Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rolled Stockings screenwriter turns 110

The woman whose story was the basis for the 1927 Louise Brooks’ film, Rolled Stockings, has turned 110 years old. Frederica Sagor Maas (pictured right in 1925) is one of the last surviving personalities from the silent film era, and perhaps the last living individual associated with one of Brooks’ silent films. 

I first met Maas in June, 1999 when I had lunch with her at the historic Musso and Franks restaurant in downtown Hollywood. 

Just six weeks later, in July, I put on her first bookstore event in connection with her then just published memoir, The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (University Press of Kentucky). In it, she recounts her life both in and out of Hollywood, where she worked as a screenwriter during the silent and early sound era. 

At the time, Maas was 99 years old and nearly blind, and instead of a traditional author reading - I interviewed Maas about her remarkable life. The assembled crowd seemed to hang on her every word. Afterwords, we went out for a late supper and talked of many things, including Louise Brooks, who impressed her as someone who seemed "smart" and well educated. 

It was a great pleasure to meet Frederica Sagor Maas. I hope she lives another 100 years. 

More on her remarkable career can be found on  - and more on Maas and  Brooks can be found here. [Some of the newspaper advertisements which I have come across for Rolled Stockings, like the one pictured below, include her name - a nod, I think, to her standing in Hollywood at the time.]

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