Josephine Lovett

Last updated

Josephine Lovett
Josephine Lovett 001.jpg
Born(1877-10-21)21 October 1877
Died17 September 1958(1958-09-17) (aged 80)
OccupationScenario writer, adapter, screenwriter, and actress
Years active1916–1935

Josephine Lovett (October 21, 1877 September 17, 1958) was an American scenario writer, adapter, screenwriter and actress, active in films from 1916 to 1935. She was married to Canadian-born director, John Stewart Robertson. She is best known for her then-risqué film Our Dancing Daughters in 1928. Her screenplays typically included a heroine who was oftentimes economically and sexually independent.


Early years

Josephine, also known as Mrs. John Stewart Robertson, was born October 21, 1877 in San Francisco, California. Although she later returned to California, she temporarily moved to New York, New York, where she started her career as a successful stage actress at Haverly's 14th Street Theatre, on Sixth Avenue. Her husband also worked as a stage actor briefly at Haverly's 14th Street in 1903. [1] Lovett worked as a stage actress from 1899-1906 and made a motion picture appearance as an actress in 1916. She played the character of “Rachel Blake” in the 1916 drama entitled The Ninety and Nine, directed by Ralph Ince at the Vitagraph Company. Lovett and her husband worked on numerous films together at Vitagraph, which was later bought by Warner Brothers in 1925. The Vitagraph films were not the only films they collaborated on. Eighteen of Lovett's thirty-three film-acknowledgements (screenplay, adaption, scenario and actress) between 1916-1935 were directed by her husband, John. She was a major contributor to John's success as she oftentimes assisted with his films' scene visualization. [2]


Prior to her involvement in the film industry, Lovett was a Broadway actress appearing in various plays from 1899 to 1915. One popular play was 1901's Tom Moore starring Andrew Mack. Josephine was one of the most prominent female writers of her time. [3] She was known for her ability to capture female audiences while simultaneously appeasing censors. By doing so, she along with the other female screenwriters of her generation, helped elaborate the modernization of American mentality from Victorianism to the flapper. [4] Her screenplays and scenarios consisted of sexually suggestive material, just skirting censors. She is best known for her 1930 Academy Award-nominated film Our Dancing Daughters , produced by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Company and novelized by Winifred Van Duzer. The 1928 drama was famous actress Joan Crawford's breakthrough role, where she played Diana Medford, also known as “Dangerous Diana”, a young rebellious woman representing Lovett's typical risqué content and visuals. The film's plot surrounds the flamboyant and wild lifestyle of best friends Diana and Ann, who are in love with the same man. Critics and reviews mentioned the viewing of exposed “undies and much stocking”, [5] and complained that “cocktails, flasks and mad dancing appear in quite a number of episodes [and] it is quite unnecessary to depict an intoxicated girl, as is done for a considerable length of this film”. [6] Despite these notions, the film earned Lovett a nomination in writing achievement at the Academy Awards in 1930. The film's success can also be attributed to the producers' attempts at adding sound effects and a music track, an extraordinary feature prior to the “Talkies” in the 1930s.

Later years

Lovett and her husband collaborated for her final film, Captain Hurricane , in 1935. The RKO Radio Pictures-produced film was based on the life of a fisherman living in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Robertson ended his directing career later that same year with the film Our Little Girl , starring the famous Shirley Temple. Lovett and her husband retired to Rancho Santa Fe, California, where she assisted Robertson with the establishment of the Rancho Riding Club in 1945. [7] Thirteen years later, Lovett died at the age of eighty in Rancho Santa Fe, on September 17, 1958, six years before her beloved husband's death in 1964. The couple are buried at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Ontario, Canada. [8]


Related Research Articles

Florence Turner American actress

Florence Turner was an American actress who became known as the "Vitagraph Girl" in early silent films.

<i>Our Dancing Daughters</i> 1928 film

Our Dancing Daughters is a 1928 American silent drama film starring Joan Crawford and John Mack Brown about the "loosening of youth morals" that took place during the 1920s. The film was directed by Harry Beaumont and produced by Hunt Stromberg. This was the film that made Joan Crawford a major star, a position she held for the following half century.

Clara Kimball Young American actress and film producer

Clara Kimball Young was an American film actress, who was highly regarded and publicly popular in the early silent film era.

Jules Furthman

Jules Furthman was an American magazine and newspaper writer before working as a screenwriter.

Lois Wilson (actress) American actress

Lois Wilson was an American actress who worked during the silent film era. She also directed two short films and was a scenario writer.

Marion Fairfax

Marion Fairfax was an American screenwriter, playwright, actress, and producer.

Eulalie Jensen American actress

Eulalie Jensen was an American actress on the New York stage and in silent films.

Ouida Bergère

Ouida Bergère was an American screenwriter and actress.

John S. Robertson Canadian-born actor and film director (1878-1963)

John Stuart Robertson was a Canadian born actor and later film director perhaps best known for his 1920 screen adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, starring John Barrymore.

Doris Kenyon American actress

Doris Margaret Kenyon was an American actress of motion pictures and television.

Lenore Coffee American screenwriter, playwright, novelist

Lenore Jackson Coffee was an American screenwriter, playwright, and novelist.

Mary Murillo English actress and screenwriter

Mary Murillo was an English actress, screenwriter, and businesswoman active during Hollywood's silent era.

Bradley King

Bradley King was the pen name of Josephine McLaughlin. She was a successful screenwriter who wrote 56 scripts for films between 1920 and 1947. All but one of her 40 silent films are lost, but most of her 20 or so sound films still exist.

Dorothy Yost American screenwriter

Dorothy Yost, later married as Dorothy Yost Cummings, was a prominent screenwriter whose career lasted from the silent era well into the sound era. Over her lifetime, she worked on more than 94 films, including her own screenplays. She was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and died in Monrovia, California.

Ralph Ince American film director

Ralph Waldo Ince was an American pioneer film actor, director and screenwriter whose career began near the dawn of the silent film era. Ralph Ince was the brother of John Ince and Thomas H. Ince.

Betty Burbridge American screenwriter

Elizabeth Burbridge was an American screenwriter and actress, best known for her Western screenplays.

Miriam Battista American actress

Miriam Battista was an American actress known principally for her early career as a child star in silent films. After gaining notice in Broadway theatre at the age of four, she was cast in films the same year. Her most famous appearance was in the 1920 film Humoresque in which she played a little girl on crutches. As an adult, Battista acted in Italian-language films in the 1930s, and she appeared in Broadway productions. She wrote, sang, composed music, and co-hosted a television talk show with her second husband.

Wilfrid North Silent film director, actor and writer

Wilfrid North, also spelled Wilfred North, was an Anglo-American film director, actor, and writer of the silent film era. He directed 102 films, including short films; acted in 43 films; and wrote the story for three films.

Lucille McVey American actress, film director, and screenwriter

Lucille McVey also known as Mrs Sidney Drew, was an American screenwriter, director, producer, and actress. In the early 1900s, she was part with her husband Sidney Drew of the famous comedy duo Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew.

Beta Breuil

Beta Breuil was the professional name and nom de plume of Elizabeth Donner Vanderveer. Breuil worked as a script editor and screenwriter for several motion picture companies in the early 1900s.


  1. , Women Film Pioneers Project
  2. , Women Film Pioneers Project
  3. Callahan, Vicki. Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History.
  4. Callahan, Vicki. Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History.
  5. , Women Film Pioneers Project
  6. , Women Film Pioneers Project
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 30, 2014. Retrieved December 8, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), Rancho Riding Club
  8. Randy Ray, Mark Kearney. The Great Canadian Trivia, Book 2 .