Spelling, Aaron (1923-2006)

NOTE: All or part of this collection is stored off-site. Several days' advance notice is required for retrieval.

The Aaron Spelling Collection consists of manuscripts, professional material, correspondence, photographs, printed material, memorabilia, and audio/visual material.

Manuscripts in the collection primarily consist of leather-bound presentation copies of every episode of every television series, mini-series, telefilm and feature presentation produced by Aaron Spelling and his companies. There are over a thousand volumes, compiled in chronological order, spanning over fifty years.Notable titles include The Love Boat, Dynasty, Charmed, Beverly Hills 90210, 7th Heaven, Fantasy Island, The Mod Squad, Charlie's Angels, Starsky and Hutch, Melrose Place, and several others.

Professional materials in collection includes variety of materials related to Spelling Productions and Spelling's work on many television projects. These include project binders, actor lists, development reports, records from the meetings of Spelling Entertainment Inc., compiled development information and production and staff crew lists from shows produced during the mid-1990’s through the early 2000’s. The collection includes files on promoting and marketing television series from Aaron Spelling Productions and its affiliated entities during most of the 1990’s. There are also files regarding legal and financial aspects of a number of productions including fees for talent and writers, network and licensing fees, limited records of distribution agreements, other deals and network commitments and records pertaining to Spelling Entertainment, Duke Vincent, Thomas/Spelling Productions, Warner Brothers and others.There are numerous items regarding the daily production of a number of Spelling-produced programs (though the holdings are not comprehensive for all Spelling productions or of the full runs of each program). The papers includes cast lists, shooting schedules, air date lists, and agreements for a number of seasons and episodes of such programs as All Souls, Beverly Hills 90210, Burke’s Law, Charmed, Fantasy Island, Pacific Palisades, 7th Heaven, Vega$, and others.The collection also contains a series of files pertaining to requests to interview Spelling, all dating from the 1990s. In addition, the papers include a series of files on awards and tributes bestowed upon Spelling between 1990 and 2002, as well as some material regarding events attended by Spelling.

Correspondence in the collection primarily consists of professional letters and memos, mostly interfiled with the production materials mentioned above.Personal correspondence in the papers includes letters from Ronald Reagan, a card to Spelling from producer/writer Stephen J. Cannell, and other notes of wish for recovery sent to Spelling in 2006.The collection also includes letters and notes of condolences sent to Candy Spelling following the death of Aaron Spelling; notable correspondents include Hugh Hefner, Carol Burnett, John Forsyth, Dyan Cannon, Quincy Jones, Dick Van Dyke, and Suzanne Somers.

Photographs in the collection are extensive. The papers contain hundreds of publicity photographs from programs produced by Aaron Spelling’s various companies. These include photos of actors and the principal casts of certain television series.There are some negatives, but most images are glossy prints or publicity postcards; some are signed photos by actors and some are full cast shots. There are various cast photos and individual photos from Beverly Hills 90210, Burke’s Law, California Split, Charlie’s Angels, Charmed, Dynasty, Fantasy Island, Hart to Hart, Hotel, The Love Boat, Melrose Place, The Mod Squad, 7th Heaven, Starsky and Hutch, Sunset Beach, and Vega$.

In addition, the papers include dozens of publicity photographs of Spelling, taken between the late 1960s and the 1990s.Other photographs of Spelling in the papers include photos showing Spelling in his early days in Hollywood as an actor, appearing on television.The collection includes stills Spelling on Target Zero, I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke, and other shows, as well as photos taken during a costume test for the movie Kismet.

The collection also contains personal photos taken at various events and at the Spelling Manor. These include the Spelling Family (Aaron, Candy, and children Tori (Victoria) and Randy).Other people photographed with the Spellings include James Stewart and his wife, Gloria; Prince Rainier of Monaco; John Forsythe; Robert Wagner; Natalie Wood; Ronald Reagan; Sammy Davis, Jr.; Angela Lansbury; James Brolin; Connie Sellica; Al Gore; and Lew Wasserman.Other personal photographs show Aaron Spelling as a child in Dallas during the 1930s. There are several photographs showing Spelling, his brother, and others during the 1930s and 1940s;photos of Spelling performing in stage productions and as a school cheerleader during his college years at Southern Methodist University in the late 1940s; several photographs of Spelling with his first wife, actress Carolyn Jones; a photograph taken on the wedding day of Aaron and Candy Spelling, and other portraits of the two of them; photos of their children Tori and Randy from the time they were infants through the 1990s;and series of photographs taken at various charity events and awards dinners. These latter photos include the People’s Choice Awards, SMU Alumni Honor for Aaron Spelling, Friars Club Lifetime Achievement Award, the 90th anniversary of Paramount Studios and more.

Printed materials in the collection include a number of magazines containing articles about either Spelling or television programs produced by his company, all dating from the late 1990s to the early 2000s.

Memorabilia in the collection includes dozens of awards presented to Spelling and his company over decades. These items include certificates and plaques from civic organizations all over the United States and various lifetime achievement awards. Included are People's Choice Awards, Golden Glove awards, the B'Nai Brith Man of the Year Award, a Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Award, and many more. There are also a variety of personal items presented to Spelling as gifts and as tokens celebrating achievements reached by his television shows, such as various episode milestones and awards presented to the shows themselves by various organizations.

The collection includes numerous VHS video cassette tapes. Most of these tapes contains episodes of Spelling’s television programs including (but not limited to) Beverly Hills 90210, Charmed, 7th Heaven, Monsters, the TV movie And the Band Played On, The Heights, Hearts Are Wild, Any Day Now, and more. There are also tapes containing television episodes of Aaron Spelling's acting appearances, including Zane Gray Theater, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and Gunsmoke, as well as recordings of his televised interviews, award receptions and other events during the 1990s. The papers also contain video recordings of interviews and television appearances by Tori and Randy Spelling, as well as some film reels.

Notable Figures
1. Spelling, Aaron
Associated Subjects
1. Television Subject Guide