Ethel Doherty

Ethel Doherty (February 2, 1889 – August 12, 1974) was an American screenwriter, author, and educator active primarily in the 1920s and 1930s.

Ethel Doherty
Ethel Lucille Doherty

February 2, 1889
Los Angeles, California, USA
DiedAugust 12, 1974 (aged 85)
San Diego, California, USA
OccupationScreenwriter, author, educator, film editor


Doherty, a native of Los Angeles County, was the daughter of Dr. Alonzo Doherty (a dentist) and Sara Armsden; she spent time in California and Arizona as a child.

She began working as a history teacher in Los Angeles public schools, but by night, she busied herself writing scenarios and screenplays with her friend Louise Long, who she met while attending the University of Southern California.[1][2]

Frustrated with their lack of success at selling their stories, they taught themselves shorthand and stenography and got jobs at Paramount (then Famous Players-Lasky).[3] At night, they'd spend their time learning how to edit films.[4][5][6]

They eventually worked their way into editing roles at Paramount,[7][8] making $15 a week, before moving into screenwriting at $450 a week. Doherty's first big picture was the screen adaptation of Zane Gray's The Vanishing American in 1925. Doherty and Long worked on a number of scripts together over the courses of their careers, although they also wrote many screenplays on their own.

They worked steadily in film through the late 1930s before deciding to turn their interests to writing magazines and novels (including 1938's The Seeds of Time).[9] The two continued to live and work together in Laguna Beach.[10]

Selected filmography


  1. "31 Mar 1938, 6 - The Nebraska State Journal at". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  2. "23 May 1927, 90 - Daily News at". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  3. "3 Apr 1938, Page 29 - The Lincoln Star at". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  4. "10 Jan 1926, Page 80 - Oakland Tribune at". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  5. "2 Jul 1926, 20 - Tampa Bay Times at". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  6. "18 Nov 1925, 25 - The Los Angeles Times at". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  7. "4 Oct 1924, 3 - The Boston Globe at". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  8. "21 Sep 1924, 49 - The Daily Oklahoman at". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  9. "15 Jun 1941, Page 78 - The Cincinnati Enquirer at". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  10. "1 Jun 1938, 22 - The Los Angeles Times at". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
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