New exhibit honors the late playwright Horton Foote

DeGolyer Library exhibit is part of a citywide celebration honoring the great playwright.

Horton Foote

Horton Foote - Photo by David Spagnolo
Horton Foote
See slide show from the exhibit. camera
DALLAS (SMU) –– A new exhibit at SMU’s DeGolyer Library offers an insightful look at a beloved writer’s life. Horton Foote, writer of Oscar-winning screenplays “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Tender Mercies” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “The Young Man From Atlanta,” is honored in the exhibit, “The Life and Work of Horton Foote,” March 1- May 1.

The exhibit is part of the Dallas-wide Horton Foote Festival March 14 – May 1.

SMU also will host a screening A Young Lady of Property at  3 p.m. Sunday in Dallas Hall's McCord Auditorium. The 1953 Philco Television Playhouse production, written by Foote, is about 15-year-old Wilma who has dreams of becoming a movie star but is sent to live with her aunt after her mother’s death. She dreams of a home of her own, but is upset when her father remarries and plans to sell the house her mother left to her.

The legendary Texas playwright wrote more than 60 plays, screenplays and television scripts by hand in spiral-bound stenographer pads. The exhibit traces his writing process from steno pad to typed and annotated script to production programs and movie stills to two shiny Oscar statuettes.  His copy of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” complete with dialogue notes scribbled in the book’s margins, is included in the exhibit along with childhood photos and highlights of his early acting career.

Visit the online digital collection, Horton Foote: Photographs and Manuscripts

DeGolyer Library also has published a tribute to Horton Foote, Farewell: Remembering Horton Foote, 1916-2009 (DeGolyer Library, 2011). The book includes contributions from more than 50 colleagues and friends including Edward Albee, Ellen Burstyn, Robert Duvall, Jean Stapleton, James Houghton and Jane Roberts Wood.

The Foote papers were acquired in 1991 by DeGolyer Library, a rare book and special collections library at SMU. The extensive archive includes drafts, revisions and final scripts for Foote’s plays, screenplays, novel and memoirs as well as personal essays and reflections. It also includes a large file of correspondence with fellow writers such as To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee, actors such as Robert Duvall, family and friends. The collection also includes playbills, reviews, posters, photographs and films.

Exhibit details

 Where:  DeGolyer Library, 6404 Robert S. Hyer Lane, Dallas, Texas
 Hours:  8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, Mar. 1 – May 1
 Cost:  Free and open to the public
 Parking:  Visitor parking, Binkley Parking Garage, 3101 Binkley Ave.
 Info:  214-768-3231 or

For News Media:

Contact: Nancy George
SMU News and Communications
214-768-7674 or

 Images for Downloading
(click image for high-res verson)
Horton Foote
Horton Foote
(Photo by David Spagnolo)
From the Horton Foote exhibit at SMU's DeGolyer Library
Horton Foote wrote by hand the first draft of his Academy Award-winning screenplay, "To Kill a Mockingbird."
From the Horton Foote exhibit at SMU's DeGolyer Library
Jean Stapleton, Horton Foote, Roberta Maxwell, Michael Wilson and Hallie Foote on set of "The Carpetbagger's Children." (2001)
Horton Foote in 1941
Horton Foote - 1941
Horton and Lillian Foote in 1945
Horton and Lillian Foote - 1945

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools .