Stephen Morehouse Avery

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Stephen Morehouse Avery
Born (1893-12-20)December 20, 1893
Webster Groves
St. Louis County, Missouri, USA
Died February 10, 1948(1948-02-10) (aged 54)
Los Angeles, California
Occupation Author
Years active 1930s-1948
Spouse(s) Marian Baldwin Avery
Children Phyllis Avery

Stephen Morehouse Avery (December 20, 1893 – February 10, 1948) was an American author who wrote numerous Hollywood screenplays. His daughter is the actress Phyllis Avery.

Avery was born to Charles M. and Jesse Avery in Webster Groves, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. The senior Avery was a cashier at an insurance company. Stephen Avery attended the University of Missouri at Columbia and was employed in Detroit, Michigan, before he began professional writing.[1]

Avery wrote for national publications until 1933, when he began to specialize in screenplays. His work included Wharf Angel (1934), Our Little Angel (1935),[1] One Rainy Afternoon with Ida Lupino and Francis Lederer (1936),[2] The Gorgeous Hussy for Joan Crawford,[3] I'll Take Romance (1937), Four Mothers (1941),[1] The Male Animal (1942), starring Henry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland and based on a James Thurber play.[4] and Deep Valley (1947), with Ida Lupino and Dane Clark, the story of a lonely woman living on a farm who is smitten by an escaped convict.[5]

Shortly before his death of a heart attack at his Los Angeles, California, apartment at the age of fifty-four, Avery penned the scripts for The Woman in White and Every Girl Should Be Married, a romantic comedy starring Cary Grant and Betsy Drake.[6] In 1935, he was nominated with Don Hartman for an Academy Award for writing The Gay Deception, a film unrelated to homosexuality and not to be confused with two other comedy films with similar titles, The Gay Deceiver (1926) and The Gay Deceivers (1969). In the story, Mirabel, portrayed by Frances Dee, wins a $5,000 lottery, a near fortune in 1935, and moves to New York City, where she meets Sandro, played by Francis Lederer, a bellboy who is really a prince. The film was directed by William Wyler.[7]

Avery was survived by his wife, the former Marian Baldwin, and his only child, Phyllis Avery (born 1924),[1] who launched her acting career in 1951. Among other stars, Phyllis Avery was cast opposite Charlton Heston, George Gobel, Richard Egan, Chuck Connors, Lew Ayres, and Ray Milland.


  1. ^ a b c d "Biography for Stephen Morehouse Avery". Retrieved February 1, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Stephen Morehouse Avery". Retrieved February 1, 2010. 
  3. ^ "The Gorgeous Hussy". Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  4. ^ "The Male Animal". Retrieved February 1, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Deep Valley". Retrieved February 11, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Stephen Morehouse Avery". Retrieved February 1, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Stephen Morehouse Avery". Retrieved February 1, 2010.