June Mathis

Active - 1916 - 1927  |   Born - Jan 1, 1892   |   Died - Jan 1, 1927   |   Genres - Drama, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

June Mathis came from a theatrical family; big-boned and plain-looking, she realized early on that her acting roles would be limited in scope, so she turned to writing. June joined Metro's scriptwriting staff in 1918, where her superior talents enabled her to gain in influence and prestige with each passing year. It was June who recognized the potential in Rudolph Valentino, encouraging Metro to cast the young actor in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1922). When Metro lost Valentino to Paramount, Ms. Mathis made sure the higher-ups never forgot their carelessness; thereafter her word was virtually law at the studio. A woman of considerable accomplishments, June is generally condemned by come-lately film buffs for her "butchery" of Erich Von Stroheim's Greed; she is the "culprit" who pared down Stroheim's 8-hour epic to a more manageable 10 reels -- and perhaps as a result, the "unsaleable" film actually posted a profit. June Mathis' influence at MGM (formerly Metro) came to an end when she was discharged along with several other studio personnel during the expensive Ben-Hur debacle. After losing her MGM job, June Mathis was signed as principal screenwriter by film star Colleen Moore, a position June held until her sudden death in 1927.

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