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Morris Carnovsky Papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: WUA-04-wua00003

In 1976, Morris Carnovsky, a prominent Shakespearean actor and Washington University alum, returned to the Edison Theatre to perform the lead in “King Lear”. This collection contains material from that production, including a news release, a program, and a scrapbook containing pictures of Morris Carnovsky as King Lear.


  • Creation: 1976-1995


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


0.25 Linear Feet

1 Boxes

Biographical Information

Morris Carnovsky, a native St. Louisan, graduated from Washington University in 1920 and later became a well-known actor. He made his New York debut in 1922 at the Provincetown Playhouse, playing Rob Aaron in “The God of Vengeance,” and from 1923 to 1930 was a member of the Theatre Guild. Carnovsky was a founding member, with playwright Clifford Odetts, of the Group Theatre, which from 1930 to 1939 shaped the future of American theatre for decades to come. He was also associated with the Actors Laboratory Theatre in California as an actor and director from 1940-1950.

Carnovsky’s Shakespearean career began in 1956 when he appeared with the American Shakespeare Festival company at Stratford, Connecticut, playing the Earl of Salisbury in “King John”, the Provost in “Measure for Measure” and Gremino in “The Taming of the Shrew.” Carnovsky performed the title role in “King Lear” at Stratford, Connecticut; the Goodman Theatre, Chicago; Schoenberg Hall at the University of California at Los Angeles and the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami, Florida.  His other distinguished Shakespearean portrayals included Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice”, Claudius in “Hamlet”, Capulet in “Romeo and Juliet” and Prospero in “The Tempest.” Carnovsky’s television credits include the roles of the Rabbi, Presiding Angel and Mr. Katz in “The World of Sholom Aleichem” and Creon in “Medea.” His film credits include the role of Anatole France in “The Life of Emile Zola”.

Method of Acquisition

This material was donated to the University Archives.

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Pabarcus in January 2006.

Morris Carnovsky Papers
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020 November 19: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the University Archives Collecting Area

Sonya Rooney
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495