Scope and Content
Title: Evelyn Venable Scrapbook Collection
Collection number: 279
University of California, Los Angeles. Library.
Performing Arts Special Collections
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Advance notice
required for access.
Collection is open for research.
Property rights in the physical objects belong to the Performing Arts Special Collections.
Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their
heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the
copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to
publish if the Performing Arts Special Collections does not hold the copyright.
[Identification of item], Evelyn Venable Scrapbook Collection, 279, Music
Library Special Collections, University of California, Los Angeles.
Evelyn Venable was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 18, 1913, the only
child of Professor Emerson Venable and Dolores Cameron. Evelyn's acting career
began in her junior year, when at the age of 14 she was cast to play Juliet in
her high school's production of "Romeo and Juliet". The praise from critics led
to her professional debut in the Cincinnati Civic Theatre production of "Dear
Brutus". Evelyn went on to play Rosalind in "As You Like It" during her senior
year at Walnut Hills. At 16, having graduated a year early, Evelyn attended
Vassar on a full scholarship. After a year, however, she decided to return home
and studied at the University of Cincinnati for half a year. In 1932, at the age
of 18, Evelyn became a member of Walter Hampden's Shakespearean theater company.
Hampden was a good friend of Professor Venable's after having read his book,
"The Hamlet Problem and Its Solution".
Under the tutelage of Hamden, Evelyn played the part of the flower girl in
"Cyrano de Bergerac" and Ophelia in "Hamlet". Her success attracted the
attention of Hollywood producers and in 1933, Evelyn made her film debut in
"Cradle Song". The following year, she starred opposite Fredric March in "Death
Takes a Holiday" (1934) then appeared in two Will Rogers' films, "David Harum"
(1934), and "The County Chairman" (1935). Evelyn also appeared in "The Little
Colonel" (1935) staring Shirley Temple and "Alice Adams" (1935) staring
Katharine Hepbrun. While on the set of "David Harum", Evelyn met her future
husband, cinematographer, Hal Mohr. They eloped that same year in Yuma, Arizona.
Evelyn chose to devote herself to raising her two daughters, Dolores and
Rosalia, and after starring in the 1943 film "He Hired the Boss", she retired
completely from the industry.
In 1953, Evelyn resumed her academic endeavors and enrolled at UCLA where she
majored in Latin. She earned her undergraduate degree in 1956, the same year as
her eldest daughter. Evelyn continued to study Greek and Latin and after
receiving her Master's, she was immediately asked to join the faculty of UCLA's
Department of Classics as a full-time lecturer. She taught at UCLA for almost
twenty-five years and during that time she was elected for a term as President
of the Association of Faculty Women at UCLA and also served as an officer of the
Classical Association of the Pacific States. Evelyn died of cancer on November
16, 1993 in Post Falls, Idaho.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of scrapbooks ranging in date from 1933-1938. The
scrapbooks hold newspaper clippings highlighting Venable's stage and film
career. Also included is a series of loose newspaper clippings of which there
are subseries related to Venable's teaching career at UCLA, her father Professor
Emerson Venable, and a collection highlighting the stage career of Shakespearean
actor Walter Hampden. Also included is a series dedicated to Venable's roles in
Shakespearean stage performances. Of particular interest is a landscape
watercolor, attributed to an "E.V." possibly Venable or her father, as well as
an eight page typed poem by her grandfather, William Henry Venable.
The collection is organized into the following series:
- Series 1. Scrapbooks, 1933 - 1938. 3 boxes
- Series 2. Stage Performances. 4 folders
- Series 3. Loose Newspaper Clippings. 13 folders