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Irma Kalish Scripts and Videos

An inventory of her materials at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: unknown

Biographical History

Irma Kalish is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Syracuse University and one of television's most talented writers/producers. Kalish began her career as a writer shortly after graduating from Syracuse University when she was hired to produce stories for a New York City magazine. By 1950, she and her husband, Austin "Rocky" Kalish, had moved to Los Angeles and had begun collaborating on radio scripts for the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Hour. When the Martin and Lewis show switched to television, the Kalishes followed and launched their careers as television writers at a time when few women were writing comedy.

As a team, the Kalishes have created more than 300 scripts for television shows such as All in the Family, Bob Newhart, F-Troop, Family Affair, I Dream of Jeannie, The Love Boat, Maude, My Three Sons and The Brian Keith Show. In their earlier years, they wrote scripts for shows such as The Ray Milland Show and Gunsmoke. Their credits also include writing the pilot episode of Gilligan's Island, producing Too Close for Comfort and Good Heavens, and writing and producing the full-length film Keep Off My Grass. More recently, Ms. Kalish has worked on her own as the chief writer for 227 and executive producer of The Facts of Life. With her work for Good Times, she became the first woman to be made producer and eventually executive producer of a television series.

Beyond her direct involvement in television production and writing, Kalish has been active in a number of related organizations, particularly with respect to women's issues. Kalish is an active member and past president of Women in Film and past chair of their WIF Foundation. She is also a founding member of Women & Science, affiliated with the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and an executive member of the Association for Women in Communications, a professional organization that champions the advancement of women across all communications disciples. She has been a board member of the Motion Picture and Television Fund for 22 years, serving on a number of committees (including the Executive Committee of their Samuel Goldwyn Foundation Child Care Center) and chairing their Accreditation and Quality Assurance Committee. She has been an active member of the Writers Guild of America (West) since 1964, serving on or chairing many of their committees; she is presently on the board of directors for the guild.

Kalish's efforst have been recognized many times over the years. She was twice recognized for her work by the Writers Guild of America with their Morgan Cox Award (1993) and the Valentine Davies Award (2005). Women in Film's WIF Foundation presented her with their Founders Award in 1997, and the Association for Women in Communications awarded her both its National Headliner and Far West Woman of Achievement Awards. Syracuse University awarded her their highest alumni honor, the George Arents Pioneer Medal.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Irma Kalish Scripts and Videos consists of material from popular television shows from the 1970s and 1980s that were written and/or produced by Kalish. Shows with a significant number of Scripts include 227, the Brian Keith Show, Facts of Life, Family Affair, Good Times, Heaven Help Us, Hogan Family, and My Three Sons. Videos comprises VHS tapes of episodes of 227 (6 tapes), Hogan Family (11 tapes), and Sugar & Spice (8 tapes).

Arrangement of the Collection

Both Scripts and Videos are arranged alphabetically by show title, and within that by air date.


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.

Access to recordings requires advance notice to produce a use copy.

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.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has several other collections of television scripts and videos. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings


Kalish, Irma

Associated Titles

227 (television series)
Brian Keith show (television series)
F-troop (television series)
Facts of life (television series)
Family affair (television series)
Good times (television series)
Heaven help us (television series)
Hogan family (television series)
My three sons (television series)


Popular culture -- United States.
Television -- United States.
Television comedies -- United States.
Television series.

Genres and Forms

Shooting scripts.


Television comedy writers.
Television producers and directors.
Women television producers and directors.
Women television writers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Irma Kalish Scripts and Videos,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Irma Kalish.

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