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Madelyn worked not only on the first few seasons of I Love Lucy but then all of Lucy’s future TV shows. She helped create all of them and was a head writer on all of those shows. She also did every physical stunt that they wrote for Lucy to do first to make sure that it was safe and that would work in the timeframe they needed. So anything you saw Lucy do, Madeline had done before with the writers watching her and taking footage and trying to figure out if it was gonna be funny, right? So she’s a pretty interesting lady. I had a friend who went to a conference — so weird — it was a conference of optometrists and they ended up at a table chatting with this lovely older woman who was there with her husband, who was an optometrist, and when they asked what she had done in her career, she said oh she did a little writing. They looked her up later. She was Madelyn Pugh. Just dabbled in some writing back in the day oh my gosh.
Dr. Rosanne Welch discusses the women in her new book “When Women Wrote Hollywood” which covers female screenwriters from the Silents through the early 1940s when women wrote over 50% of films and Frances Marion was the highest paid screenwriter (male or female) and the first to win 2 Oscars. Yet, she fails to appear in film history books, which continue to regurgitate the myth that male directors did it all – even though it’s been proven that the only profitable movies Cecil B. de Mille ever directed were all written by Jeannie Macpherson film ever won for Best Picture was written by Robert E. Sherwood (who people have heard of, mostly due to his connection to Dorothy Parker) and Joan Harrison.
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