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The Dean Dittman Collection contains playbills, newspaper clippings, photographs, scrapbooks relating to the performing career of Gus Dean Dittmann, donated by Mr. Dittmann’s niece, Diane Vaught.
Gus Dean Dittmann was born in Frontenac, Kansas and had a successful career as an actor on the stage, movies, radio, and television, performing as Dean Dittman (sometimes listed as Dean Dittmann). He was born in 1931 and attended the public schools in Frontenac and in the early 1950s, the Kansas Teachers College of Pittsburg, today’s Pittsburg State University. In 1953 he won the Lauritz Melchior Award which led to his studying at the Sorbonne in France, and with the Paris Opera. This resulted in a successful career as an actor and singer, first in Kansas City, Missouri then on to Broadway. He performed before Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. His several-decades long career included Broadway and touring productions of The Music Man, Annie, Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, Hello Dolly, L’il Abner, On the Twentieth Century, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He appeared onstage with such actors as Forrest Tucker, Madeline Kahn, Imogene Coca, and Martha Raye. He won the coveted Obie Award in 1968 for an off-Broadway production, The Cradle Will Rock. He also appeared in movies and television shows such as Bachelor Party, Designing Woman, Who’s the Boss, Cheers, Dukes of Hazzard, and T. J. Hooker. Dittmann lived in Los Angeles and in his free time he enjoyed gardening and gourmet cooking and entertaining. He died of heart failure in Los Angeles in 1989.
Performing Arts, Social Life and Customs
Arts and Humanities
Size of Collection
1 linear foot
Dates of Collection
SpC MS 0411
Special Collections, Leonard H. Axe Library, "Dittman, Dean, Collection, 1954-1993" (2023). Finding Aids. 442.