Tag Archives: Duke Ellington

Five Facts About Richard Dorso

The preview + exhibition has officially opened!

Eager previewers have been asking questions about the collection, but they have also been curious about Richard Dorso. Here are five facts about Richard Dorso:

1. Richard Dorso was an agent at William Morris in the 30s and went on to be executive producer on shows such as, “The Fugitive”, “Outer Limits”, “Gilligan’s Island”, “The Patty Duke Show”, “Sea Hunt” and “The Doris Day Show”.

2. Richard Dorso lived in the Empire West apartment building (1100 Alta Loma, West Hollywood, CA) from 1966 until he passed away this year at the age of 101.

3.  In 1969, Richard, who was voted by Esquire one of the top ten best dressed men, more than once,  and his wife Betty Dorso, editor of Glamour Magazine and Model of the Year in 1936, opened a clothing store on Camden Drive – Dorso.  Their store, which looked like their apartment, was a source for exceptional clothing and objets, and allowed Richard to blend his love of fashion and art together. The store allowed Richard the ability to converse with everyone who came in – he loved talking to interesting people, some say he even made it a profession.  Hi friends still talk about the famous “Dorso jacket” -  a blazer made of a special kind of wooly material that had red grosgrain ribbons under the buttons of the sleeves on the jacket, a special Dorso touch.

4. In the late 1930s, when Richard was living in San Francisco, he became the agent to Duke Ellington.  During this time there was a potential for a music strike, and because of this Richard encouraged Duke Ellington to go to the studio and put down some sides, so they would have an income stream if everything fell apart. One night, after Duke Ellington played a gig with his band, they all, including Richard, went back to the studio to record more music.  It was this night in San Francisco, Duke Ellington recorded the famous jazz anthem, Take the “A” Train, and Richard was witness to it all.

5.   Richard Dorso was friends with Billy Wilder and Norman Lear, and would take them around to galleries to browse the art. According to Norman Lear, Richard was “friend to every Lew Wasserman, Jim Aubrey and Billy Wilder in town, sartorial tutor to Cary Grant and every Cary Grant wanna-be.”

All the lots that will be auctioned off on October 9, 2011 are now available online, click here for the online catalogue.  Check out The Collection of Richard Dorso on CURBED LA. 

To see all of the pieces from The Collection of Richard Dorso, come to the LAMA Showroom: 16145 Hart St. Van Nuys, CA 91406. Open everyday, free and open to the public: 10am – 6pm