Female Screenwriters

by jakebilion | created - 07 Jul 2018 | updated - 8 months ago | Public

The queens of my profession....

1. Nora Ephron

Writer | Julie & Julia

Nora Ephron was educated at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. She was an acclaimed essayist (Crazy Salad 1975), novelist (Heartburn 1983), and had written screenplays for several popular films, all featuring strong female characters, such as anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood (Silkwood (1983), ...

2. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Writer | Howards End

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was born on May 7, 1927 in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany as Ruth Prawer. She was a writer, known for Howards End (1992), A Room with a View (1985) and The Remains of the Day (1993). She was married to Cyrus Jhabvala. She died on April 3, 2013 in Manhattan, New York ...

3. Suso Cecchi D'Amico

Writer | Ladri di biciclette

Suso Cecchi D'Amico was born on July 21, 1914 in Rome, Lazio, Italy as Giovanna Cecchi. She was a writer, known for Bicycle Thieves (1948), Rocco and His Brothers (1960) and To Live in Peace (1947). She was married to Fidele d'Amico. She died on July 31, 2010 in Rome.

4. Frances Marion

Writer | The Big House

The most renowned female screenwriter of the 20th century, and one of the most respected scripters of any gender, Frances Marion was born in San Francisco. She modeled and acted and had some success as a commercial artist. She entered into journalism and served in Europe as a combat correspondent ...

5. Thea von Harbou

Writer | Metropolis

Thea von Harbou was born on December 27, 1888 in Tauperlitz, Döhlau, Bavaria, Germany as Thea Gabriele von Harbou. She was a writer and director, known for Metropolis (1927), Spies (1928) and M (1931). She was married to Fritz Lang and Rudolf Klein-Rogge. She died on July 1, 1954 in Berlin, Germany.

6. Frances Goodrich

Writer | The Thin Man

Frances Goodrich was born on December 21, 1890 in Belleville, New Jersey, USA. She was a writer, known for The Thin Man (1934), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and Easter Parade (1948). She was married to Albert Hackett, Henrik Van Loon and Robert Ames. She died on January 29, 1984 in New ...

7. Marguerite Duras

Writer | Le camion

Ms. Duras was born in southern Vietnam and lost her father at age 4. The family savings of 20 years bought the family a small plot in Cambodia, but everything was lost in a single season's flooding. The disaster killed her mother as a result. After high school in Saigon, Ms. Duras left Indochina to...

8. Anita Loos

Writer | Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

While she is now best known for her book "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," Anita Loos was one of Hollywood's foremost early screenwriters. She began writing screen scenarios for the 'Biograph Company' at an early age (though not 12, as she later claimed), and the first to be produced, The New York Hat (...

9. Leigh Brackett

Writer | Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Leigh Douglass Brackett was born in 1915 in Los Angeles. She was the author of numerous short stories and books regarding science fiction and has been referred to as the Queen of Space Opera. Hollywood director Howard Hawks was so impressed by one of her novels that he had his secretary call in "...

10. Jane Campion

Writer | The Piano

Jane Campion was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and now lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Having graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington in 1975, and a BA, with a painting major, at Sydney College of the Arts in 1979, she began filmmaking in the early...

11. Suzanne Schiffman

Writer | Le dernier métro

Suzanne Schiffman was born on September 27, 1929 in Paris, France as Suzanne Klochendler. She is known for her work on The Last Metro (1980), Day for Night (1973) and The Story of Adele H (1975). She died on June 6, 2001 in Paris.

12. Fran Walsh

Writer | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Fran Walsh was born on January 10, 1959 in Wellington, New Zealand. She is known for her work on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002). She has been married to Peter Jackson ...

14. Betty Comden

Soundtrack | On the Town

Songwriter ("New York, New York", "Lonely Town", "The Party's Over", "Just in Time"), author and actress. educated at New York University with a Bachelor of Science degree. While a student, she acted with the Washington Square Players. She was a member of the Revuers, a night club act which also ...

15. Joan Harrison

Writer | Rebecca

In 1933, she was hired to be a secretary by Alfred Hitchcock. She soon graduated to reading books and scripts, writing synopses and contributing to scripts. In 1939, she accompanied Hitchcock to Hollywood, working as his assistant and as a writer. In 1941, she was hired as a scriptwriter by MGM. In...

16. Lilly Wachowski

Writer | The Matrix

Director, writer and producer Lilly Wachowski was born in 1967 in Chicago as Andrew Wachowski, the son of Lynne, a nurse and painter and Ron, a businessman. Lilly was educated at Kellogg Elementary School in Chicago, before moving on to Whitney Young High School. After graduating from high school, ...

