Dorothy Parker

Active - 1936 - 1949  |   Born - Aug 22, 1893   |   Died - Jun 7, 1967   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance

Share on

Biography by Andrea LeVasseur

Satirical writer, essayist, and critic, Dorothy Rothschild Parker is well-known for her unmatched wit and conversational skills. As a book reviewer, she can be quoted with such gems as "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." At the age of 24, she became a staff writer for Vanity Fair as a drama critic, then made regular contributions to Ainslees, Life, and The New Yorker. While her husband, Edwin Parker, was stationed overseas, she met with other writers for drinking and socializing at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, a group which came to be known as the Algonquin Round Table. During this time she worked as a freelance writer, drank heavily, and made several suicide attempts. In 1933 she moved to California and wrote screenplays with her second husband, Alan Campbell. Mostly standard Hollywood formula scripts for Paramount and MGM, Parker found the work unrewarding but the compensation plentiful. She helped organize the Screenwriter's Guild and was nominated for an Academy award in 1937 for A Star Is Born, which was remade in 1954 with Judy Garland. She also penned the adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play The Little Foxes, filmed in 1941 with Bette Davis. She received another Oscar nomination in 1948 for Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman, starring Susan Hayward. In 1949, she and many of her fellow writers were blacklisted in Hollywood and made to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Unable to work in California, she moved back to the East Coast and wrote for Esquire until her death in 1967.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography