Leon M. Lion:
An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center
Leon M. Lion (1879-1947) was an actor, manager, director, and dramatist on the London stage. He was born in London on March 12, 1879. His first break came in 1899 when he adapted a story by Tom Gallon. The play’s success led to further collaborations with Gallon and others, and launched a successful stage career that crossed over into film. He died in Brighton on March 28, 1947.
The Leon M. Lion Collection, 1895-1951, contains correspondence, contracts, photographs, scripts, and a few miscellaneous items. It is arranged in three series: I. Correspondence, 1900-1951 (3 boxes); II. Contracts, 1903-1944 (4 boxes); III. Other Papers, 1895-1937 (1 box).
The correspondence includes mainly letters written to Lion, along with some carbons of replies, and concerns his activities as an actor, producer, dramatist working in collaboration with authors as well as other business and personal affairs. Among the correspondents are J. Jefferson and Eleanor Farjeon, Tom Gallon, Eden Phillpotts, Sybil Thorndike, and Tom Walls. The Contracts consist of agreements with actors and writers and for film rights, play rights, and radio programs, 1903-1944. These are arranged alphabetically by title of the work, except for a small number of other contracts, primarily leasing agreements, which are chronologically arranged. Completing this collection are a few photographs of actors and actresses associated with Lion and several scripts, including two prompt copies.
For further information about Lion, consult his autobiography, The Surprise of My Life (London: Hutchinson, 1948).
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Authorization for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Ransom Center's Open Access and Use Policies.
Purchases, 1981 and 1992
Valerie Burns, 2002; Daniela Lozano, 2017