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William Moritz and Harry Frazier collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Coll2014-001

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises personal papers, motion picture history files, photographs, film, video, audiotape, artworks, posters, clothing, and memorabilia, 1902-2007, from film professor and animator William Moritz and actor Harry Frazier. The bulk of the personal papers includes writings by Moritz, research material, and subject files covering a variety of Moritz's interests such as poetry, literature, performing arts, gay film history, and gay liberation movement. The motion picture history files are Moritz's collection of publicity still photographs and research material on American film history, particularly silent- and studio-era actors. The personal photographs are those of Moritz and Frazier; and Robert Opel and "Buddha" John Parker to a lesser extent. The sound recordings are primarily recordings created for Moritz's unfinished documentary Crown Prince Arcadia, and interviews with Harry Hay and Radical Faeries groups. The bulk of the film reels are productions elements for short films created by Moritz or Frazier, including Call It Maya for Now, Crown Prince Arcadia, and Kissing. The film reels also include home movies of Alaska, gay pride events, Theatricum Botanicum, Radical Faeries gatherings; and interviews with Robert Opel. The bulk of the videocassettes are short films by Frazier, or television shows in which Frazier appeared.

The collection also includes personal papers, photographs, and film from Moritz's friends, "Buddha" John Parker and Robert Opel, including documents and posters from Opel's Fey Way Studios.


  • Creation: 1902-2007

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. The original films in this collection are deposited in conjunction with the Outfest Legacy Project at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Advance notice is required for researchers wishing to access these materials.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Researchers wishing to publish or quote from William Moritz materials must seek permission from the Center for Visual Music, which retains the copyright to all materials created by Moritz.


Excerpted from the William Moritz biography on the Center for Visual Music website, (accessed June 9, 2014):

"Dr. William Moritz was a world-renowned expert on animation, experimental film, and visual music, and authored more than 100 articles, chapters, and program notes. His biography on [Oskar] Fischinger, Optical Poetry, is the culmination of 34 years of research and work with the Fischinger Archive.

"Born May 6, 1941 in Williams, Arizona, Moritz was raised in Arizona and Southern California. He received his doctorate from the University of Southern California in 1968 (Comparative Literature, minor in Cinema). He began teaching at Occidental College in 1965, and continued teaching film and humanities at institutions including Otis Art Institute, Pitzer College, American University Center (Calcutta, India), UCLA, Art Center College of Design, USC and CalArts. He worked as a researcher and translator for the television show Ripley's Believe It or Not; with the film distributor Creative Film Society; and at radio station KPFK as a film and music critic. He promoted experimental film and visual music through venues like Los Angeles Filmmaker's Cooperative, Theatre Vanguard, and Los Angeles Film Oasis; and was a member of the Visual Music Alliance in the 1980s.

"Moritz' own 34 films, both experimental and animation, have screened at museums in Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Tokyo, and venues including Pacific Film Archive, Anthology Film Archive, San Francisco Art Institute, Academy of Fine Arts (the Hague), and Filmforum (Los Angeles). He toured giving poetry readings and had many of his poems published. Two of his plays were produced, including a number of performances of The Midas Well Show.

"[Moritz] published widely on animation, visual music, and experimental film[...] He served as president of the Society for Animation Studies, and lectured at film festivals, museums, universities and conferences worldwide. He was actively involved in preservation work on numerous films and received a Film Preservation Award from Anthology Film Archive. He curated film exhibitions and was a guest curator for several art exhibitions, including "The Spiritual in Art" and 'Degenerate Art' at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He appeared in television documentaries including the French Paths of Light, the British Abstract Cinema, and the American Camera Three. In 1993, he was honored with a lifetime achievement trophy for service to Visual Music by the Royal Academy of the Netherlands. In 1995, he received an American Film Institute Independent Filmmakers Grant for his film, All My Lost Lovers. He was faculty at California Institute of the Arts, and a member of the Board of Advisors and a founder of the Center for Visual Music. Dr. Moritz died on March 12, 2004 in Mokelumne Hill, California, after a long struggle with cancer."


Harry Frazier, born on July 30, 1929 in Elk County, Pennsylvania, was an actor in Los Angeles, whose white beard landed him numerous film and television roles playing Santa Claus. Beginning in the 1960s, Frazier worked regularly in local Shakespeare companies throughout Southern California, including Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. He also worked as a character actor mostly in television, with guest starring roles on Batman, Cheers, Hill Street Blues, as well as TV movies such as The Elf Who Saved Christmas and its sequal The Elf and the Magic Key.

Frazier was also a photographer and amateur experimental filmmaker, and he worked closely with film professor William Moritz on Moritz's short films and theatrical productions. Frazier died of complications from diabetes on May 26, 2007 in Los Angeles.


