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Essays

Jane Murfin

Buck, Julie

As a woman who wrote or cowrote over sixty produced films, a producer who championed strong female roles, and a Hollywood insider with a career spanning over three decades, Jane Murfin may be one of the most prolific but least known writers of the 1920s and ’30s. Jane Murfin was born Jane Macklem in Quincy, Michigan. Her first marriage, in 1907, to lawyer James Murfin, lasted less than five years, but Jane adopted his surname and would use it—excluding the brief period in the late 1910s when she and Jane Cowl used the pseudonym Allan Langdon Martin—throughout her life. Although the 1910 US Census records list her as living as a housewife in Michigan with her lawyer-husband James, according to Murfin family correspondence from 1967, Jane moved shortly after to New York City while her husband remained in Michigan. According to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, James eventually became a school regent, after a long career teaching law, and even has a gate on the grounds named after him.

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Academic Units
Film
Libraries
Series
Women Film Pioneers Project
Published Here
October 15, 2019