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Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (6) | Personal Quotes (7) | Salary (5)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 26 April 1888Mount Shasta, Sissons, California, USA
Date of Death 18 August 1981New York City, New York, USA
Nicknames Buggie
Nita
Height 4' 11" (1.5 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Camille Scaysbrook

Spouse (2)

John Emerson (15 June 1919 - 7 March 1956) (his death)
Frank Pallma Jr. (1915 - 1919) (divorced)

Trivia (6)

Her brother founded the Blue Cross health insurance company.
Was notoriously sketchy on the topic of her age, famously claiming that she began working as a Hollywood writer at the age of 12. She was at least twice this age.
Aunt of Mary Loos.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives." Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 511-512. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
Started as a writer for the American Mutoscope & Biograph Co. her first full film screenplay was The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912) starring Lillian Gish.
Interviewed in "Talking to the Piano Player: Silent Film Stars, Writers and Directors Remember" by Stuart Oderman (BearManor Media).

Personal Quotes (7)

[commenting on the young deaths of many of the Mack Sennett bathing beauties, in "A Girl Like I"] ...beauty combined with lack of brains is extremely deleterious to the health.
[From her 1977 book "Cast of Thousands"[ I can never take for granted the euphoria produced by a cup of coffee. I'm grateful every day that it isn't banned as a drug, that I don't have to buy it from a pusher, that its cost is minimal and there's no need to increase the intake. I can count on its stimulation 365 mornings every year. And thanks to the magic in a cup of coffee, I'm able to plunge into a whole day's cheerful thinking.
It's true that the French have a certain obsession with sex, but it's a particularly adult obsession. France is the thriftiest of all nations; to a Frenchman, sex provides the most economical way to have fun. The French are a logical race.
Memory is more indelible than ink.
[My brother] Clifford would painstakingly correct anyone who mispronounced our name. I never cared what people called me. So I became Miss "Loose," while my brother was always Dr. "Lohse."
[on Hollywood in the 1920s] To place in the limelight a great number of people who ordinarily would be chambermaids and chauffeurs, and give them unlimited power and wealth, is bound to produce lively results.
I'm furious about the women's liberationists. They keep getting up on soapboxes and proclaiming that women are brighter than men. That's true, but it should be kept very quiet or it ruins the whole racket.

Salary (5)

The New York Hat (1912) $25
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1928) $115,000
Red-Headed Woman (1932) $1,000 /week
Hold Your Man (1933) $1,000 /week
Riffraff (1936) $1,000 /week

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