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Marian Rees papers

Identifier: IWA0273

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Scope and Contents

The Marian Rees papers date from 1979 to 1995 and measure 28 linear feet. They are divided into three series: Calendars and correspondence, Professional organizations, and Philanthropic organizations. The Calendars and correspondence series (1979-1995) includes materials from Rees' professional career. The organizational series comprise papers from both the professional and philanthropic organizations to which Rees belonged, such as Women in Filmand the Gwen Bolden Foundation.


  • Creation: 1977-1996


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Marian Rees, award-winning film producer and philanthropist, was born in Le Mars, Iowa, in 1927. Rees graduated as valedictorian of her high school class. Majoring in sociology, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in 1951. The following year Rees went to Hollywood where she worked her way up from receptionist to award-winning producer.

In 1959, Rees received her first big break when she was named associate producer for Bud Yorkin on "An Evening with Fred Astaire." This started an association with Yorkin and his partner Norman Lear at Tandem Productions that lasted for fifteen years. As vice-president and production executive at Tandem, Rees contributed to the entire first season of "All in the Family," and the pilot for "Sanford and Son." In 1973, she joined Tomorrow Entertainment as executive in charge of development and helped make an Emmy sweeper out of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.

Finally disillusioned by the lack of socially activist and socially redeeming material on television, Rees founded her own production company, Marian Rees Associates, Inc., in 1981. By 1997, Marian Rees Associates, Inc., had produced twenty-two made-for-television films. Rees' films have won eleven Emmy Awards and thirty-six Emmy nominations, as well as two Golden Globe Awards, six Christopher Awards, the Humanitas Prize, a Peabody, two Gabriel Awards, two Monte Carlo Television Awards and other industry and public honors.

Her colleagues and supporters have widely recognized Rees for her contributions to a variety of professional and civic organizations. She received the Chaim Sheba Humanitarian award in 1987 from the Friends of Tel Hashomer, a philanthropic group that runs an unaligned hospital in Israel. In 1988, Rees won the Publicists Guild of America Showmanship of the Year Award, as well as the Genii Award. Also in 1988, the University of Iowa named Rees a Distinguished Alumni. Women in Management honored Rees in 1990 by naming her Woman of the Year. Rees received an Iowa Film Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.

Rees has also served on the boards of many professional and philanthropic organizations. In 1988 she began what would become two terms as president of Women in Film, an organization that successfully fought to provide women with greater opportunities in the film industry. In the late 1980s, Rees also served as the president of the board of directors of the Gwen Bolden Foundation, an organization that addresses the problems of inner-city youth in Los Angeles through a dizzying array of social programs. Rees also lent her philanthropic zeal and expertise to the Entertainment Industry Coalition on Aids, Children Now, Alternative Living for the Aging, and the Center for Population Options.


28.00 Linear Feet

Photographs in boxes 47 and 66. boxes

Language of Materials



Emmy Award-winning television producer and owner of Marian Rees Associates, Inc.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 378) were donated by Marian Rees in 1996.

Processing of this collection was supported through funding from the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Act through a Historical Resource Development Program (HRDP) grant from the State Historical Society of Iowa.

Natalie Brody, 1998; John Williams-Searle, 1999.
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Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)