17. Lana Wachowski

Writer | The Matrix

Lana Wachowski and her sister Lilly Wachowski, (also known as 'The Wachowskis') are the duo behind ground-breaking movies such as The Matrix (1999) and Cloud Atlas (2012). Born to mother Lynne, a nurse, and father Ron, a businessman of Polish descent, Wachowski grew up in Chicago and formed a tight...

18. Elaine May

Actress | Small Time Crooks

Elaine May was born on April 21, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Elaine Iva Berlin. She is an actress and writer, known for Small Time Crooks (2000), A New Leaf (1971) and Primary Colors (1998). She was previously married to David L. Rubinfine, Sheldon Harnick and Marvin May.

19. Ruth Gordon

Actress | Rosemary's Baby

When Ruth Gordon convinced her father, a sea captain, to let her pursue acting she came to New York and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She acted in a few silents made at Fort Lee, New Jersey, in 1915. She made her Broadway debut in "Peter Pan" as Nibs the same year. The next 20 ...

20. Nicole Holofcener

Director | Enough Said

Nicole Holofcener was born on March 22, 1960 in New York City, New York, USA. She is a director and writer, known for Enough Said (2013), Friends with Money (2006) and Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018). She was previously married to Benjamin Allanoff.

21. Sofia Coppola

Director | Lost in Translation

Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere (2010), Lost in Translation (2003) and Marie Antoinette (2006). She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two children. She was ...

22. Carole Eastman

Writer | Five Easy Pieces

Carole Eastman was born on February 19, 1934 in Glendale, California, USA as Carole Joyce Eastman. She was a writer and actress, known for Five Easy Pieces (1970), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955) and Man Trouble (1992). She died on February 13, 2004 in Los Angeles, California.

23. Lina Wertmüller

Writer | Pasqualino Settebellezze

Lina Wertmüller was born on August 14, 1928 in Rome, Lazio, Italy as Arcangela Felice Assunta Wertmüller von Elgg Spañol von Braueich. She is a writer and director, known for Seven Beauties (1975), The Basilisks (1963) and Swept Away (1974). She was previously married to Enrico Job.

24. Melissa Mathison

Writer | E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Melissa Mathison was born on June 3, 1950 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Melissa Marie Mathison. She was a writer and producer, known for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The BFG (2016) and Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). She was married to Harrison Ford. She died on November 4, 2015 in Los ...

25. Callie Khouri

Writer | Thelma & Louise

Raised in Texas and Kentucky by her doctor father and mother. Went to Purdue University to study landscape architecture but switched to drama. Moved to Nashville after college to be with her family before heading to Los Angeles in 1982 to study at the Strasburg Institute. Worked for a commercials ...

26. Jay Presson Allen

Writer | Cabaret

Oscar-nominated screenwriter Jay Presson Allen was born Jacqueline Presson in San Angelo, Texas on March 3, 1922, the daughter of a department store manager. Educated at Miss Hockaday's School for Young Ladies in Dallas, Presson in her own words received no education at all. At the age of 18, she ...

27. Eleanor Perry

Writer | David and Lisa

Eleanor Perry was born in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA as Eleanor Irene Rosenfeld. She was a writer and producer, known for David and Lisa (1962), ABC Stage 67 (1966) and The House Without a Christmas Tree (1972). She was married to Frank Perry and Leo G. Bayer. She died on March 14, 1981 in New ...

28. June Mathis

Writer | The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

June Mathis was born June Beulah Hughes in 1887 in Leadville, Colorado. Her father died at a young age and her mother married William Mathis. She grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, which she would proudly consider her hometown for the rest of her life.

At the age of 13 she pursued a career in ...

29. Caroline Thompson

Writer | Edward Scissorhands

Caroline Thompson was born on April 23, 1956 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. She is a writer and producer, known for Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Addams Family (1991) and Corpse Bride (2005). She is married to Steve Nicolaides. She was previously married to Henry Bromell.

30. Linda Woolverton

Writer | Maleficent

Linda Woolverton was born in Long Beach, California, graduating from high school in 1969 and having been an honors student in her schools theater program. She enrolled at California State University, Long Beach, graduating with a BFA in Theater Arts in 1973. She worked full-time for a year in the ...

31. Nancy Dowd

Writer | Slap Shot

Nancy Dowd was born in 1945 in Framingham, Massachusetts, USA. She is a writer and director, known for Slap Shot (1977), Coming Home (1978) and Love (1982).

32. Fay Kanin

Writer | Friendly Fire

This screenwriter and playwright began working in Hollywood in the early 1940s, usually in collaboration with her husband, Michael Kanin, and blossomed after his retirement as a writer and producer of some of the small screen's most distinguished TV-movies. Statuesque, articulate, with the air of a ...

