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
Anita Loos (April 26, 1889 – August 18, 1981) was an American screenwriter, playwright and author, best known for her blockbuster comic novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She wrote film scripts from 1912, and became arguably the first-ever staff scriptwriter, when D.W. Griffith put her on the payroll at Triangle Film Corporation. She went on to write many of the Douglas Fairbanks films, as well as the stage adaptation of Colette’s Gigi.
Loos would continue writing, always a constant magazine contributor and appearing regularly in Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Biographer Gary Carey notes: “She was a born storyteller and was always in peak form when reshaping a real-life encounter to make an amusing anecdote.” Loos began a volume of memoirs, A Girl Like I, which would be published in September 1966. Her 1972 book, Twice Over Lightly: New York Then and Now, was written in collaboration with friend and actress Helen Hayes. Kiss Hollywood Good-by (1974) was another Hollywood memoir, this time about the MGM years and would be very successful. Her book The Talmadge Girls (1978) is about the actress sisters Constance Talmadge and Norma Talmadge.
Loos would become a virtual New York institution, an assiduous partygoer and diner-out, conspicuous at fashion shows, theatrical and movie events, balls and galas. A celebrity anecdotalist, she was also never one to let facts spoil a good story: — Wikipedia
More about Anita Loos
- Read more about this screenwriter in When Women Wrote Hollywood
- Like When Women Wrote Hollywood on Facebook
- Anita Loos on Wikipedia
- Anita Loos on IMDB
- Anita Loos at the Women Film Pioneers Project
- Anita Loos at Virtual History
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