A U.S. citizen from childhood, Russian-born Sonya Levien had been a lawyer, magazine editor and fiction writer before concentrating on screenwriting in the early 1920s (one of her short stories had previously been cinematized as Who Will Marry Me). Most often employed by Fox Studios in the first decade of the talkies, Levien wrote or co-wrote the scripts of several Will Rogers vehicles; her script for Rogers' 1933 State Fair not only earned her an Oscar nomination, but served as the model for the 1945 and 1962 remakes. Also at Fox, she worked extensively on the Janet Gaynor starrers, and in addition worked on the 1930 adaptation of Molnar's Liliom (intended as a Charlie Farrell-Janet Gaynor picture, but ultimately starring Farrell and Rose Hobart) and John Ford's first Technicolor offering, 1939's Drums Along the Mohawk. Her efforts at other studios included RKO's Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) and Warner Bros.' Gershwin biopic Rhapsody in Blue (1945). From 1941, Levien could usually be found at MGM; in 1955, she won her first Academy Award for the studio's Interrupted Melody. Sonya Levien's final screen credit was Pepe (1960).