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Sidney Skolsky (1905-1983) was born in New York City and attended New York University. A press agent on Broadway, he segued into newspaper work, beginning with his column "Times Square Tintypes" in 1929. These tintypes, or typewriter caricatures, became a staple of Skolsky's career. From 1932 on he worked out of Hollywood—maintaining an office at Schwab's drugstore—as a syndicated gossip columnist and entertainment reporter. His writings appeared in the New York Post and the Los Angeles Herald, among other newspapers. Skolsky cowrote the story for "The Daring Young Man" (1935), produced "The Jolson Story" (1946) and "The Eddie Cantor Story" (1953), and appeared as himself in a number of films from "Sunset Blvd." (1950) to "The Legend of Lylah Clare" (1968). He is best remembered for his Hollywood tintypes and for his closing line, "Don't Get Me Wrong, I Love Hollywood" (also the title of his 1975 memoir).
The Sidney Skolsky papers span the years 1928-1982 and encompass 5.0 linear feet. The collection consists primarily of material on various personalities utilized by Skolsky in the preparation of his tintypes. The material often includes a draft tintype prepared by the studio's Publicity Department, correspondence from the department, biographical data, Skolsky's carbon of the tintype, or a transcript of an interview conducted by a studio publicist. Hundreds of individuals are represented, from Woody Allen to Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Other items include Skolsky's script for "The Eddie Cantor Story," material relating to the David L. Wolper television series "Hollywood: the Golden Years," and miscellaneous television and radio scripts for "Sidney Skolsky's Hollywood." Other than two contractual agreements with Al Jolson, there is no material regarding "The Jolson Story." There is script material for several unrealized properties, including a proposed television series called "The Hollywood Beat." Correspondence is limited and consists mostly of photocopies. The majority of manuscripts of articles and columns by Skolsky are for the column "Hollywood Is My Beat"; others include "I Remember It Well," "In Hollywood...Showing Up," and "Sidney Skolsky Sounds Off." Miscellaneous article manuscripts by Skolsky include two for the Academy Awards (43rd and 48th). Twenty-nine volumes of scrapbooks contain Skolsky's columns from 1929 to 1982, under various headings including "Behind the News," "Hollywood Is My Beat," and "Sidney Skolsky's Hollywood."
Gift of Estelle Skolsky, 1984, with additions from Steffi Sidney, 1993.