Special Collections and Archives

Howard Wendell papers

Special Collections and Archives

Howard Wendell papers

Howard Wendell, Papers, 1954-1975


Prepared by Rhonda Rinehart, November 13, 2003
1 document case, .33 cubic feet, 11th floor

Biographical Note

Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1908, Howard Wendell considered Elyria, Ohio his home. He began his acting career performing in both a minstrel show and a radio comedy show in Cleveland, Ohio. Wendell acted with the Elyria Playmakers, culminating as an apprentice for the Cleveland Play House for one season. He traveled throughout several states where he began directing plays and acting in summer stock and road shows in the northeast. Wendell was discovered by an agent while working on the road show of The Philadelphia Story and moved to California in 1952 where he began working as a character actor in films. He worked steadily in both television and film until 1963 when he retired, moving from California to Oregon, where he died in 1975*.

* Biographical information taken from Folder 5

Scope and Content

This small collection was maintained and donated to the Special Collections department by Alex Gildzen. Items in the collection include clippings related to the many television shows and films in which Howard Wendell performed, as well as playbills of performances during his time on Broadway. Correspondence from Wendell to the Gildzen family is also included in this collection. In addition, there is a scrapbook on Wendell's life and career prepared by Gildzen.

Box 1

Folder -- Contents
  1. Signed publicity photograph of Howard Wendell; inscribed "Best Wishes from Howard Wendell 1954."
  2. Playbill, Make a Wish [no date].
  3. Playbill, Tiger at the Gates [no date]
  4. Playbill, Time Limit [no date].
  5. Biographical note of Howard Wendell [written by former wife Harriet Wendell at his death in 1975]
  6. Lists of selected Howard Wendell acting appearances
  7. Magazine and newspaper clippings about Howard Wendell acting appearances
  8. Scrapbook about Howard Wendell prepared by Alex Gildzen, [no date]
  9. Newspaper clipping about Howard Wendell's visit to hometown of Elyria, Ohio [no date]
  10. Newspaper clipping on Howard Wendell interview, [no date]
  11. Chronicle-Telegram [Elyria, Ohio], Accent clippings on Howard Wendell, 1986-1988
  12. Howard Wendell correspondence to Alex Gildzen [Christmas cards], 1956-1971
  13. Harriet Wendell correspondence to Gildzen family, [no date]
  14. Howard Wendell correspondence to Alex Gildzen, November 1971
  15. Howard Wendell correspondence to Alex Gildzen, May 1973
  16. Obituary notice for Howard Wendell, 1975
  17. Correspondence from Claire Wendell to Helen Gildzen, 197-?
  18. Clippings pertaining to Claire Wendell death [mother of Howard Wendell], 1972
  19. Obituary notice for Harriet Wendell, 1981
  20. Shirt with scenes from Marilyn Monroe films