Leslie Stevens Goes to Hollywood

Daystar Productions, Kate Manx and the Making of Private Property


In stock

About the Book

The ongoing popularity of Leslie Stevens’ 1960s television masterwork The Outer Limits, as well as later series creations Battlestar Galactica and Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, has kept his name familiar to television fans. Surprisingly, very little writing exists on his earlier Broadway contributions or his seminal film and television production company, Daystar Productions. Stevens’ personal life also remains relatively unknown. This biography focuses on the origins of Daystar Productions as well as Stevens’ first years in Hollywood when he was married to actress Kate Manx. After meeting Manx in 1957, Stevens took her with him to Los Angeles and refashioned her into a dramatic film actress who would soon star in his startling, New Wave–style debut film, Private Property. That film, which Stevens made for just $40,000, would go on to gross several million dollars and open the doors to Hollywood for Manx and co-star Warren Oates. While Oates prospered, Manx was unable to sustain her brief success and her life soon spiraled out of control as Stevens’ career turned increasingly toward television.

About the Author(s)

Dore Page worked for years in publishing as a typographer and researcher, and is the author of several articles on the first modern era of independent Hollywood filmmaking (circa 1947 through 1964).

Bibliographic Details

Dore Page
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 242
Bibliographic Info: 28 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7748-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4022-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
Act 1—Live from New York
1. Setting Sail 7
2. Bullfight 17
3. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back 28
4. Broadway Looking West 36
5. Depression Child 44
6. Katie and the Millionaire 55
Act 2—A Change in Plans
7. Hollywood Killed the Video Star 69
8. Daystar Rising 78
9. Playhouse 90 89
10. The Pink Jungle 97
11. The Home Movie Caper 104
12. Private Property Goes Public 112
13. Making Waves 120
Act 3—Race with the Devil
14. Bucking the Trend 135
15. Lost in the Hollywood Hills 147
16. Implosion 157
17. Incubus 168
18. Aftermath 177
Photo Gallery  186
Epilogue 201
Chapter Notes 211
Selected Bibliography 225
Index 227

Book Reviews & Awards

“Beautiful, gorgeous stuff here. A wonderful disentanglement of Leslie Stevens’ early years in Hollywood; outlining what is essentially a wistfully sad story about power grabs and over reaching ambitions. Page’s writing is illuminating and exciting. Job well done.”—David J. Schow, screenwriter, film historian, author of The Outer Limits Companion