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Edwina Booth personal papers, 1907-1994

 Series
Identifier: MSS 2383 Series 1
This series includes sixty-two folders. They contain Edwina Booth's fan mail, correspondence from her family, personal notes concerning property, travel memorabilia, a homemade book about Trader Horn, and documents related to the distribution of her estate after death. This series also includes a substantial collection of her poetry. There are two drafts of a book of poems that Edwina Booth wished to publish.

Dates

  • 1907-1994

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

No public access except by permission of curator of Arts & Communications Archives.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Edwina Booth papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Extent

62 folders

Biographical History

Edwina Booth (1904-1991) was a film actress from Provo, Utah.

Booth is best known for her role in the 1931 film Trader Horn, and for the illness she contracted during production. She got her start in show business in 1926, shortly after moving to California with her family. She took small parts in films and starred in theater productions like "Ghosts" and "Sun Up" until she finally landed the lead female role in Trader Horn - the "White Goddess" Nina T. Filming for Trader Horn began in 1929, and as the first non-documentary motion picture filmed in Africa, it received ample publicity in the United States and abroad. Conditions on set were difficult for Booth; she noted that her costume did not provide adequate protection from the sun and disease-carrying insects, and she and other crew members suffered through malaria.

After Trader Horn's release in 1931, Booth starred in three serial films in 1931 and 1932: "The Vanishing Legion", "The Last of the Mohicans", "Trapped in Tijuana". However, she had become increasingly ill with an undiagnosed illness since her return, and it effectively ended her movie career.

Booth sued Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios for $1,000,000 in 1934, claiming that mistreatment on set had resulted in her illness, and the studio settled out of court for $35,000. She went to Europe seeking a cure, and was diagnosed with sleeping sickness. In total, she spent over five years of her life with her illness, and refused to speak of her time as a movie star for the rest of her life.

In the years that followed her recovery, Booth became active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and worked in the Los Angeles California temple. She married three times in her life, lastly to Reinold Fehlberg, whom she married on February 17, 1959. She died of heart failure May 18, 1991, in the Medallion Convalescent Hospital in Long Beach, California, at age 86.

Other Finding Aids

A more detailed finding aid is available in print in the repository.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

Contact:
1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States