A Woman to Know: Anita Loos

Fate keeps happening. — Anita

(image by the Anita Loos Estate)

Throughout the silent film era and the early 1920s, filmmakers lauded Anita as the best screenwriter in the business. Triangle Film hired her as Hollywood's first female scriptwriter, but much of her work went uncredited. She worked with Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and more to build a sterling Hollywood reputation as a production jack-of-all-trades ("I've always loved high style in low company," she wrote in her memoir).

But in 1925, her husband and collaborator, John Emerson, forced Anita to quit her job — his own screenwriting pride couldn't abide two Hollywood heavyweights in one marriage. As her husband continued working in movies, claiming he needed a couple nights a week "off" from their marriage, Anita compiled a secret novel: "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," the book that became blockbuster smash.

That one book spawned a sequel, and then a movie deal (with Marilyn Monroe!), and then even more screenwriting gigs, and before you knew it, Anita was back in the game — her husband's pride be damned.

This next time, when she wrote the screen adaptation for Macbeth, she had a contract stipulation: her name came in the credits, right after Shakespeare's.

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**I featured Anita in a previous edition of this newsletter but wayyyy more of you have requested her since so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ **
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