Humphrey Pearson - Wikiwand
For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Humphrey Pearson.

Humphrey Pearson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Humphrey Pearson
Born(1893-11-30)November 30, 1893
Columbus, Ohio, United States
DiedFebruary 24, 1937(1937-02-24) (aged 43)
Hollywood, California, United States
OccupationScreenwriter, playwright
Years active1929–36
Spouse(s)Rive King Pearson

Humphrey Pearson (November 30, 1893 – February 24, 1937) was an American screenwriter and playwright of the 1930s. During his brief career, he penned a Broadway play and 22 screenplays. His promising career was cut short when he was found shot to death, under mysterious circumstances in his home, in early 1937.

Life and career

Pearson was born on November 30, 1893 in Columbus, Ohio. He would break into the film industry in 1929, writing the dialogue and titles to Mervyn LeRoy's Hot Stuff, which was one of the few films Hollywood produced which was a silent film with sound sequences.[1] Pearson's play, Shoestring, would serve as the basis for Robert Lord's screenplay On With the Show!, which in 1929 became the first color sound film.[2][3][4]

In the next two years Pearson would pen another seven screenplays, including Bride of the Regiment, starring Vivienne Segal and Allan Prior, and featuring Walter Pidgeon and Myrna Loy;[5] Michael Curtiz' Bright Lights (1930);[6] Going Wild, starring Joe E. Brown, and Walter Pidgeon;[7] and another Mervyn Leroy film, Top Speed, again starring Joe E. Brown.[8] 1930 would also see Pearson's play, They Never Grow Up, be produced. It would be the only play written by Pearson produced on Broadway, having a short run at the Theatre Masque, lasting for 24 performances. Its cast included Florence Auer, and Otto Kruger.[9]

Between 1931 and 1936 Pearson would be responsible for another fourteen screenplays.[10] These would include Consolation Marriage, with Irene Dunne and Pat O'Brien; George Archainbaud's The Lost Squadron, starring Richard Dix, Mary Astor, Robert Armstrong, Joel McCrea, and Erich von Stroheim;[11] Westward Passage, starring Ann Harding, Laurence Olivier, and ZaSu Pitts;[12] Face in the Sky, starring Spencer Tracy;[13] 1935's Ruggles of Red Gap, which stars Charles Laughton, Mary Boland, Charlie Ruggles, ZaSu Pitts, Roland Young, and Leila Hyams, which The Film Daily rated one of the ten best films of 1935;[14][15] and Red Salute, starring Barbara Stanwyck.[16]

Pearson's last screenplay was 1936's Palm Springs.[17] In February 1937, after a night of drinking, Pearson was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest at his home in Palm Springs, California. His death occurred under mysterious circumstances. Initially, it was not clear whether the death was a suicide or at the hand of his wife, Rive King Pearson, but eventually the Palm Springs chief of police ruled it accidental.[18][19][20]

References

  1. ^ "Hot Stuff: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  2. ^ "On With the Show". Silent Era. Archived from the original on April 27, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  3. ^ "Warner Archive releases early musicals". LA Times. December 2, 2009. Archived from the original on November 3, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  4. ^ "On With the Show!: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  5. ^ "Bride of the Regiment: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  6. ^ "Bright Lights: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  7. ^ "Going Wild: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  8. ^ "Top Speed: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 2, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  9. ^ "They Never Grow Up". Internet Broadway Database. Archived from the original on August 11, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  10. ^ "Humphrey Pearson". American Film Institute. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  11. ^ "The Lost Squadron: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 8, 2015. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  12. ^ "Westward Passage: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  13. ^ "Face in the Sky: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  14. ^ "The Ruggles of Red Gap: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on February 21, 2015. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  15. ^ "Humphrey Pearson, Author, is Found Shot to Death". The Film Daily. February 26, 1937. p. 2. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  16. ^ "Red Salute: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  17. ^ "Palm Springs: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved March 29, 2015.
  18. ^ "Guns Found As Mystery Veils Scenarist's Death at Palm Springs Home". The San Bernardino County Sun. February 26, 1937. p. 14.open access
  19. ^ "District Attorney Redwine Clears Mrs. Pearson in Mate's Death". The Times and Daily News Leader, San Mateo. March 2, 1937. p. 3.open access
  20. ^ "Wife Quizzed in Death of Film Writer". Santa Cruz Evening News. February 25, 1937. p. 1.open access
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Humphrey Pearson
Listen to this article