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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Charles O'Neal Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1938-1982
Creator: O'Neal, Charles
Extent: 7.18 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0360
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: American television and motion picture screenwriter and novelist. Father of actor Ryan O'Neal. Screenplays, teleplays, typescripts, correspondence.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: Charles O'Neal donated his papers to the University of Iowa Libraries in several installments, beginning in 1949.

Preferred Citation: Papers of Charles O'Neal, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

Charles O'Neal, 92, a Writer for 40s and 50s Films and TV by William Grimes (New York Times, 5 September 1996)

Charles O'Neal, a film and television writer and the father of the actor Ryan O'Neal, died on Sunday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 92. Mr. O'Neal, known as Blackie, was born in Raeford, N.C., and grew up in Atlanta. He briefly attended Georgia Tech before transferring to the University of Iowa, where he studied literature and played on the football team.

Mr. O'Neal went to New York City intent on becoming an actor. Supporting himself as a horse groom, a telephone repairman, and a bank clerk, he acted in the theater in New York, Southern California, and Chicago. He was a leading member of the Old Globe Shakespearean Repertory in San Diego and, with his wife, staged several productions at the Old Globe Theater, including Robinson Jeffers's verse drama Tower Beyond Tragedy, with Judith Anderson.

After publishing a short story in Esquire in 1940, he turned to screen-writing. He is credited as a co-writer of The Seventh Victim (1943), Cry of the Werewolf (I 944) , Montana (1950), Lassie's Great Adventure'9 (1963) and other films. He was the sole screenwriter of The Missing Juror (1944), I Love a Mystery (1945) and Return of the Badmen (1948). He later wrote numerous episodes for television series including The Untouchables, Lassie and The Californians. Collaborating with Abe Burrows and Ralph Blane, he turned his novel The Three Wishes of Jamie McRuin (1949) into a Broadway musical, Three Wishes for Jamie. Starring John Raitt and Anne Jeffreys, it ran for 75 performances in 1952. With Victor Trivas, he wrote the novel The Thirty-Second Day.

In addition to his son Ryan, he is survived by his wife, Patricia, another son, Kevin, a screenwriter, also of Beverly Hills, and five grandchildren, including the actors Tatum, Griffin and Patrick O'Neal.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL
Series 2: 1993 ADDENDUM
Series 3: 2008 ADDENDUM
Series 4: RYAN O'NEAL PAPERS

