When Women Wrote Hollywood – 22 in a series – Gene Gauntier

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 – 22 in a series – Gene Gauntier

When Women Wrote Hollywood - 22 in a series - Gene Gauntier

 Gene Gauntier (May 17, 1885 – December 18, 1966) was an American screenwriter and actress who was one of the pioneers of the motion picture industry. A writer, director and actress in films from mid 1906 to 1920, she wrote screenplays for 31 films. She performed in 28 films and is credited as the director of The Grandmother (1909).

In 1912, Gene Gauntier married actor Jack J. Clark. They were divorced in 1918, and after writing forty-two screenplays and performing in eighty-seven films, in 1920 at age thirty-five, Gauntier walked away from the business. She had a brother, Richard Gauntier Liggett and a sister, Marguerite Gauntier Liggett. Marguerite married wealthy Swedish industrialist Axel Wenner-Gren in 1909.

The tomb of Gene Gauntier at Häringe Slot, Sweden
Gauntier had sailed to Europe frequently where her sister Marguerite was an opera singer who had trained and worked in Germany, and found herself stranded there when World War I broke out. After leaving filmmaking, she returned to live in Europe where she remained for a number of years while writing her autobiography, Blazing the Trail. The work was serialized in 1928–29 in the American magazine, Woman’s Home Companion, and the manuscript is on display in the Film Library of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Gauntier also penned two novels, Cabbages and Harlequins in 1929 and Sporting Lady in 1933.


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