Frances Hyland (screenwriter)

Frances Hyland (born Frances C. Moore) was an American screenwriter active between the late 1920s and the late 1940s. She was the first woman hired as a "gagman" at a film studio, and she wrote dozens of comedic scripts over the course of her career.[1]

Frances Hyland
Frances C. Moore

1903 (estimated)
Parent(s)William C. Moore
Aura Lee Dickey.


Hyland was born in Arkansas, the daughter of William C. Moore and Aura Lee Dickey. Her father was the editor of the local newspaper; he would later move to California and edit The Hueneme Harbor Bulletin.[2]

In 1926, she became the first woman to be hired by Universal as a "gagman" (comedy writer).[3] She later worked for Tiffany Pictures.[4] She continued to work steadily throughout the 1930s and 1940s, producing scripts for well-received films like The Sin of Nora Moran, A Shriek in the Night, and In Old California.

She was married to filmmaker Albert Ray until his death.[5] Her date of death and final resting place are unknown.

Selected filmography


  1. "9 Jul 1926, Page 4 - The Coshocton Tribune at". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  2. "4 Jun 1938, 22 - The Los Angeles Times at". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  3. "30 Aug 1926, 25 - The Los Angeles Times at". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  4. "7 Feb 1930, 30 - The Los Angeles Times at". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  5. "24 Jul 1932, Page 15 - Oakland Tribune at". Retrieved 2018-12-29.
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