Publicity photo, 1915
December 7, 1895
San Diego, California
|Died||September 19, 1987
|Resting place||Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery
|Known for||Western screenplays|
|Relatives||Stephen G. Burbridge, grandfather|
Elizabeth Burbridge was born in San Diego, California on December 7, 1895, the granddaughter of Civil War Major General Stephen G. Burbridge. She began her career as an actress working in 62 silent short films between 1913 and 1916 using her birth name Elizabeth Burbridge. She also appeared in four feature-length silent films: Rumpelstiltskin (1915), The Winged Idol (1915), The Tongues of Men (1916), and Charity (1916).
In 1917, Burbridge began her career as a screenwriter, working at first on silent short films. By 1923, she was writing a syndicated newspaper column under the name Prudence Penny Jr., providing readers advice on interior decorating and love. In 1924, Burbridge was hired by film producer Lester F. Scott Jr. as a scriptwriter for his newly formed Action Pictures. From 1924 to 1929, she wrote a majority of Action Pictures' low-budget silent films for Buddy Roosevelt, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and Wally Wales. By 1926, she was working almost exclusively on western films. With the advent of sound films, Burbridge became a freelance writer, working on films for Rex Lease, Bob Custer, Jack Perrin, and Tom Tyler.
In 1935, Burbridge was hired by Republic Pictures and became the principal writer for singing cowboy Gene Autry in the 1930s and 1940s. In addition to providing the story for Melody Trail (1935), she wrote thirteen western film screenplays for Autry: The Singing Vagabond (1935), Springtime in the Rockies (1937), Gold Mine in the Sky (1938), Man from Music Mountain (1938), Prairie Moon (1938), Colorado Sunset (1939), Rovin' Tumbleweeds (1939), South of the Border (1939), Rancho Grande (1940), Gaucho Serenade (1940), Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride (1940), Melody Ranch (1940), and Stardust on the Sage (1942). In total, Burbridge wrote 124 films between 1917 and 1949.
In the 1950s, Burbridge began writing for television, contributing several screenplays for The Cisco Kid television series in 1950 and 1951, and three screenplays for The Gene Autry Show from 1950 to 1952. Her last credited screenplay was for an episode of The Range Rider television series in 1952. Burbridge died on September 19, 1987 in Tarzana, California at the age of 91. She is buried in Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
- Colonel Custard's Last Stand (1914)
- The Phantom Buster (1927)
- Sin's Pay Day (1932)
- The Secrets of Wu Sin (1932)
- False Pretenses (1935)
- Get That Man (1935)
- Melody Trail (1935)
- The Singing Vagabond (1935)
- Springtime in the Rockies (1937)
- Gold Mine in the Sky (1938)
- Man from Music Mountain (1938)
- Prairie Moon (1938)
- Red River Range (1938)
- Colorado Sunset (1939)
- Rovin' Tumbleweeds (1939)
- South of the Border (1939)
- Rancho Grande (1940)
- Gaucho Serenade (1940)
- Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride (1940)
- Melody Ranch (1940)
- Stardust on the Sage (1942)
- Frontier Fury (1943)
- The Cherokee Flash (1945)
- The Cisco Kid Returns (1945)
- In Old New Mexico (1945)
- Trail of the Mounties (1947)
- Magers, Boyd (2007). Gene Autry Westerns. Madison, NC: Empire Publishing, Inc. p. 44. ISBN 978-0944019498.
- Filmland Favorites. Los Angeles: American Publishing Company. 1915. p. 92.
- Erickson, Hal. "Betty Burbridge". AllMovie. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
- Magers, p. 414.
- "Betty Burbridge". Find a Grave. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
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