Elizabeth Meehan

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Elizabeth Meehan
Elizabeth Meehan, from a 1928 publication.
Born22 August 1894
Died24 April 1967 (1967-04-25) (aged 72)
Other namesBetty Meehan, Betty Williams, Elizabeth Meehan Williams
Occupation Screenwriter

Elizabeth Meehan (22 August 1894 – 24 April 1967), also billed as Betty Meehan, was a British screenwriter who worked in both Britain and Hollywood.


Early life

Meehan was born on the Isle of Wight, and lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [1] [2]


As a young woman, Betty Meehan was a model, a professional swimmer, [2] and a chorus girl with the Ziegfeld Follies, in the same sextet of dancers as Billie Dove and Alta King. "Oh yes, I know that chorines have the reputation of being beautiful but dumb," she explained in a 1928 interview, "And, perhaps, some of them are. But you'd be surprised at the girls you'll find in the choruses." [3]

Meehan credited James M. Barrie with helping her transition into screenwriting. [4] During the late 1930s Meehan was employed by the studio head Walter C. Mycroft to work for British International Pictures. [5] Meehan frequently collaborated with the Irish director Herbert Brenon.

Later in her career, Meehan worked in television, writing episodes of Lux Video Theatre, Fireside Theatre , and Mama.

Personal life

Meehan had a daughter, Frances Meehan Williams (1930-2006), [6] who became an actress and later a psychotherapist. [7] [8] Elizabeth Meehan died in 1967, in New York, aged 72 years. [9] Her daughter donated some of her original scripts and screenplays to the Special Collections library at UCLA. [10]

Selected filmography

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  1. "Letters to 'Ye Ed'". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 6 October 1935. p. 58. Retrieved 24 August 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  2. 1 2 Jordan, Anne (8 January 1929). "Another Chorus Girl Makes Good". The Daily News. p. 2. Retrieved 24 August 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  3. Cohn, Gene (14 December 1928). "Extra-Girl Writes Way to Fame". Bismarck Tribune. p. 29. Retrieved 23 August 2019 via NewspaperArchive.
  4. "From Chorus Girl to Script Writer". Star-Phoenix. 14 January 1937. p. 8. Retrieved 24 August 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  5. Harper, Sue. Women in British Cinema: Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know . Continuum International, 2000. p. 184.
  6. "Storybook Folk at Party". The Los Angeles Times. 21 July 1935. p. 51. Retrieved 24 August 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  7. "Starlets, Screenwriter Here For Movie Observance". LNP Always Lancaster. 9 October 1951. p. 24. Retrieved 24 August 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  8. "Frances Meehan". The Los Angeles Times. 1 September 2006. p. 140. Retrieved 24 August 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  9. "Elizabeth Meehan". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 27 April 1967. p. 27. Retrieved 24 August 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  10. "Finding Aid for the Elizabeth Meehan Papers, 1930-1955". UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Retrieved 24 August 2019.