The Passing of Doris Waller
This article first appeared in
The 70mm Newsletter
Keith Swadkins. Reprinted from Cinerama Society Newsletter no 16 by
Issue 47 - December 1996
Waller and John Harvey in January 1993. Doris was Guest of Honor at the 10th
birthday celebrations of the National Museum of Photography, Film and
It is with great sadness that I must report
the passing, on August 10th 1996, of Mrs Doris Waller, widow of
Those of us who came to know Doris in recent years will remember her as a
frail lady with an active mind a bubbling personality which belied her 89
During the late 20s, Doris had been a script girl at Paramounts Astoria
Studios, New York, when she first met Fred Waller. Fred was then a special
effects cameraman and needed a technical secretary for a project he was
working on. Doris had the necessary qualifications and stepped in to type up
Fred's notes. However, fate decreed their paths would separate and it was
not until 1942 that they married.
Together with Doris son from an earlier marriage, John P Caron, they made
their home in Huntington, Long Island, Fred setting up a workshop in the
adjacent barn where he developed many of his inventions including the
embryonic Cinerama. Joined by his stepson, the development and promotion of
Cinerama later moved to an indoor tennis court on a private estate in nearby
Further in 70mm reading:
This is Oyster Bay
in70mm.com's Cinerama page
Waller with John Harvey and Willem Bouwmeester in her home in Huntington,
Long Island, USA.
After Fred's death in 1954, Doris remained in their Huntington house which
is where Brenda and I were privileged to first meet her during the fall of
1992. Although by then in her mid 80s and a little frail, Doris made us feel
part of the family and entranced us with her memories of Fred and the
Cinerama days. By the end of the day, we had all become life-long friends.
In January 1993, Doris was able to travel to Bradford as Guest of Honor at
the 10th birthday celebrations of the National Museum of Photography, Film
and Television, opening the
Pictureville Cinerama installation and attending the re-opening of
Cinerama". I remember her sheer
delight that Fred's Cinerama had been restored for new generations to enjoy.
With the passing of Doris Waller, we have all lost a major link with the
magical great days of Cinerama which affected so many of our lives for ever.
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