Hollywood artifacts at SMU libraries

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by GARY COGILL / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on March 5, 2010 at 1:32 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 5 at 1:32 AM

UNIVERSITY PARK — Greer Garson was nominated for an Academy Award seven times; she was named Best Actress in 1943 for "Mrs. Miniver."

Her Oscar and personal archives are housed on the SMU campus.

"That is an upgrade," explained Sam Ratcliffe, head of Bywaters Special Collections at the Hamon Arts Library. "Her Oscar that she received burned in a fire in her apartment in Los Angeles in the 1980s, so the Academy gave her this one. I say it's an upgrade because Oscars during the war were made out of plaster."

One thing I love about this priceless collection of Academy Awards memorabilia is they have all of Horton Foote's notes from "To Kill A Mockingbird" in 1962 and "Tender Mercies" in 1983, including different variations of the screenplays.

There are also his personal notes and log from "To Kill A Mockingbird" — all in Foote's own handwriting.

The SMU collection also includes a pair of sandals worn by Jennifer Jones in her role in "Duel in the Sun," given to the library by her father. "These are very valuabale Oscar sandals," Ratcliffe said.

It happens every year at the Oscars — the trademark phrase that Oscar nominees can't wait to hear when the envelope is opened: "And the Oscar goes to..."

I was able to hold the actual envelope contained the announcement when Humphrey Bogart won the Oscar for Best Actor in "The African Queen" in 1951.

E-mail gcogill@wfaa.com

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