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George Ellsworthe and Bud Vinci photograph albums

 Collection
Identifier: Coll2016-010

Content Description

Approximately 1500 black-and-white and color photographs, correspondence, programs, invitations, clippings, and 2 yearbooks.

Dates

  • circa 1900-2007

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

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.

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.

Biographical / Historical

George B. Ellsworthe (also spelled Ellsworth) was born in Crookston, Minnesota December 25, 1926, the youngest of six boys. George's fraternal grandmother Isabel Marriott, was a participant in the 1846 Mormon Exodus that established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' home in the state of Utah. His father eventually relocated the family to Colorado, where George's family lived and worked as cattle ranchers. George was sent to Shattuck Military Academy in Fairbault, Minnesota for schooling and, upon graduation, he relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a dancer. Ellsworthe had studied dance since the age of five and eventually landed a role as a featured dancer in Mia Slavenska's ballet company. After leaving Slavenska’s troupe, George found a career as a dancer in Hollywood feature films including An American in Paris (1951) where he appeared with Gene Kelly, Call me Madam (1953) where he appeared with Ethel Merman and To Catch a Thief (1955) with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. Ellsworthe also founded and operated three American Academy of Dance studios located in Burbank, Glendale, and Hollywood. In 1951, Ellsworthe met aspiring actor Frank 'Buddy' Vinci.

Frank James 'Buddy' Vinci was born February 14, 1933 in Chicago. After completing high school he attended business school before he was called upon to model for high-end clothing store Morris B. Sachs. Vinci’s modeling job required him to appear on sponsored television advertisements and drove him to seek a career in the acting profession. In 1951, Vinci departed for Los Angeles where he met and befriended Ellsworthe who helped him to land him a job at Warner Bros. Studios. Vinci worked in the studio's mail room and became a tour guide before landing his first acting role in Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954) with Karl Malden. Vinci would appear in a number of films and television shows including Star Trek and Mission Impossible as well as commercials for products such as Irish Spring soap.

Vinci and Ellsworthe’s friendship evolved into a romantic relationship that would span more than 60 years. Ellsworthe passed away October 15, 2012 from cardiac arrest and Vinci passed away June 4, 2013 from renal failure.

In 2013, The Frank James ‘Buddy’ Vinci and George B. Ellsworth Scholarship was established at Pepperdine University for students “whose academic work or personal involvement has demonstrated a commitment to promoting the health (mental or physical) and wellness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.” The scholarship is funded by the estate of Frank James Vinci and George Ellsworth.

Extent

1.2 Linear Feet (2 archival boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Approximately 1500 photographic prints, primarily candids of assorted sizes and mediums, produced by Ellsworthe, Vinci, their friends and family. The images emphasize the couple’s domestic life, leisure activities as well as professional pursuits and business ventures. Photographs document the couple’s home, holiday parties, social events, vacations, and hobbies. There are several images of various television, stage and film appearances that each man made, including two images of both Vinci and Ellsworthe, together with actor James Mason on the set of A Star is Born (1954). Ellsworthe's immediate family is represented more strongly and accounts for the bulk of images prior to 1930.

Other Finding Aids

George B. Ellsworthe papers; 20th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Photographs were donated to Pepperdine University by the Vinci estate who transferred them to Brigham Young University. Brigham Young University transferred photographs and personal materials to ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries in 2016.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Nicholas Beyelia, 2016.

Title
Finding Aid to the George Ellsworthe and Frank 'Bud' Vinci Photograph albums
Status
Completed
Author
Nicholas Beyelia
Date
(c) May 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

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

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