Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Parrish, Robert mss., ca. 1943-1979, consist of correspondence, photographs, portions of manuscript book drafts and memorabilia between Parrish and film director John Ford.

Robert Parrish, 1916-1995, was an actor, editor, screenwriter and director who received an Academy Award for film editing in 1947 for Body and Soul. The son of Gordon and Laura Parrish, his family relocated from Georgia to Los Angeles in the mid-1920s. Parrish appeared as an actor in All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) and City Lights (1931), as well as various films for John Ford. Parrish became an assistant editor for Ford, first on Mary of Scotland (1936), and then a sound editor on Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln (1939). Parrish also worked with Ford on Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), and various documentary and training films during World War II, including The Battle of Midway (1942).

Parrish wrote two books about his life in Hollywood and the film industry, Growing Up in Hollywood (1976) and a sequel, Hollywood Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1988), which Kevin Brownlow notes produced "one of the most enchanting—and hilarious—books about the picture business ever written."

The collection includes correspondence, photographs, articles, and book-related notes. The correspondence contains letters from Robert Parrish, Barbara Ford, and John Ford, as well as a formal invitation from President Richard Nixon to the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony in honor of John Ford. Photographs includes images of John Ford, John Wayne, and the Ford family.

An inventory is available.

Acquired: 2011

Also see the Ford, J. mss.

Collection size: 30 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.