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • 1. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," screenplay, from an original outline by Harry Jackson and Sam Weston, undated
    20 pages
  • 2. "African Heartbeat," Opera, libretto by Charles O'Neal and music by Josef Marais (ASCAP) - 1953
    60 leaves
  • 3. "And Forever Free," by Charles O'Neal, undated
    23 pages
  • 4. "Angels Welcome," undated
    11 pages
  • 5. "The Awakening of Jan, the Polack," undated
    16 pages
  • 6. "The Baby Sitter" ("Lassie"), screenplay, undated
    28 pages
  • 7. "Bank Teller's Tale," undated
    14 pages
  • 8. "Black Beauty," (first draft) Part I, screenplay with outline, undated
    42 pages
  • 9. "Bride of the Vampire," second revised final draft, screenplay - 1944
    109 pages
  • 10. "The Brink," by Victor Trivas and Charles O'Neal, undated
    77 pages
  • 11-12. "Cabrini," screenplay - 1956
    145 pages; with another version entitled "The Eyes of Peter Smith," 165 pages
  • 13. "Cafe Nachzugler," undated
    19 pages;, and another draft, 8 pages
  • 14. "Captain Cook," notes on the project and screenplay, by Charles Edmund, undated
    50 pages
  • 15. "Captain is Courageous," by Charles O'Neal, undated
    38 pages
  • 16. "City in the Dark," undated
    16 pages
  • 17. "Clay Pigeon" ("The Untouchables"), screenplay - 1960
    73 pages; and miscellaneous pages, 26 pages
  • Box 2:
  • 1. "The Coffin" ("When the Dead Walk!"), third draft - 1945
    53 pages
  • 2. "Dark Cypress," with cover from copy for second agent, undated
    14 pages
  • 3. "The Dark Gate," by Charles O'Neal and Franz Spencer, undated
    44 pages
  • 4. Del Monte Summer Theatre Programs - 1941
  • 5. "The Demon Barber," play, undated
    35 pages
  • 6. "The Falcon's Alibi," screenplay, by Edward Dein and Charles O'Neal - 1945
    104 pages
  • 7. "Father Christmas" - 1963
    10 pages
  • 8. "Fever" - 1963
    10 pages; and an identical copy entitled "River Fever"
  • 9. "Five Pins for Five Sins," screenplay, by Victor A. Trivas and Charles O'Neal, undated
    38 pages
  • 10. "The Flight of the Dancing Bear," undated
    75 pages
  • 11. "The Fortune Hunters," by Charles and Ryan O'Neal, undated
    14 pages
  • 12. "F-O-R-W-A-R-D" - 1953
    61 pages
  • 13. "The Girls of Sin Street," undated
    34 pages
  • 14. "The Gosling," undated
    22 pages
  • 15. "The Great Locomotive Chase," first draft screenplay - 1953
    150 pages
  • 16. "Harness Bull," screenplay - 1952
    135 pages; and another draft, 130 pages
  • 17. "Hinky, Dinky, Parlez-Vous" Deluxe, screenplay, from an original story idea by Mickey Rooney, rough draft - 1955
    95 pages; and first draft, 93 pages
  • Box 3:
  • 1. "Homesick Angel," undated
    29 pages; with another version entitled "Lovers Come Back," 27 pages
  • 2. "The Hundred Million Dollar Caper" ("The Untouchables"), screenplay - 1961
    67 pages
  • 3. "I Love a Mystery" (tentative title), undated
    8 pages
  • 4. "I Love a Mystery," screenplay, second draft - 1944
    135 pages
  • 5. "It Strikes Me," by Charles O'Neal - 1952
    36 pages
  • 6. "It's Out of this World," based on an idea by Gene Schwartz, undated
    15 pages
  • 7-8. "Johnny Trouble" screenplay, by Charles O'Neal and David Lord, from an original story by Ben Ames Williams - 1956
    104 pages; with another version entitled "A World of Her Own," 73 pages
  • 9. "The Journey #1" ("Lassie"), screenplay, from a story by Sumner Long - 1962
    29 pages; and two other drafts, 50 pages
  • 10. "The Journey #4" ("Lassie"), screenplay, from a story by Sumner Long - 1962
    37 pages
  • 11. "The Key Witness" ("The Untouchables") two slightly varying copies - 1959
    29 pages each; and a final draft teleplay
  • 12. "A Little Knowledge Is a Dangerous Thing," undated
    17 pages
  • 13. "Little Pinks," by Damon Runyon, treatment by Charles O'Neal, undated
    24 pages
  • 14. "Lord of the River," and story memorandum, undated
    30 pages
  • 15. "Love Is Where You Find It," screenplay, by Charles O'Neal and Fritz Rotter, first draft - 1944
    156 pages; and another version, 29 pages
  • 16. "Lover Come Back," by Charles O'Neal and James Burnes, undated
    46 pages
  • 17. "Lucky, the Leprachaun" #2, screenplay, from an original story idea by Mickey Rooney - 1955
    33 pages
  • Box 4:
  • 1. "The Man in Cell 88," first draft - 1946
    50 pages
  • 2. "The Martyr" (incomplete), undated
    10 pages
  • 3-5. "Mention My Name," play, based upon "Reminiscences of an American Military Governor," by Captain Gordon F. Feehan, two copies (one with extensive corrections), undated
    136 leaves each; and another version entitled "AMGO-'47," 184 pages
  • 6. "The Money Maker" ("G.E. Series"), screenplay - 1956
    64 pages
  • 7. "Montana," screenplay, by James R. Webb and Charles G. Booth, from an original story by Ernest Haycox, revised by Charles O'Neal - 1948
    121 pages
  • 8. "My Cousin the Deacon," undated
    7 pages
  • 9. "Name, Age, Occupation" - 1942
    98 pages
  • 10. "Nathaniel Hawthorne" ("Cavalcade TV") - 1952
    28 pages
  • 11. "On the Sound of the Horn," by Charles O'Neal, undated
    12 pages
  • 12. "Once Upon a Murder," by Fritz Rotter and Charles O'Neal, undated
    52 pages
  • 13. "Only Those Who Love," undated
    17 pages
  • 14. Outline for Musical, by Erik Charell, undated
    12 pages
  • 15. "Ozark Amber," undated
    16 pages; and another version, 17 pages
  • 16. "Ozark April," by Charles O'Neal, undated
    19 pages
