. His flair for marketing and promotion is evident throughout the papers, especially for productions such as Baker Street (1965) and Rupert Holmes's Accomplice (1990), and in numerous joint ventures with corporate sponsors, such as American Express and Mumm Champagne. Material relating to other projects, such as Cohen's management of the O'Keefe Centre in Toronto, and several other theaters, can also be found in the collection, as well as extensive files for unproduced theater projects maintained by Cohen. Notable among these files are research materials relating to P. T. Barnum, amassed by Cohen, which include an 1880 Barnum autograph.
Biography
American theater and television producer Alexander H. Cohen (1920-2000), whose multifaceted producing career spanned several decades introduced many innovations in marketing and audience development techniques. Known early on as zBroadway's Millionaire Boy Angel,y Cohen began his involvement with the theater at an early age, running two summer theaters on Long Island and investing in such hit Broadway productions as Angel Street (1941). In the late 1940s, Cohen went to work for the Bulova Watch Company, where, as Director of Publicity and Advertising, he created the first licensed Academy Award merchandise. He also honed his producing skills under veteran Broadway producer Herman Levin, working on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949) and My Three Angels (1954). In the mid-1950s, Cohen established his own public relations firm, Interscope, Incorporated. Having divorced his first wife, Jocelyn Newmark, Cohen married Hildy Parks, an actress, in 1956. Parks also would become his professional partner, both as producer and scriptwriter. In 1959 Cohen set up the London Company to develop productions for both Broadway and the West End, maintaining a London office for some ten years. Cohen presented several productions in London and throughout his career, many of Cohen's North American productions would have a decidedly British flavor. Cohen's theater productions numbered more than 100; among the most notable were the John Gielgud-directed Hamlet (1964), starring Richard Burton, and Harold Pinter's The Homecoming (1967), which won the 1967 Tony Award for Best Play. Cohen also produced a number of musicals, including Baker Street by Raymond Jessel and Marian Grudeff (1965), for which he employed a colorful and massive marketing campaign.
It may have been television, however, that truly provided the opportunity, the budget, and the venue to give life to productions matching Cohen's sense of scale. In 1967, he conceived and originated the national Tony Awards telecast and both Cohen and Parks would produce the awards show until 1986 (with Parks also writing the scripts). The team also was responsible for the three Night of 100 Stars programs (1982, 1985, and 1990) to raise money for the Actors' Fund of America. The couple also produced the Emmy Awards broadcasts in 1978, 1985, and 1986, as well as numerous other television specials. In addition to his producing activities, Cohen supervised the building of the O'Keefe Centre in Toronto, which he managed for its first three years of operation. He also managed the Erlanger and Locust Street Theatres in Philadelphia, the Morris A. Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore, and the Rich Forum for the Stamford Center for the Arts at various points in his career. Cohen was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Tony Award, Emmy Award, and the Academy Award; he also was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
Connect to:
Occupation
Television producers and directors.
Theatrical producers and directors.
Television writers.
Added Author
Barnum, P. T. (Phineas Taylor), 1810-1891.
Burton, Richard, 1925-1984.
Gielgud, John, 1904-2000.
Parks, Hildy, 1926-2004.
Grudeff, Marian. Baker Street.
Jessel, Raymond. Baker Street.
Holmes, Rupert. Accomplice.
American Express Company.
Actors' Fund of America.
Erlanger Theatre (Philadelphia, Pa.)
G.H. Mumm et Co.
Locust Street Theatre (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Morris A. Mechanic Theatre (Baltimore, Md.)
O'Keefe Centre (Toronto, Ont.)
Research Call Number
*T-Mss 1969-001
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