Accession MS COLL 00575 - Frances Dafoe Papers

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Identity area

Reference code

CA OTUTF MS COLL 00575

Title

Frances Dafoe Papers

Date(s)

  • 1965-1995 (Creation)

Level of description

Accession

Extent and medium

43 boxes (8 metres)

Context area

Name of creator

(1929-2016)

Biographical history

Frances Helen Dafoe, born December 17, 1929, Toronto, graduate of Branksome Hall; studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York City; later costume designer with CBC. Has designed costumes for theatre, ballet, skating, variety shows and dramas, including Rich Little and the Wayne and Shuster Show. Recipient of the Order of Canada, 1991; former Olympic figure skating pairs champion (with partner, Norris 'Norrie' Bowden); costume designer. She outfitted the performers for the closing ceremony at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. She died in 2016.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gift of Frances Dafoe, 2006

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Includes a complete record of the career of Frances Dafoe as a costume designer for a wide variety of projects. Includes full colour drawings, photographs, slides and rough sketches for many CBC television programs(1950s-1990s), including ‘Juliette’, ‘Tommy Ambrose Show’, ‘Front Page Challenge’, ‘The Tommy Hunter Show’, ‘Brenda Lee’, ‘One of a Kind’ – with Rita Allen Greer and Kathie McNeil, ‘Holiday Ranch’, ‘Tom Jones’, ‘Stars on Ice’, ‘The Rene Simard Show’, 1980 Genie Awards, ‘I’ll Never Get to Heaven’, and ‘Back to the Beanstalk’. Most are original full colour drawings with fabric samples and notions attached, and colour photographs of the finished design in many cases. Dafoe’s costume design has been nominated for Gemini Awards many times. Dafoe designed costumes for the Closing Ceremonies of the Calgary Olympics in 1988; various theatre productions—especially for The Charlottetown Festival; various commercial designs, including for 1960s General Motors Automobile shows and Eaton’s wedding dresses; some project-related correspondence; videotapes; posters; and other material related to her life and work. Frances Dafoe’s uncle, Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe delivered the Dionne Quintuplets with telephone assistance from Dafoe’s father, Toronto physician Dr. William A. Dafoe.

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Conditions governing access

Material may be requested in person at the Fisher Library Reference Desk, or in advance using our online stack retrieval request form: https://fisher.library.utoronto.ca/stack-retrieval-request

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