Ida May Park

Ida May Park (December 28, 1879 June 13, 1954)[1] was an American screenwriter and film director of the silent era, in the early 20th century. She wrote for more than 50 films between 1914 and 1930, and directed 14 films between 1917 and 1920.[2] She was born and died in Los Angeles, California. She was married to film director and producer Joseph De Grasse, with whom she was regularly teamed at Universal.[3]

Ida May Park
Ida May Park in 1916
Born(1879-12-28)December 28, 1879
DiedJune 13, 1954(1954-06-13) (aged 74)
Film director
Years active1914–1930
Spouse(s)Joseph De Grasse (m. 1901)

Early career

Park got her start in the entertainment industry as a stage actress when she was 15 years old. During her time in the theatre she met her future husband, Joseph De Grasse, also an actor. When Pathé hired De Grasse in 1909, Park was hired as a writer. Together they were hired by Universal.[4]

Work at Universal

The first screenplay that she wrote was titled A Gypsy Romance which was developed into a short scenario by director Wallace Reid. Reid also directed the next scenario that she wrote, The Man Within.[2] Park then started to work with De Grasse who directed the next several pieces that she wrote. The two worked on multiple shorts and scenarios together over several years. Their first joint project was the short Her Bounty (1914), and their first feature-length film was Father and The Boys (1915). Most of the titles that the two worked on together were for Universal's Bluebird label.[5] Park made her solo directorial debut in 1917 when she directed The Flashlight[6] starring Universal's top dramatic actress Dorothy Phillips;[4] after this picture, she and DeGrasse took turns directing Bluebird projects featuring Phillips.[6] She went on to direct 13 more films, many of which were deemed "women's features".[7]

Park and De Grasse continued at Universal Studios until 1919 when they left for unknown reasons.[3]

Later career

After leaving Universal, Park directed The Butterfly Man (1920), starring Lew Cody, followed by two independent feature-length films co-directed with her husband, Bonnie May and The Midlanders (both 1920).[3] These were the latter of Park's directorial credits. De Grasse continued to direct for a few more years, and Park continued to write for the screen. She wrote an additional two films before she left the industry altogether. The last feature film that she wrote was The Playthings of Hollywood (1931) for Willis Kent Productions.[3]

Ida May Park died on June 13, 1954.[4]

Selected filmography


  1. Commire, Anne; Klezmer, Deborah (2007). Dictionary of Women Worldwide: 25,000 Women Through the Ages. Detroit: Yorkin. p. 1473. ISBN 0-7876-7585-7.
  2. "Ida May Park". IMDb. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  3. Cooper, Mark Garrett (September 27, 2013). "Ida May Park". In Jane Gaines; Rasha Vatsal; Monica Dall'Asta (eds.). Women Film Pioneers Project. Center for Digital Research and Scholarship, Columbia University Libraries. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  4. Slide, Anthony (1996). The Silent Feminists: America's First Women Directors. Scarecrow Press. pp. 55–58. ISBN 978-0-8108-3053-0.
  5. Mynatt, Julie (June 18, 2013). "Ida May Park". No Finer Calling: Women and/in/on Film. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  6. "Ida May Park, Director". Moving Picture World. 33 (2): 222. July 14, 1917 via Internet Archive.
  7. Cooper, Mark Garrett (2010). Universal Women: Filmmaking and Institutional Change in Early Hollywood. University of Illinois Press. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-252-09087-5.
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