17.6 Linear Feet (3 archive boxes, 6 archive cartons, 3 binder boxes, 6 flat archive boxes, 1 mapcase drawer.)

Language of Materials



Personal papers, motion picture history files, photographs, film, video, audiotape, artworks, posters, clothing, and memorabilia, 1902-2007, from film professor and animator William Moritz and actor Harry Frazier. Moritz and Frazier were friends and collaborators on several short films and other creative projects throughout the 1970s-1990s, some of which documented bohemian and hippie gay communities in Los Angeles, as well as the Radical Faeries. Moritz is best known for his expertise on animation and experimental film. However, the majority of this collection documents his other work and interests, including poetry, film history, and the gay liberation movement. The collection also includes personal papers from "Buddha" John Parker and Robert Opel, famous for streaking on stage at the 1974 Academy Awards.


This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1. Writings and personal papers

Series 2. Motion picture history and photographs

Series 3. Personal photographs

Series 4. Sound recordings

Series 5. Film and video recordings

Series 6. Art works and posters

Series 7. Objects and clothing


The bulk of this collection was donated by the Center for Visual Music on March 29, 2007; July 3, 2007; January 17, 2008; June 12, 2008; February 17, 2009; and February 18, 2014. The remaining materials were believed to be donated by William Moritz to the International Gay & Lesbian Archives, date unknown.

Related Archival Materials

William Moritz Collection, Special Collections, Center for Visual Music, Los Angeles, California.

Robert Opel Los Angeles Christopher Street West Gay Pride Parade Photographs, Coll2012-145, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Separated Materials

The following have been separated to the ONE Archives library:

Allen, Donald, ed. The Selected Poems of Frank O'Hara. New York: Vintage Books, 1974.

Busch, Charles. The Tale of the Allergist's Wife and Other Plays. New York: Grove Press, 2001.

Chamberlin, J.E. Ripe was the Drowsy Hour. New York: Seabury Press, 1977.

Croft-Cooke, Rupert. Feasting with Panthers. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967.

Ellison, Alfred. Portrait of Joey. Los Angeles: Ultima Books, 1969.

Fernandez, Dominique. Porporino or the Secrets of Naples. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1976.

Field, Andrew. Djuna, The Life and Times of Djuna Barnes. London: Secker and Warburg, 1983.

Freedman, Florence Bernstein. William Douglas O'Connor, Walt Whitman's Chosen Knight. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1985.

Ginsberg, Allen. Gay Sunshine Interview with Allen Young. Berkeley, CA.: Grey Fox Press, 1974 (signed).

Grand-Carteret, John. Derriere "Lui". Paris: GKC, 1992.

Hamlyn, Paul. The Age of Louis XV. Milan, Italy: Fratelli Fabbri Editori, 1966.

Hoffman, William M. As Is. New York: Random House, 1985.

Hyland, Wendy Elliott. Forward in Reverse. London: Minerva Press, 1996.

Jarman, Derek. Queer Edward II. London: British Film Institute, 1991.

Lowenfels, Walter, ed. The Tenderest Lover: The Erotic Poetry of Walt Whitman. New York: Dell Publishing Company, Inc., 1970.

Meeker, Richard. Better Angel. Boston: Alyson Publications, Inc., 1990.

Mitzel, John. Myra and Gore. Dorchester, MA.: Manifest Destiny Books, 1974.

Rechy, John. The Sexual Outlaw. New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1977.

Shively, Charley, ed. Calamus Lovers, Walt Whitman's Working Class Camerados. San Francisco, CA: Gay Sunshine Press, 1987.

Shively, Charley, ed. Drum Beats, Walt Whitman's Civil War Boy Lovers. San Francisco, CA: Gay Sunshine Press, 1989.

Shockley, Ann Allen. The Black and White of It. Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press Inc., 1980.

Steinberg, Leo. The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion. New York: Pantheon Books, 1983.

Worsley, T.C. Fellow Travellers. London: GMP Publishers Ltd., 1984.

18 buttons have been separated from the collection and placed in ONE Archives' button collection; and 3 matchbooks have been separated and placed in ONE Archives' matchbook collection.

The following have been separated to the ONE audiovisual collection:

The Charles Pierce Show, 1993 (VV2644).

Out of the Closet, Off the Screen, 2002 (VV0915). Dream Boy (Regular 8mm film reel).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, May 2014.

Finding Aid to the William Moritz and Harry Frazier Collection, 1902-2007
Loni Shibuyama
© 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Repository Details

Part of the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, University of Southern California Repository

909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles California 90007 United States
(213) 821-2771