Home / Margaret Herrick Library / Special Collections
Maria Palmer (1917-1981) was born in Vienna, Austria. A stage performer since childhood, she appeared in Max Reinhardt productions in Vienna and was a member of the Bodenwieser Ensemble, a European dance troupe. Active in high school drama and dance, Palmer went on to study drama and voice at the Vienna Conservatory. Palmer came to the United States in 1938, continuing her career as a stage actress in New York. Her role in the 1942 play "The Moon Is Down" led to her film debut in "Mission to Moscow" (1943). Other credits include "Days of Glory" (1944), "The Other Love" (1947), "Strictly Dishonorable" (1951), "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" (1953), and "The Evil of Frankenstein" (1964). Palmer also worked extensively in radio and television. "Sincerely, Maria Palmer," produced by Maria Palmer Enterprises, ran on a local Los Angeles television station in the early 1960s. The 130 five-minute segments featured Palmer doling out advice on a variety of subjects. In later years Palmer wrote a number of unproduced teleplays, often under the pseudonym Eliot Parker White.
The Maria Palmer papers span the years 1922-1975 and encompass 6 linear feet. The collection relates to Palmer's stage and television career, notably "The Moon Is Down" and "Sincerely, Maria Palmer." Biographical material, clippings, contracts, and correspondence document her film and television career. The collection contains a surprising amount of material written by Palmer, including a number of scripts, ideas, and outlines for unrealized television productions; a write-up of her visit with Gregory Peck; and three journals (in German) from the 1920s.
Gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Palmer, 1984.