  • 17. "Patrick Manogue: Padre of the Comstock," based on an idea by Sean McClory, undated
    40 pages, with cover from copy for second agent. See also "Tales of the Hardrock Men"
  • Box 5:
  • 1. "Peter Bruegel," undated
    13 pages
  • 2-9. "Praise House," play
    seven drafts: 1) circa 124 leaves (with corrections); 2) 123 leaves; 3) circa 126 leaves (with corrections); 4) 121 leaves; 5) circa 147 leaves (with corrections); 6) 116 pages and miscellaneous pages, 45 pages
  • 10. "The Private War of Walter Dilbeck," screenplay, undated
    127 pages; a rough draft entitled "One Day in the Life of Walter Dilbeck," 167 pages; research material, 6 pages
  • Box 6:
  • 1. "The Redeemer," undated
    3 pages
  • 2. "The Return of Devil Yance," by Charles O'Neal and Robert Hammer, undated
    10 pages
  • 3. "Return of the Badmen," screenplay, revised estimating script - 1947
    124 pages; and final script, 116 pages
  • 4. "The Ring" ("Panic"), screenplay, undated
    30 pages
  • 5. "The Saga of Doctor Boothby," undated
    13 pages
  • 6. "The Scarlet Blade" ("El Filo Rojo"), screenplay, undated
    109 pages; and an incomplete draft, 14 pages
  • 7. "The Sea Eagle," by Charles O'Neal, undated
    39 pages
  • 8. "A Second Chance for Gar Morgan," by Charles O'Neal and Victor Trivas, undated
    two copies (one slightly corrected), 34 pages each
  • 9. "The Senator Yields," by Charles O'Neal and Charles R. Marion, undated
    21 pages; and another draft, 51 pages
  • 10. "The Siege of the Alcazar," screenplay, undated
    183 pages
  • 11. "A Star in the Wind," based on the novel by Robert Nathan, undated
    109 pages
  • 12. "Sun-rise in My Pocket" ("The Last Days of Davy Crockett"), by Justus Mayer - 1938
    146 pages
  • Box 7:
  • 1. "Tales of the Hardrock Men" - 1960
    11 pages; see also "Patrick Manogue"
  • 2. "Tatters - The Pet of Squatters' Gulch," poster
  • 3. "Teach Me To Live," screenplay, by Charles O'Neal and Thomas Seller - 1942
    86 pages
  • 4. "That Certain Desire," by Charles O'Neal and Fritz Rotter, undated
    71 pages
  • 5-9. "The Thirty-Second Day," by Charles O'Neal and Victor Trivas - 1964
    first typescript (extensively corrected), 290 pages; second typescript (two copies, one slightly corrected), 632 pages;
  • Box 8:
  • 1-3. "The Thirty-Second Day," by Charles O'Neal and Victor Trivas - 1964
    miscellaneous typescripts and notes, circa 2000 pages
  • 4-6. "The Three Wishes of Jamie McRuin" (some drafts entitled "I Flash My Antlers in the Air") - 1950
    outline of a novel, 54 pages; miscellaneous notes, 36 pages; first typescript (extensively corrected), 276 pages
  • Box 9:
  • 1-5. "The Three Wishes of Jamie McRuin" - 1950
    second typescript (two copies, one slightly corrected), 293 leaves each; third typescript (three copies, one extensively corrected and two slightly corrected), 299 leaves each
  • Box 10:
  • 1-5. "The Three Wishes of Jamie McRuin" - 1950
    fourth typescript, 288 pages; conference notes for stage version, 16 pages; musical outline for stage version, 31 pages; typescript of stage version, by Charles O'Neal and Ralph Blane, 196 pages; and theater-program, undated; original manuscript - film script, 176 pages, undated and program
  • 6. "Tomorrow You Die," screenplay - 1944
    116 pages
  • 7. "Tower Beyond Tragedy," by Robinson Jeffers, adapted by John Gassner, undated
    92 pages
  • 8. "The Two Faces of Bob Claxton" ("The Deputy"), screenplay - 1959
    70 pages
  • 9. "Two for the Hanging," undated
    11 pages
  • 10. Untitled play, undated
    27 leaves (incomplete)
  • 11. Untitled synopsis, by Charles O'Neal and Fritz Rotter - 1944
    21 pages; and another draft, 51 pages
  • 12. Untitled synopsis, by Fritz Rotter and Charles O'Neal, undated
    22 pages
  • 13. Untitled western, screenplay - 1957
    114 pages
  • Box 10a:
  • Three manuscripts of The Three Wishes of Jamie McRuin
  • Box 11:
  • 1. "The Way Grandpa Told It," two identical copies, one "by Charles O'Neal" and one, bound, "by Patrick Ryan O'Neal," undated
    10 pages each
  • 2-5. "Wayfaring," by Charles O'Neal, San Diego Union - 1953-1959
  • 6. "What Can You Lose on the Swings," by Charles O'Neal, undated
    18 pages
  • 7. "The Wish," screenplay, undated
    26 pages
  • 8. "A World of Her Own," story by Ben Ames Williams, screenplay by Charles O'Neal - 1956
    73 pages
  • 9. "Zur Zeit-Deine" ("Temporarily Yours"), by Charles O'Neal and Frank Gordon, undated
    8 pages
  • 10. Correspondence, clippings, and programs - 1937-1967
  • Series 2: 1993 ADDENDUM
  • Box 12:
  • Correspondence: General - 1973-1979
  • Correspondence: University of Iowa - 1980
  • Miscellaneous photos, clippings and articles - 1973-1977
  • Photographs - 1974
  • The Three Wishes of Jamie McRuin: advertisements and promotions for book - 1979-1981
  • The Three Wishes of Jamie McRuin: correspondence: film and TV rights - 1979-1980
  • The Three Wishes of Jamie McRuin: reprinting of book - 1977-1982
  • Series 3: 2008 ADDENDUM
  • Box 12:
  • Script and music (1/4 inch reel-to-reel) for "Pieter Bruegel: A Fable in Music"
    Also includes a letter from Charles O'Neal to "Bernie O." and an obituary of the composer of the music, Josef Marais
  • Series 4: RYAN O'NEAL PAPERS
  • Box 1:
  • Peyton Place, episodes 258-282 - 1966
    Scripts
  • Box 2:
  • Peyton Place, episodes 283-308 - 1966-1967
    Scripts
  • Box 3:
  • Peyton Place, episodes 309-330 - 1967
    Scripts
  • Box 4:
  • Peyton Place, episodes 331-346 - 1967
    Film out-takes. One reel of 35 mm film. One DVD of these out-takes