Scope and arrangement
This collection documents the acting career and personal life of actress Zita Johann. It consists of business, personal, and legal correspondence; fan mail; interview transcripts; photographs and prints; press clippings; programs; scripts; and treatments. The scripts make up the bulk of the collection.
Business correspondence includes copies of Johann's movie studio and agency contracts, as well as correspondence from Broadway director and producer, Arthur Hopkins; casting director Jane Broder; screenwriters Sidney Harmon, James Ullman, and Dorothy Parker; and playwright Martin Flavin. Fan mail sent to Johann includes requests for autographs, photographs, and praise for her performance in The Mummy, as well as other productions such as Luxury Liner and The Canary. Legal correspondence includes legal action Johann brought against Henry Bellows, legal issues between Johann and her father, and her Mexican divorce from John Houseman. Personal correspondence has love letters from Bernard Shedd while Shedd was stationed in California, as well as telegrams and press clippings from Johann's wedding to McCormick.
The collection contains three interviews written about Johann, providing insight into Johann's life as an actress at various stages in her career. Photographs and prints are black and white portraits of Johann; prints of Johann's husband, John McCormick; a signed photograph from ballet dancer Harriet Hoctor; and unidentified black and white portraits. Press clippings include performance reviews and reports of an automobile accident involving Johann in 1935. Programs are from various performances not related to Johann's work.
The bulk of this collection consists of scripts written for film, radio, and theater; it includes scripts written by both well-known playwrights and Johann. Many of the scripts contain several different drafts, some with handwritten notes, and screen adaptations. Notable scripts include Burning Secret by Stegan Zweig; Klabund's version of Chalk Circle; Green Mansions by William Henry Hudson; Panic by Archibald MacLeish; Rope by David Wallace and T.S. Stribling; The Thracian Horses by Maurice Valency; and the screenplay for Tiger Shark, written by Wells Root. The scripts Emily's Week and The Raw Deal were written by Johann under the pen name Joan Wolfe. Business correspondence between Johann and Dorothy Fletcher indicate that she also used the pen name Elizabeth Yorke. Additionally, there are several treatments included in this collection.
Additional photographs, video recordings, and a book related to Zita Johann can be found by conducting separate author and subject searches for "Johann, Zita" in the catalog (www.nypl.org/catalog).
Alphabetical by document type.