University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department


Anita Loos Letters to Ray Pierre Corsini

1962 - 1979

Manuscript Collection Number: 99 (F531)
Accessioned: Purchase, July 1996.
Extent: 22 items (.1 linear feet).
Contents: Correspondence.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: October 1996 by Julie Witsken.

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Table of Contents


Biographical Note

American novelist and movie script writer Anita Loos was born in Sissons, California (today Mount Shasta), to Richard Beers and Minnie Ellen Loos. Various sources cite her birthdate as April 26, but they disagree as to the year. Loos' biographer cites the year as 1888, but other accounts claim 1893 and 1894. As Loos' father experimented with journalism and the theater in the San Diego area, she became a child actress and for many years provided the family's main source of income.

At the age of fifteen Loos began writing film scripts for D. W. Griffith of the Biograph Company. By the time she was eighteen, she had sold Griffith over one hundred scripts. In collaboration with her second husband, director John Emerson, she produced several Broadway plays as well as two non-fiction works: How to Write Photoplays (1920) and Breaking into the Movies (1921).

She is best known, however, for her novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925). The book about the adventures of a blond flapper brought international fame to Loos, who, as one of the first women to bob her hair and shorten her hemlines, came to epitomize the flappers of the 1920s. The novel inspired a play, several musical versions, a sequel, and a movie, and was followed by two successful plays (Happy Birthday, 1946, and Gigi, 1951), two memoirs on the silent-movie stars Constance and Norma Talmadge, and four autobiographical works, among others. Loos died in 1981, four years after her last autobiography was published.

Sources:

Carey, Gary. Anita Loos. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988.

Mainiero, Lina, ed.. American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from the Colonial Times to the Present. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 1981.


Scope and Content Note

The Anita Loos Letters to Ray Pierre Corsini comprises twenty-one letters from American novelist and playwright Anita Loos to her agent and friend, Ray Pierre Corsini, between 1962 and 1979 (Carey, p. 319). The collection also includes a copy of a letter from Loos to a Miss Taylor.

The letters discuss the writing and editing of Loos' later works, her travels and social life, and her relationship with Ray. Loos communicates her joy and frustrations with her works, seeks advice in editorial decisions, and mentions influences upon her works. She also talks about her busy lifestyle, detailing her travel plans and refering to numerous social gatherings. In all of her letters, her special friendship with Ray is apparent. Loos thanks Ray for all of Ray's support and congratulates Ray on the publication of Ray's own work.


Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

       F1       Correspondence from Loos, Anita, to Corsini, Ray Pierre, unless otherwise
                    indicated.
               1962 Oct 10         TLS            1p
               [1963] Jun 21       ALS            2p
               1963 Jun 29         ALS            2p
               1963 Sep 10         ALS            2p
               [1963] Oct 7        ALS            2p
               1963 Dec 31    	    ALS            2p
               1964 Jul 25         ALS            1p
               [1965] Jul 2        ALS            1p
               1965 Jul 2          TL (carbon)    1p
                    To Miss Taylor
               1965 Jul 14         TLS            1p
               [1965] Aug 1        ALS            2p
               1967 Jan 15         ALS            2p
               [1967] Jul 9        ALS            2p
               1972 Jul 21         TLS            1p
               1972 Jul 26         TL             1p
               [1972] Aug 17       ALS            1p
                    Written on copy of cable received from William Jovanovich.
               1973 Aug 9          TLS            1p
               1974 Dec 30         TLS            1p
               1976 Apr 27         ALS            1p
               [1978] Nov 4        ALS            1p
               1979 Feb 14         ALS            1p
               1979 Oct 22         ALS            1p


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