AFI Fest: Ida Lupino, the Sole Woman Director in Hollywood in the 1950s

AFI Fest: Ida Lupino, the Sole Woman Director in Hollywood in the 1950s
Ida Lupino was the first woman to direct a classic noir film. In fact, she was the only woman working within the 1950s Hollywood studio system to direct a feature and she directed seven features and more than 100 TV episodes. She was the only woman to direct episodes of the original “The Twilight Zone” series, as well as the only director to have starred in the show.

She was born in London on Feb. 4, 1918, during a German zeppelin bombing. Her father’s forbears were traveling players and puppeteers in Renaissance Italy. Later generations migrated to England in the 17th century. Her father, Stanley Lupino, was a noted comedian, and her mother, Connie Emerald, was an actress who was also descended from a theatrical family. A cousin, Lupino Lane, was an internationally popular song-and-dance man.

As a child, she improvised and acted scenes with her younger sister, Rita, in a small
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