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Digby Wolfe Papers

Identifier: MSS-940-BC

Scope and Content

Digby Wolfe’s papers primarily document his writing and teaching career. The collection is organized in 5 series:

Personal/Biographical contains contracts, diaries, photographs, and tributes.

Writings include drafts of screen plays and scripts, film treatments, production proposals, critiques, music and lyrics. Occasionally, these files contain related materials, but most often, these are strictly Digby Wolfe’s writings. Scripts for "Amos ‘n’ Andy," "All in the Family," a Johnny Carson special, and Jackie Mason are noteworthy.

Projects consist of ideas, notes, research, press (clippings, reviews), scripts written by others but involving Wolfe, proposals, and research. Files relating to "Laugh-In" include reviews and reaction, censor’s notes, and legal documents. Other noteworthy projects relate to Ernie Ford and Bill Cosby.

University of New Mexico materials include letters written in support of Wolfe being hired, class evaluations, and documentation of student/department projects and press.

Reference/Teaching Files are genre related and were possibly used in lesson planning.


  • 1945-2011
  • Majority of material found within 1965-2004


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biography / History

Actor, writer, comedian, and singer, James Digby Wolfe was born in Felixstowe, England on June 4, 1929. His father died when he was 4. At 15, Digby left school to take a job as an assistant scene designer. His feature film debut was in 1948 ("The Weaker Sex."). Wolfe’s early career included writing and performing in British comedy series. In 1959, he moved to Australia, where he became a "major fixture" in the entertainment scene.

Wolfe moved to Los Angeles in 1964. He acted in television series including "The Monkees," Bewitched," "I Dream of Jeannie" and "The Munsters. He met producer George Schlatter at a cocktail party. The two hit it off, and collaborated on a variety of projects, among them, "Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In." "Laugh-In" had major impact on the evolution of American comedy, according to the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Wolfe wrote and produced for John Denver, Shirley MacLaine, Goldie Hawn, Jackie Mason and others. He provided the story for the film, "All the Queen’s Men" (2001). He received several Emmy nominations, winning in 1968 for his writing for the first season of "Laugh-In."

Wolfe taught at the Watts Writers Workshop and at the University of Southern California before coming to the University of New Mexico in 1992. He was hired as a visiting professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at UNM, and then became chair of the Robert Hartung Dramatic Writing Program until his retirement in 2004.

Wolfe retired to a small town in Ontario, Canada with his wife, Patricia Mannion-Wolfe. Patricia worked as a chaplain at an institution for the criminally insane, and Wolfe taught writing as a volunteer. In 2010, the Wolfes moved back to Albuquerque. Digby died of lung cancer, at home in Albuquerque on May 2, 2012.


Krosinsky, Sari. "Digby Wolfe Remembered June 10." Inside UNM. May 09, 2012.

"Comedy Writer Digby Wolfe Dies in ABQ". ABQJournal Online 05/08/2012.

Martin, Douglas. "Digby Wolfe, ‘Laugh-In’ Writer, Dies at 82." New York Times May 8, 2012.


3 boxes (3 cu. ft.)


The collection focuses on Wolfe’s writings- his LA diary, drafts of screen plays and scripts, film treatments, production proposals, critiques, and material relating to production of the television comedy program, "Laugh-In." The collection also includes clippings, reviews, photos, musical lyrics, and teaching materials.


5 series:
  1. Personal/Biographical
  2. Writings
  3. Projects
  4. University of New Mexico
  5. Reference/Teaching Files

Processing Informaiton

Original folder titles have been retained.


Finding aid of the Digby Wolfe Papers, 1945-2011
B. Silbergleit
© 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131