Harry Ransom Center to expand with purchase of Wallach, Jackson papers

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Photo Credit: Zoe Fu | Daily Texan Staff

The Harry Ransom Center expanded their film and performing arts departments with the purchase of 40 boxes of personal materials belonging to the late married actors Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson.

Wallach and Jackson were long lauded as method actors, and the purchase contains heavily annotated scripts — such as those from Arthur Miller — that may provide insight into their acting processes.

“Throughout their scripts you can find complex character sketches and marginal notes detailing why their characters behave the way they do,” said Eric Colleary, the performing arts curator at the center, in a press release. “They bring an entirely new dimension to some of the most important plays and films of the 20th century.”

The center announced the acquisition March 6. The materials were purchased by the University for $60,000 and hold a special connection to the school, as Wallach graduated from UT in 1936.

Wallach and Jackson performed together several times on and off Broadway. The couple’s marriage spanned 66 years and countless acting achievements, some of which are documented in the 40 cases. Clippings, photos, letters, scrapbooks, home videos and awards provide a detailed look into the acting process and lives of Wallach and Jackson.

“Few actors documented their process like Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach did,” Colleary said.

Wallach was given an honorary Oscar in 2010. He died four years later, just two years before the death of his wife in April 2016.

The materials complement other collections in the center’s film holdings, like those of Stella Adler, Tennessee Williams and Robert De Niro, Colleary said.

“(The purchase) also highlights one of the great strengths of the Ransom Center’s collections, the connections between artists,” center film curator Steve Wilson said in a press release.

The papers will be available for student use just like all of the other collections at the center, though they may not be available immediately, said Suzanne Krause, center public affairs representative.

“They do have to go through a cataloging process, which could take several months and sometimes up to a year … depending on the size of the catalog,” Krause said.