Julia Crawford Ivers

Active - 1915 - 1924  |   Born - Oct 3, 1869   |   Died - May 7, 1930   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Adventure, Comedy

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Biography by Hans J. Wollstein

A mystery woman who left no photographs of her likeness nor any published interviews, American screenwriter Julia Crawford Ivers entered film in the 1910s via her second husband Oliver Ivers, a partner of film producer Frank Garbutt. She began writing scenarios for Garbutt's Pallas Pictures (later to be merged into Paramount) where she met director William Desmond Taylor, to whose fate the name Julia Crawford Ivers will forever be connected. She was reported to have been in love with him but that is pure conjecture. They certainly did share a passion for filmmaking, however, and Taylor applauded her success as a director in her own right. Crawford Ivers' best-remembered films as a director are perhaps Call of the Cumberlands (1916) starring the husband-and-wife team of Dustin Farnum and Winifred Kingston and The Heart of Paul (1916), an early vehicle for Lenore Ulric. During the investigation into William Desmond Taylor's 1922 murder, Julia Crawford Ivers became known as "the lady in blue," and was at one point named as a suspect in the slaying by a scurrilous newspaper reporter. Presumably, she had been jealous of Taylor's attentions to actresses such as Mary Miles Minter, Mabel Normand, and Claire Windsor. Never testifying in the case, Crawford Ivers was also widely rumored to have fled Hollywood after the murder. In reality, she directed her final film The White Flower later in 1922 and continued to write screenplays until the transition to sound. Julia Crawford Ivers' son from an earlier marriage was the well-known cameraman James Van Trees, one of the founders and later a president of the American Society of Cinematographers.