Writing Women’s Film History: Ursula Parrott in Hollywood

Professor Marsha Gordon, North Carolina State University

Once the best-known ex-wife in America, Ursula Parrott (1899-1957) was a best-selling author, Hollywood screenwriter, and headline-grabber from the 1920s through the 1940s, during which time she published twenty books and over one-hundred stories, serials, and nonfiction articles. She was Radcliffe-educated; had four optimistic walks down the aisle (and back); piloted for the Civilian Air Corps during World War II; co-founded a weekly rural Connecticut newspaper; and travelled the world. Although she has been written out of literary and film history, Parrott worked as a high profile screenwriter in New York and Hollywood and her words gave Norma Shearer her only Academy Award and launched Jimmy Stewart’s career as a lead actor. Professor Gordon Gordon will discuss how she discovered Parrott and the challenges she faced conducting research about her while writing Becoming the Ex-Wife: The Unconventional Life & Forgotten Writings of Ursula Parrott (University of California Press, 2023), including the decision to write the book for a general readership and a detour into a Women Film Pioneer’s Project article about her older half sister, Madge Tyrone, that Professor Gordon published along the way.

Talk is followed by screening of The Divorcee
B122 Wells Hall, 7pm



Nov 9, 2023


4:00 pm - 6:00 pm




International Center
Room 305

Location 2