- Arliss, George, 1868-1946
- Call number
- *T-Mss 1975-005
- Physical description
- 25 letters (1 portfolio)
- Preferred Citation
- Letters to E. Lawrence Dudley, Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library
- Billy Rose Theatre Division
- Access to materials
- Collection is open to the public. Library policy on photography and photocopying will apply. Advance notice may be required.
George Arliss (1868-1946), English stage and screen actor, was best known for portraying historical figures such as British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, Alexander Hamilton, Cardinal Richelieu, and French author Voltaire. Following Arliss' success with the stage version of Louis Napoleon Parker's DISRAELI (1911), authors E. Lawrence Dudley and George Gibbs attempted to fashion a similar vehicle based on the life of Voltaire, but the project ran into difficulties, eventually causing a rift between the collaborators, and the play was never staged. More than a decade later, after Arliss won a Best Actor Oscar for the film version of DISRAELI (1929), Dudley and Gibbs contributed to the screenplay of the Warner Brothers' film version of VOLTAIRE (1933). Consists of 23 handwritten letters from George Arliss to E. Lawrence Dudley, 1 note from Arliss to George Gibbs, and 1 undated Christmas card from Mr. and Mrs. Arliss. Arliss' unhappiness with Dudley and Gibbs' work on their script for the play VOLTAIRE becomes clear in the course of the correspondence, and the primary reasons for his eventual break with his collaborators is laid out in a long and heated letter of Oct. 22, 1920.
Using the collection
LocationBilly Rose Theatre Division
New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023-7498