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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Marion Meade Woody Allen Research Files
MsC 861
Collection Dates: ca.1935 -- 2000

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: Gift of Marion Meade, 2006.

Photographs: Box 3

The Unruly Life of Woody Allen cover

Scope and Contents

Files created by Marion Meade in writing The Unruly Life of Woody Allen (New York: Scribner, 2000), this collection includes transcripts of interviews; tapes of interviews; correspondence with people in Allen's life and people at Scribner's preparing the book; chapter notes; a copy-edited manuscript of the book; and various other files relating to the creation of the book.  For the most part, these folders have been left in the order in which Meade delivered them to us and with the labels she created.

Biographical Note

Marion Meade's previous biography subjects include Eleanor of Acquitane, Madame Blavatsky, Victoria Woodhull, Dorothy Parker, and Buster Keaton. (The Special Collections Department also has the research files for Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase.) Meade studied at Northwestern University and holds a Master's degree from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. She has contributed articles to The New York Times and The Village Voice, in addition to writing two novels. She lives in New York City.

J. Roethler, August 2007

Box Contents List

Box 1

Series I: The Films of Woody Allen

Film critic interviews. Transcripts/logs of author's taped personal interviews with John Simon, Roger Ebert, Stanley Kauffmann, et al.

Clippings, notes, and miscellaneous other materials for each of Allen's films, filed chronologically

Pussycat/Tiger Lily

Check It Out

Take the Money and Run


Play It Again Sam

Everything You Always Wanted to Know. . .


Love and Death

Annie Hall



Stardust Memories

Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy


Purple Rose of Cairo

Hannah and Her Sisters

Radio Days and September

Another Woman

Broadway Danny Rose

New York Stories and Crimes and Misdemeanors


Shadows and Fog

Husbands and Wives

Manhattan Murder

Bullets Over Broadway

Mighty Aphrodite

Everyone Says I Love You

Deconstructing Harry

Celebrity and Antz

Wild Man Blues (A film about Allen by Barbara Kopple)

Fall project/jazz film, 1998 -- 1999 (Swee and Lowdown)

Books Meade used and marked in her research

Series II: The Life of Woody Allen

“Woody Allen Timeline”—blue notebook chronicling subject’s life events, beginning with family history pre-1935 to 2000.

Chronological folders, 1935 (birth) to 2000 (book publication date). Years 1935 -- 1979 in Box 1

Some years include copies of  correspondence, for example:

1963 -- Woody to Alvah Bessie (blacklisted screenwriter)

1964 -- Woody to Rogers Whittaker, New Yorker magazine editor

1967--Woody –Groucho Marx  correspondence; Margo Howard (see also interview in  “Women/Louise Lasser” folder)

1971 -- Woody Allen to Roger Angell (New Yorker magazine editor)

1973 -- Woody to Reginald Rose (television writer, producer)

1979 -- Correspondence for Bob Hope interview, arranged and conducted by Sue Terry

1986 -- Woody and Mia Farrow to Vladimir and Wanda  Horowitz

Box 2

Chronological folders, 1980 -- 2000

Series III: Interviews

Clippings of Woody Allen published interviews, by decade:





Marion Meade personal interviews. For a list of people Meade interviewed, see Interviewees for Woody Allen biography

“Interview Log” -- orange notebook, listing names of interviewees and dates of interviews

Two boxes of audio cassette tapes

Box 3

Celebrity Address List

Author correspondence with interviewees

Transcripts, logs, notes. Certain transcripts, however, are filed separately under Subjects. For  example:

  “Tamiment Playhouse”  folder includes interview transcripts for Mary Rodgers (composer), Jane Connell (actress)

“Childhood/ Brooklyn” includes correspondence and interview logs for Allen’s boyhood friends.

(Film critics are filed in Box 1 along with film folders)

(There are no audio tapes for Helen Gurley Brown, Kitty Carlisle Hart, or William Buckley, Jr. -- only written notes made during phone conversations.)


Series IV: Subject Folders

Tamiment Playhouse

Residences, childhood to 2000, including some photos. 2 folders


Theater/TV -- including  extensive material on Allen’s stage play Central Park West, (1995),  and correspondence/interview with director Michael Blakemore

Literary -- His humorous  writings, mostly pertaining to his work for The New Yorker and including correspondence with editor Roger Angell

Making films

New York filming

Other filmmakers

Music -- information on his career as clarinetist


Odds and Ends about Woody Allen

Women -- wives Harlene Rosen and Louise Lasser, Diane Keaton, Soon-Yi Previn

Bobby Zarem (publicist) and Elaine Kaufman (restaurateur) -- individuals in Allen's inner circle


Allen Film Company business files, with transcripts of interviews with executives at various production companies, such as Orion, Tristar, etc.

 "Rosebud " -- author analysis of subject

Jean Doumanian -- Allen’s closest friend, producer

Box 4

Woody and Blacks

Woody’s Judaism

"Sixty Minutes” CBS-TV program, including author interview, etc. with Steve Kroft

Woody’s Writers

Allen character, personality, psychology

Brooklyn -- including interviews with boyhood friends Jack Victor, Jack Freed, Elliott Mills, Alan Lapidus, et al.


Woody and Women

Series V:   Author Correspondence

Interview request letters, some with clippings and research material attached

Accordion folder containing written responses from those who received interview requests. Including, for example, Swedish actor Max von Sydow and American actor Tony Roberts.

Folder labeled Mel Brooks, Pat Boone, Lee Israel. Includes letter from biographer Lee Israel.

Blue Folder and Yellow Folder labeled “Inner Circle” -- contains author correspondence with Woody Allen; his producer, Jean Doumanian; his former assistant, Jane Martin; his friend, Marshall Brickman.

New York Times Book Review: responses to published author’s query

Series VI: Research files


Author’s working notebooks

Books and articles to get

Box 5



Notes, schedules, lists, memos

Photocopied book -- Diane Jacobs’s But We Need the Eggs: The Magic of  Woody Allen (New York: St. Martin’s Press, c1982).  With highlighting and notes by Meade

Research operations (A file on the art of biography)

Research files. Diskettes

Copy edited manuscript

Series VII: Videos and books

Books: Copies of The Unruly Life of Woody Allen,  US (Scribner, 2000); UK (Weidenfeld & Nicolson); paperback (Cooper Square Pr.); audio  (Blackstone) editions; German edition; French edition

Box 6

TV interviews with Mia Farrow

"Love and Betrayal: The Mia Farrow Story” (Fox Tuesday Night Movie, 1995)

CBS-TV “Sixty Minutes” interview with Allen, November 22, 1992

Copies of selected Woody Allen films

Series VIII: Mia Farrow

Mia Farrow biographical material

Notes, interviews, memos, clippings. 3 folders

Farrow family

Kristi (Groteke) (Mia biographer) and mini series


What Falls Away (Mia's autobiography)

Legal. 3 folders

Box 7

Allen v. Farrow custody  proceeding, 1993. 2 folders

Series IX: Scribner editorial and production files

Original book proposal -- including memos on publishers who turned down the idea

Correspondence with editor Jane Rosenman

Home office wall art       

Working Chapter Files (may be slightly different than chapters in published book) -- includes background clippings,  author’s notes and memos, notes to author from various biographers (Carl Rollyson, Amanda Vaill, Ben Yagoda, et al).

Production files

Permissions -- text

Series X: Post Publication Files

Book publicity, including, meetings, tapings, appearances

Publicity schedules

Publicity speeches

Book party



Readers' letters

Clippings 2000 -- 2006