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Joe Hyams papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1479

Scope and Contents note

Collection includes scrapbooks, manuscripts, research materials, screenplays, photographs, art books, and audio tape written by Joe Hyams during the course of his career. Works represented in the collection include "Bogie", "Field of Buttercups", "Mislaid in Hollywood", "The Spiral of Reform", "Zen in the Martial Arts", "Bogart and Bacall", and "The Pool". Audio tape interviews include conversations with Marlon Brando, Ava Gardner, Peter Sellers, Jerry Lewis, Elizabeth Taylor, Humphrey Bogart, and Lauren Bacall.


  • 1934-1980


Conditions Governing Access note

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use note

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

Biographical History

Joseph Hyams (1923-2008) was a newspaper columnist and writer in California.

Newspaperman, writer, and Hollywood columnist Joseph Hyams was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 6, 1923. At the age of six, he was encouraged by his aunt to develop his writing talent. In those early years, also, Joe was an admirer of Orson Welles whom he imitated to improve his pronunciation. He attended simultaneously both Boston and Harvard universities and was enrolled briefly at the University of Kentucky.

He joined the Army during World War II and was assigned to a labor battalion in the South Pacific, but en route to his destination in New Guinea, he was fortunately reassigned to the Army News Bureau, and hence, as he later reminisced, "My fate was sealed." His first assignment was to cover a USO show where he met Bob Hope, Chill Wills, and Robert Taylor. Following his stint in the Army, Hyams was a reporter with the New York Herald Tribune. Beginning in 1951--and for the next twenty-two years--he was assigned to cover Hollywood as a feature columnist, and became familiar with such Hollywood luminaries as Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, and other stars.

Hyams was married to Elke Sommer for seventeen years, during which he devoted his time to sixteen books, among them Bogie: A Biography of Humphrey Bogart (1966), My Life With Cleopatra (1968), and Bogart and Bacall (1975). Hyams moved from Los Angeles to Penrose, Colorado in 2005. He passed away in Denver on November 8, 2008.


9 oversize boxes (7.25 linear ft.)

3 media boxes ((2.25 linear ft).)

6 boxes (3 linear ft.)

9 cartons (9 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



The collection consists of scrapbooks Hyams kept of the columns he wrote as a Hollywood journalist while working for the New York Herald Tribune (1951-73), as well as of manuscript materials for books, screenplays, etc. It also includes photos, art books, and numerous tape reels of interviews with Hollywood notables.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available online.

Custodial History note

Donated by Joe Hyams in 1982 and 1983.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Donated; Joe Hyams; 1982 and 1983.

Appraisal note

Arts and Communications

Register of Joe Hyams papers
Karen Glenn, Amanda Clark, student processors; John M. Murphy, curator
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States