Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

Dorothy Farnum

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Occupation  Screenwriter Actress
Books  Jew Suss
Role  Screenwriter

Name  Dorothy Farnum
Years active  1913 - 1934
Ex-spouse  Maurice Barber
Dorothy Farnum Dorothy Farnum Women Film Pioneers Project

Born  10 June 1900New York City United States
Died  January 27, 1970, North Andover, Massachusetts, United States
Movies  The Temptress, The Pagan, Redemption, Call of the Flesh, The Iron Trail
Similar People  Fred Niblo, Harry Beaumont, Irving Thalberg, Louis B Mayer, Lionel Barry

Dorothy Farnum (10 June 1900 – 27 January 1970) was an American screenwriter noted for her work at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer during the Silent era and later in Britain during the 1930s. She was five feet and four inches tall and was an intelligent and beautiful actress who wanted to become a writer. Dorothy married Maurice Barber, the general manager of the Cinema Finance Company in 1923.

Dorothy Farnum Dorothy Farnum Wikipedia


Dorothy was educated in a convent boarding school, she mastered French history and literature and became fluent in Spanish and German. Dorothy was famous for writing plays and novels and then turning them into screenplays. Her most popular screenplays were The Temptress (1926), Sinner or Saint (1923), and Bardelys the Magnificent (1926). Farnum's film Beau Brummel (1924) was very successful, too. Most of her films were romance/ drama. When asked about her writing process, she remarked to the Los Angeles Times in 1926: “You must think with your heart and feel with your head. When I write my scenes I try hard to progress not from one thought to another, but from one feeling to another. For the majority of people want to have their hearts excited and their minds let alone when they come into the world of low lights and soft music of a motion-picture theater."

Dorothy was a member of the Warner Brothers scenario department during this time, a large portion of her work focused solely on scenario adaptions. Dorothy worked with many famous, leading stars and was one of the top writers at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. She then moved to Paris and then London, working for Gaumont British. Throughout her career, Warner Brothers, MGM, United Artists, and Gaumont British, it was reported in 1927, at the height of her profession, by the Washington Post that Farnum’s earnings was at $2,500 a week for her services as scenarist. After her silent era success, Dorothy died on January 27, 1970 in North Andover, Massachusetts, USA.


Dorothy Farnum Wikipedia