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Murray Bennett Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: Jan 1967

Biographical History

Murray Bennett (1896-?) was an American stage actor, director, and poet.

Born in 1896 in Charleston, South Carolina, he graduated from Newton Military Academy in 1913, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1921. Bennett made his first broadway appearance in The Green Goddess with George Arliss that same year. From that time on his acting career was assured and he appeared throughout the twenties and thirties in such plays as Roseanne, Hamlet, Love in a Mist, and The Vinegar Tree. By the 1940's Bennett was a veteran actor. One of his greatest roles was in Rain, which appeared in 1945. Two years later he bought a small farm on the Carolina coast. However, he continued to pursue his career, appearing in summer stock, directing various community theatres and a radio program. In 1956, he again appeared on Broadway in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

In addition to his acting career, Bennett also was a poet. He published many sonnets, as well as a volume of poems titled Invisible Pursuit, and was an active member of the Poetry Society of America.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Murray Bennett Papers include correspondence, an album, photographs, programs, souvenirs, manuscripts and published materials.

Correspondence includes incoming and outgoing correspondence as well as letters to and from others. The outgoing correspondence includes two letter books as well as loose letters. The letter classified as "to and from others" was written by Mr. Bennett's father in 1875.

Subject files contains an album of theatre personalities, photographs, programs and souvenirs. Also included are files Mr. Bennett set up which pertain to a person or place in which he was interested, such as Rupert Brooke, Edna St. Vincent Millay, or Tahiti.

Manuscripts consists of poems by W. Bennett and poems by others. Mr. Bennett's poems are undated.

Published material includes books, magazines and newspaper clippings.

Arrangement of the Collection

Incoming correspondence is arranged alphabetically by author. Outgoing correspondence is filed chronologically. Subject files are arranged in alphabetical order by name or subject; when necessary the materials have been further arranged in chronological order. Published material is arranged alphabetically by type and, within that, by title, except for newspaper clippings which are arranged chronologically.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Bennett, Murray.
Herring, Charles Edward.
Rutledge, Archibald Hamilton, 1883-1973.
Thorndike, Sybil, Dame, 1882-1976.
Winwood, Estelle.


Actors -- United States.
Poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Letter books.
Programs (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Murray Bennett Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Murray Bennett, 1964.

Table of Contents


Subject file


Published material