When Women Wrote Hollywood – 4 in a series – Jeanie MacPherson

To highlight the wonderful yet largely forgotten work of a collection of female screenwriters from the early years of Hollywood (and as a companion to the book, When Women Wrote Hollywood) we will be posting quick bits about the many films they wrote along with links to further information and clips from their works which are still accessible online. Take a few moments once or twice a week to become familiar with their names and their stories. I think you’ll be surprised at how much bold material these writers tackled at the birth of this new medium. — Rosanne Welch


When Women Wrote Hollywood – 4 in a series – Jeanie MacPherson

When Women Wrote Hollywood - 4 in a series - Jeanie MacPherson

Jeanie MacPherson (May 18, 1886[1] – August 26, 1946) was an American actress, writer, and director from 1908 until the late 1940s. She was a pioneer for women in the film industry. She worked with some of the best filmmakers of the time period including D. W. Griffith and Cecil B. DeMille. While she started in the theater, and then had a brief stint as an actress, she ultimately dedicated her life’s work to screenwriting for DeMille.[2] She was appraised for her new level resourcefulness and attentiveness to the needs of DeMille.[3]

DeMille and MacPherson formed what became one of the most influential and long-lasting partnerships in the industry.[3] She was infatuated with his perfection and force of will, while he was captivated by her high spirited courage. She penned 30 of DeMille’s next 34 films. They admired each other; he would provide the crowd shots and epic sense, while she would humanize the heroine. They both loathed weakness, which they defined as a man being degraded and women, who were shallow and money-hungry, looking for a man to take care of them. They both believed in the power of people to change their ways, which many of their scripts showed.[3] Wikipedia

Picture-Play Magazine, March 1923

More about Jeanie MacPherson

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† Available from the LA Public Library

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