C.L. Moore

Active - 1961  |   Born - Jan 24, 1911 in Indianapolis, IN  |   Died - Apr 7, 1987 in Hollywood, CA  |  

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C.L. Moore was unique as a successful woman author of science fiction during the 1940s and '50s. Her contributions to the screen, like many of her printed works, were usually the result of collaboration with her husband, Henry Kuttner. Working separately and together, the two wrote under a multitude of pseudonyms, of which those most relevant to movies and television were Lewis Padgett and Lawrence O'Donnell. Born in Indianapolis, IN, Catherine Lucille Moore grew up with a special love of Celtic legends and was writing fantasy and science fiction in her twenties. She crossed paths, personally and professionally, with Kuttner during the mid-'30s and the two began writing together in a series of collaborations that eventually led to their marriage in 1940. Kuttner and Moore's work together from the early '40s was usually published either under his name alone (he commanded higher fees) or credited to Lewis Padgett and Lawrence O'Donnell -- the latter name was used on stories that were largely (if not exclusively) Moore's work, although it is often difficult to sort out the actual authorship of the couple's output. As Lewis Padgett, they wrote The Twonky and What You Need, which became, respectively, a feature film and an installment of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone. As Lawrence O'Donnell, they were responsible for Vintage Season (1946), which became the basis for the 1992 made-for-TV feature Grand Tour: Disaster in Time.

Living in the northeast, the two were phenomenally prolific throughout the first half of the '40s, and relocated to California at the end of the decade due to Kuttner's chronic heart condition and declining health. They wrote mysteries and radio and television scripts during the '50s, and Moore abandoned science fiction entirely following Kuttner's death in early 1958. She was subsequently hired by Warner Bros. for its television division and wrote scenarios and screenplays for such series as Maverick, 77 Sunset Strip, and The Alaskans. Moore remarried in 1963 and lived long enough to find her name and her science fiction writing back in the forefront of the field, as a new generation of readers -- informed by the feminist sensibilities of the 1970s and '80s -- rediscovered her. The writer's work was sought out and reprinted during this period, and she found herself in demand for more stories, interviews, and articles. By 1981, the year in which she received both the Gandalf and World Fantasy awards, Moore had become an icon in the field of science fiction. Although she died in 1987, her work, both on her own and in collaboration with Kuttner, continued to attract the interest of producers and directors.