Farewell to the Players' Guide, a 52-year-old, annual publication that featured the headshots and vital stats of New York actors.
Begun by Terese Hayden in 1944, the Players' Guide published the photographs and contact information for such then-unknown actors as Walter Matthau, Ruby Dee, Paul Newman, Kirk Douglas and James Earl Jones. The guide ballooned to a hefty annual volume, but by the early 1990's, so many actors were using videos, websites and other methods of self-promotion, the Players' Guide started to become obsolete.
Past volumes now have value for showing the beginning looks and credits of future stars, and for providing an overview of photographic and clothing styles from the 1940's to 1996, when the last volume was released. Hayden started the guide so New York actors could have the equivalent of the London Spotlight or Hollywood's Academy Players Directory. In recent years, the magazine has been run by Paul L. Ross.
Asked about his decision, Ross told Playbill On-Line that the reasons were personal and private. He did say he investigated the idea of going online with the service but eventually turned it down.
In a New York Times article about the guide's demise, casting director John Lyons was quoted as saying, "It was a real link to that kind of old time Broadway community that is disappearing." --By David Lefkowitz