Betty Burbridge

Betty Burbridge (December 7, 1895 September 19, 1987) was an American screenwriter and actress, best known for her Western screenplays.[1]

Betty Burbridge
Publicity photo, 1915
Elizabeth Burbridge

(1895-12-07)December 7, 1895
San Diego, California
DiedSeptember 19, 1987(1987-09-19) (aged 91)
Tarzana, California
Resting placeAngelus-Rosedale Cemetery
34.04199°N 118.29784°W / 34.04199; -118.29784
Years active1913–1952
Known forWestern screenplays
RelativesStephen G. Burbridge, grandfather


Elizabeth Burbridge was born in San Diego, California on December 7, 1895,[1] the granddaughter of Civil War Major General Stephen G. Burbridge.[2] 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.[1] 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.[1] By 1926, she was working almost exclusively on western films.[3] With the advent of sound films, Burbridge became a freelance writer, working on films for Rex Lease, Bob Custer, Jack Perrin, and Tom Tyler.[1]

In 1935, Burbridge was hired by Republic Pictures and became the principal writer for singing cowboy Gene Autry in the 1930s and 1940s.[1][3] 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).[4] 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.[3][4] 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.[1] She is buried in Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.[5]

Selected filmography


  1. Magers, Boyd (2007). Gene Autry Westerns. Madison, NC: Empire Publishing, Inc. p. 44. ISBN 978-0944019498.
  2. Filmland Favorites. Los Angeles: American Publishing Company. 1915. p. 92.
  3. Erickson, Hal. "Betty Burbridge". AllMovie. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
  4. Magers, p. 414.
  5. "Betty Burbridge". Find a Grave. Retrieved November 7, 2013.
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