Known For: Writing · Birthday: 1886-10-20 · Deathday: 1958-10-29 (72 years old) · Place of Birth: Humansville, Missouri, USA
Also Known As: Zoë Akins
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From Wikipedia Zoë Akins (October 30, 1886 – October 29, 1958) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, poet, and author. In the early 1930s, Akins became more active in film, writing several screenplays as well as licensing minor adaptations of her work—such as The Greeks Had a Word for It which was adapted twice, in 1932 (as The Greeks Had a Word for Them) and 1938 (as Three Blind Mice) – neither was a hit. Two highlights of this period are the films Sarah and Son (1930) and Morning Glory (1933), the latter film remade as Stage Struck. While both films earned their respective female leads (Ruth Chatterton and Katharine Hepburn) Academy Award nominations, neither was enough to launch Akins' career. Finally, Akins received recognition. In 1935, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her dramatization of Edith Wharton's The Old Maid, a melodrama set in New York City and written in five episodes stretching across time from 1839 to 1854. A film version of The Old Maid followed in 1939, starring Bette Davis. Akins also adapted the Alexandre Dumas novel, La dame aux camélias which was adapted into the film Camille in 1936. The film starred Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, and Lionel Barrymore, and earned Garbo her third Oscar nomination. To Akins' surprise, she was thrust into notoriety again in 1953, when Jean Negulesco directed an adaptation of The Greeks Had a Word for It. The film, titled How to Marry a Millionaire, became a box office sensation and helped launch the career of its star, Marilyn Monroe. Monroe's role in the Akins' play helped the rising star become a cultural icon, and encouraged Akins to pursue a short stint as a writer for several television variety programs.
Despite the fame afforded her, Akins didn't pursue a screenwriting career beyond her early successes. In 1932, she married Hugo Rumbold (in the last year of his life) and, after several Hollywood films, she returned to writing plays and spending time with her family. She was rumoured to be in a long-term relationship with Jobyna Howland until Howland's death in 1936. According to Anita Loos, the two squabbled often, "But such gibes actually held the key to their devotion." She was the great-aunt of actress Laurie Metcalf. She lived for a short time in Morrisonville, Illinois. Akins died in her sleep on the eve of her 72nd birthday in Los Angeles. Epitaph. She lovedShakespeare's sonnetsParis bonnets.Country walks,All-night talks,Old trees and placesChildren's facesShaw and Keats,Opera seats,Lonely prairies,Tea at Sherry's,Sunlight and air,Vanity Fair
Movies & TV shows
A small-town actress (Susan Strasberg) meets a New York producer (Henry Fonda) and playwright, and replaces their show's moody star (Joan Greenwood). This film marked Christopher Plummer's film debut...
Screen Directors Playhouse: The Day I Met Caruso
A ten-year-old girl meets famed opera singer Enrico Caruso on a train between Boston and New York. She admonishes him for his extravagant lifestyle, but she is softened up somewhat when Caruso begins ...
Lady of Secrets
Because of a very unhappy affair she had earlier in her life, a woman shuts herself off from the rest of the world.
1930s murder mystery.
The gray morning after 1847 Paris is as unforgiving as the spirited life of the year before. In gambling dens and lavish soirees, men of means exert their wills and women of means enjoy themselves. On...
A romance develops between a happily married middle-aged British politician and an adventurous young aviatrix.
Wildly optimistic chatterbox Eva Lovelace is a would-be actress trying to crash the New York stage. She attracts the interest of a paternal actor, a philandering producer, and an earnest playwright. I...
The Greeks Had a Word for Them
Sophisticated comedy: a trio of money hungry women who all have sugar daddies who keep them in the lap of luxury, even as they drive the men crazy. Each woman represents a different personality type, ...
Girls About Town
A dynamic duo in silk and ermine entertain hick businessmen looking for a good time while in Manhattan.
Two sisters from Indiana, the wide-eyed and innocent Mae, and her sister June, more streetwise, move into the Rolf House for Homeless Girls in New York. June helps Mae get a job as a stenographer for ...
Once a Lady
A young Russian woman marries a wealthy Englishman, and has a daughter with him. After she has an affair with one of his friends, she is forced to leave Britain and moves to Paris. Many years later, h...
Ladies Love Brutes
The movie stars George Bancroft, Mary Astor and Fredric March who are all excellent in their roles. The story begins as Joe Forziati (Bancroft), an Italian immigrant who has battled his way to success...
Sarah and Son
A ne'er-do-well husband, after years of abusing his wife, disappears with their son, and winds up selling him to a wealthy family. Years later, the wife, now a world-famous opera singer, finally has e...
Toda una vida
The Right to Love
A woman becomes estranged from her daughter when the girl learns that she is illegitimate.
A lawyer, left by his wife gets drunk and marries a chorus girl, or so he learns the morning after.