Adela Rogers St. Johns
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|Adela Rogers St. Johns|
|Born||Nora Adela Rogers
May 20, 1894
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Died||August 10, 1988
Arroyo Grande, California, U.S.
|Other names||Adela Nora Rogers|
Ivan St. Johns (1915-?) (divorced)(2 children - Elaine St. Johns)
Richard Frank Hyland (1925-?) (1 child - Richard "Dick" St. Johns)
Adela Rogers St. Johns (née Adela Nora Rogers; May 20, 1894 – August 10, 1988) was an American journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. She wrote a number of screenplays for silent movies and, late in life, appeared with other early twentieth-century figures as one of the 'witnesses' in Warren Beatty's Reds, but she is best remembered for her groundbreaking exploits as a "girl reporter" during the 1920s and 1930s.
Life and career
St. Johns was born in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of a prominent Los Angeles criminal lawyer, Earl Rogers, who was a friend of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Adela Rogers as she was known in high school, was Hollywood High School's first real celebrity graduate and in the graduating class of 1910. She obtained her first job at age 19 working as a reporter for Hearst's San Francisco Examiner. She reported on crime, politics, society, and sports news before leaving the newspaper in the early 1920s. St. Johns then became noted for interviewing movie stars for Photoplay magazine. She also wrote short stories for Cosmopolitan, The Saturday Evening Post, and other magazines and finished nine of her 13 screenplays before returning to reporting for Hearst newspapers.
Writing in a distinctive, emotional style, St. Johns reported on, among other subjects, the controversial Jack Dempsey–Gene Tunney "long-count" fight in 1927, the treatment of the poor during the Great Depression, and the 1935 trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann for kidnapping and murdering the son of Charles Lindbergh. In the mid-1930s she moved to Washington, D.C., to report on national politics for the Washington Herald. There she became prominent among a group of female reporters working for Cissy Patterson. Her coverage of the assassination of Senator Huey Long in 1935, the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936, the Democratic National Convention of 1940, and other major stories made her one of the best-known reporters of the day. St. Johns again left newspaper work in 1948 in order to write books, and to teach at a series of universities.
In 1976, at the age of 82, she returned to reporting for the Examiner to cover the bank robbery and conspiracy trial of Patty Hearst, granddaughter of her former employer.
In 1980, she appeared to great effect in the television documentary series Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film. Her animated and forthright commentaries on such stars of the period including Rudolph Valentino, Greta Garbo and Gloria Swanson were a highlight of this much lauded series.
Well into her 60s, St. Johns was a frequent guest on Jack Paar's Tonight Show and one night Paar noted that St. Johns had known many of the legends of Hollywood's so-called Golden years and was once rumored to have had Clark Gable's baby. St. Johns replied, "Well who wouldn't have wanted to have Clark Gable's baby?" Paar then noted that St. Johns had enjoyed a rather incredible life and asked if there was anything she wanted to do that she had not yet done. St. Johns replied, "I just want to live long enough to see how it all turns out."
In the late 1970s, St. Johns hosted a miniseries chronicling Gable's films, which appeared on Iowa Public Television.
She died in Arroyo Grande, California.
Films, as herself
- Reds (1981)
- A Free Soul (New York, Cosmopolitan Book Corporation, 1927) -- The film was made in 1931.
- First Step up Toward Heaven: Hubert Eaton and Forest Lawn (1959)
- Final Verdict (Doubleday, 1962) New York Times best selling biography.
- Tell No Man (1966) Bestseller, fictional memoir about a clergy's religious awakening.
- The Honeycomb (1969) Her autobiography
- Some are Born Great (1974)
- Love, Laughter, and Tears (1978)
- No Goodbyes: My Search into Life After Death (1982)
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV series, episode Never Again (1955)
- General Electric Theater, The Crime of Daphne Rutledge (1954) TV Episode
- The Girl Who Had Everything (1953) (based on her novel A Free Soul)
- Smart Woman (1948)
- That Brennan Girl (1946)
- Government Girl (1943)
- The Great Man's Lady (1942)
- Back in Circulation (1937)
- A Star Is Born (1937) (uncredited)
- A Woman's Man (1934)
- Miss Fane's Baby Is Stolen (1934)
- What Price Hollywood? (1932)
- A Free Soul (1931)
- The Single Standard (1929)
- Scandal (1929)
- Lilac Time (1928)
- The Heart of a Follies Girl (1928)
- The Arizona Wildcat (1927)
- The Patent Leather Kid (1927)
- Singed (1927)
- Children of Divorce (1927)
- The Broncho Twister (1927)
- The Wise Guy (1926)
- The Skyrocket (1926)
- The Red Kimona (1925)
- Lady of the Night (1925)
- Inez from Hollywood (The Worst Woman in Hollywood) (1924)
- Broken Laws (1924)
- The Secret Code (1918)
- Marked Cards (1918)
- Old Love for New (1918)
- Nixon, Richard (April 22, 1970). "Remarks on Presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Eight Journalists". Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on 2011-12-25. Retrieved 2011-12-25.
- Brownlow, Kevin; Gill, David (1980). Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film. (video). Thames Video Production.
- Adela Rogers St. Johns at the Internet Movie Database
- "Jean Harlow Tells the Inside Story; For the First Time the Platinum Venus of the Screen Explains the Mystery of Her Husband's Suicide" by Adela Rogers St. Johns. Liberty, November 26, 1932