Anita Loos

Birth name:
Date of Birth:
18 August 1888 Mount Shasta, Sissons, California, USA
Height:
4' 11" (1.50 m)
While she is now best known for her book "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," Anita Loos was one of Hollywood's foremost early screenwriters. She began writing screen scenarios for the 'Biograph Company' at an early age (though not 12, as she later claimed), and the first to be produced, The New York Hat (1912), was not only directed by the legendary D.W. Griffith but starred another of Hollywood's future heavyweights: Mary Pickford. After working for some years with Griffith (including writing the surtitles for his epic Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916), she began to work for Douglas Fairbanks, whom she had championed in his early days in Hollywood.Her husband and collaborator John Emerson convinced her to quit screenwriting for the sake of his own pride -- nevertheless, fate intervened in the form of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," an unassuming book she had compiled from a series of magazine stories she had based on the predilection of then-famous intellectual H.L. Mencken to be dazzled by gold-digging ditzes. The book was a surprise smash all over the world, later spawning a sequel ("But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes"), which became a not particularly successful silent movie but later a hugely successful film starring Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell, and a hit Broadway musical.This success, and the on-again, off-again nature of her marriage to Emerson allowed her to re-enter the film industry, where she worked on such classics as San Francisco (1936), The Women (1939), and Jean Harlow's Red-Headed Woman (1932). In her later years, she also wrote several pieces for the theater, eventually regaining fame via a number of movie memoirs, including "A Girl Like I" and "Kiss Hollywood Goodbye." These are today as well known for their colorful treatment of the truth as for their witty observations on the early days of Hollywood.
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