Ray Spencer was a screenwriter and produced the West Coast production of the controversial play of,
Deep are the Roots, in Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA (ca. 1947-1948). The bulk of the collection consists of materials related to the play.
Additionally, there is a small amount of script material, correspondence, contractual agreements, and a small number of story
synopses and newsletters associated with Paramount Pictures. In addition, there are a small number of letters and reader
reports related to his wife, Helen Spencer.
There is very little biographical information available about Ray Spencer. Much of the following
information was compiled from the collection. Ray Spencer may also be known as R. Edward Spencer
and may have written under the pseudonym of Bill Owen or Robert Owen. He was married to Helen
Spencer with whom he had one child, Greg. He was a graduate of the 1947 workshop at Yale, executive
director of Meet the People, and a theatrical designer and screenwriter. He worked as a member of the
reading staff at Paramount Pictures in ca. early-1940s. In 1947, he obtained the West Coast production
rights for the play Deep Are the Roots, written by Arnold d'Usseau and James Gow. He produced the
play in both Los Angeles and San Francisco in ca. 1947-1948. In the early 1950s, Spencer and his
family moved to Mexico where he continued to write. It is uncertain when he returned to the United
States. His motion picture credits include Bonnie Lassie, Star Bright, Boogie Woogie, and Crackup.
6 boxes (3 linear ft.) and 1 flat box
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Performing Arts Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright,
are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of
the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the
copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC
Regents do not hold the copyright.
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