James Curtis (biographer)

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James Curtis is an American biographer. Born in Los Angeles, California, Curtis writes about important figures from the early days of film.[1]


Curtis's publications include biographies of comedian W. C. Fields, director and screenwriter Preston Sturges, director James Whale, production designer William Cameron Menzies[2] and actor Spencer Tracy.[3] Curtis spent six years researching and writing Spencer Tracy: A Biography (2011). Film critic Leonard Maltin praised the work, saying in his review, "It represents a high-water mark in this field: a scrupulously researched life story that is also well-written and completely absorbing, through 878 pages of text".[4]

He received the Special Jury Prize of the Theatre Library Association in 2004 for W. C. Fields: A Biography.[5]


  1. ^ "Biography". JamesCurtis.com. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  2. ^ William Cameron Menzies: The Shape of Films to Come, by James Curtis, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Nov 17, 2015
  3. ^ Basinger, Jeanine (October 29, 2011). "Book Review: Spencer Tracy. 'Hollywood's Favorite Actor'". The Wall Street Journal. 
  4. ^ Maltin, Leonard (November 9, 2011). "Spencer Tracy: A Biography—Book review". Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy. Indiewire. 
  5. ^ "Richard Wall Memorial Award - Winners, 1974-Present". Theatre Library Association. Archived from the original on March 2, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 

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