33. Julie Delpy

Actress | Trois couleurs: Blanc

Julie Delpy was born in Paris, France, in 1969 to Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet, both actors.

She was first featured in Jean-Luc Godard's Détective (1985) at the age of fourteen. She has starred in many American and European productions since then, including Disney's The Three Musketeers (...

34. Emma Thompson

Actress | Sense and Sensibility

Emma Thompson was born on April 15, 1959 in Paddington, London, into a family of actors - father Eric Thompson and mother Phyllida Law, who has co-starred with Thompson in several films. Her sister, Sophie Thompson, is an actor as well. Her father was English-born and her mother is Scottish-born. ...

35. Nancy Meyers

Writer | It's Complicated

Nancy Meyers was born on December 8, 1949 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Nancy Jane Meyers. She is a writer and producer, known for It's Complicated (2009), Something's Gotta Give (2003) and The Holiday (2006). She was previously married to Charles Shyer.

36. Kathryn Bigelow

Director | The Hurt Locker

A very talented painter, Kathryn spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute. At 20, she won a scholarship to the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program. She was given a studio in a former Offtrack Betting building, literally in an old bank vault, where she made art and waited to be ...

37. Greta Gerwig

Writer | Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig is an American actress, playwright, screenwriter, and director. She has collaborated with Noah Baumbach on several films, including Greenberg (2010), Frances Ha (2012), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination, and Mistress America (2015). Gerwig made her solo directorial debut ...

38. Lynne Ramsay

Director | You Were Never Really Here

Lynne Ramsay was born on December 5, 1969 in Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland. She is a director and writer, known for You Were Never Really Here (2017), We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011) and Morvern Callar (2002). She was previously married to Rory Stewart Kinnear.

39. Diablo Cody

Writer | Juno

Diablo Cody is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Minnesota to live with her Internet boyfriend, Jonny who later became her husband. While there, she decided on a whim to take up stripping as a hobby of sorts.

She was working at an ad agency and got a promotion. The job wore her ragged ...

40. Rebecca Miller

Writer | Maggie's Plan

Rebecca Miller was born on September 15, 1962 in Roxbury, Connecticut, USA as Rebecca Augusta Miller. She is an actress and writer, known for Maggie's Plan (2015), Personal Velocity (2002) and Angela (1995). She has been married to Daniel Day-Lewis since November 13, 1996. They have two children.

41. Gloria Katz

Writer | Howard the Duck

Gloria Katz was born on October 25, 1942 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Gloria Pearl Katz. She was a writer and producer, known for Howard the Duck (1986), American Graffiti (1973) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). She was married to Willard Huyck. She died on November 25, 2018 ...

42. Zoë Lund

Actress | Bad Lieutenant

Zoe Lund was born Zoe Tamerlis to a Swedish mother and Romanian father on February 9, 1962 in New York City. She was an accomplished composer/musician and devout political activist at an early age. In 1981 at age 19, Lund gave a stunning performance as Thana, a mousy, mute garment worker and rape ...

44. Doris Schroeder

Writer | The Gay Amigo

Started in 1911.

45. Isobel Lennart

Writer | Funny Girl

Isobel Lennart was born on May 18, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. She was a writer, known for Funny Girl (1968), Love Me or Leave Me (1955) and Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956). She was married to John Briard Harding. She died on January 25, 1971 in Hemet, California, USA.

46. Harriet Frank Jr.

Writer | Hud

Harriet Frank Jr. was born on March 2, 1923 in Portland, Oregon, USA as Harriet Goldstein. She was a writer and producer, known for Hud (1963), The Cowboys (1972) and Conrack (1974). She was married to Irving Ravetch. She died on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

47. Lenore J. Coffee

Writer | Four Daughters

Novelist and screenwriter, educated at Dominican College in San Rafael, California. An avid movie enthusiast in her youth, she came to films after replying to an advertising campaign launched by actress Clara Kimball Young, who was on the lookout for better scripts. Coffee won the competition and ...

48. Jane Murfin

Writer | Flapper Wives

Jane Murfin was born on October 27, 1884 in Quincy, Michigan, USA. She was a writer and producer, known for Flapper Wives (1924), What Price Hollywood? (1932) and Brawn of the North (1922). She was married to Donald Crisp, Laurence Trimble and James Murfin. She died on August 10, 1955 in Los ...

49. Virginia Kellogg

Writer | White Heat

Virginia Kellogg was born on December 3, 1907 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She was a writer, known for White Heat (1949), Caged (1950) and T-Men (1947). She was married to Albert Mortenseen, Frank Lloyd, Thomas Milton Fine and Walter Cochrane. She died on April 8, 1981 in Los Angeles.



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