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Encyclopedia > Lois Weber

Lois Weber (June 13, 1881 - November 13, 1939) was an American silent film actor and producer and director, and was the first woman to direct a full-length feature film when she directed The Merchant of Venice in 1914. June 13 is the 164th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (165th in leap years), with 201 days remaining. ... 1881 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... November 13 is the 317th day of the year (318th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 48 days remaining. ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... A silent film is a film which has no accompanying soundtrack. ... Shylock and Jessica by Maurycy Gottlieb (1856-1879) The Merchant of Venice is one of William Shakespeares best-known plays, written at an uncertain date between 1594 and 1597. ...

Weber was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, she was apparently an excellent pianist, she ran away from home hoping to pursue a singing career in New York City. After leaving home she lived in poverty, working as a street corner evangelist, preaching and singing hymns in New York and Pittsburg. In 1905 the film making Gaumont company as actor, and married its manager Phillips Smalley. In 1908 she had landed a role in a film she had written, it was directed by Herbert Blache, and called Hypocrites. Hypocrites was the first of many films she would star in and later direct which addressed social themes and moral lessons considered daring for the time, which included abortion and birth control in Where Are My Children?, capital punishment in The People vs. Joe Doe, and and drug addiction in Hop, the Devil's Brew. Because of their controvertial nature her films were successful at the box office. Allegheny was a city in western Pennsylvania, located on the north shore of the junction of the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers, across from Pittsburgh. ... New York City, officially named the City of New York, is the most populous city in the United States, and the most densely populated major city in North America. ... Birth control is a regimen of one or more extra actions, devices, or medications followed in order to deliberately prevent or reduce the likelihood of a woman becoming pregnant. ... Capital punishment, also referred to as the death penalty, is the execution of a prisoner as a punishment for a crime (often called a capital offence or a capital crime), or as a deterrent to crime. ...

In 1916 she became Universal Studio's highest-paid director, and in 1917 formed her own production company, Lois Weber Productions. In the 1920s her fortunes began to change, she lost her company, obtained a divorce from her abusive alcholic husband in 1922 and had a nervous breakdown. She remarried in 1926. Her last film The Angel of Broadway was poorly received, and she could then only find work as a script doctor for Universal. She died, penniless, in 1939.

External link

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb), owned by Amazon. ...


  • Acker, Ally. 2002. Lois Weber, Reel Women Productions

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