Adela Rogers St. Johns
The real-life "His Girl Friday," Adela Rogers St. Johns proved women could do a man's job as well as any hardboiled newspaperman and became a veritable celebrity of letters. The daughter of famous Los Angeles defense attorney Earl Rogers, St. Johns eschewed gender roles early to become a reporter with Hearst newspapers at age 17, covering crime, sports and politics. Hearst made her a novelty act, and she garnered even more limelight as an interviewer of Hollywood's biggest stars for <I>Photoplay</I> magazine. She did more than just cover the industry, as she wrote screenplays and saw her stories adapted for the big screen, including an Oscar-nominated homage to her father, "A Free Soul" (1931). The Depression saw her covering some of the era's major stories as well as chronicling the street-level travail of the hard times on poor people. She struggled through three marriages, became a beloved <i>Grand Dame</i> of Hollywood lore, and battled her father's demon, alcohol. She told his story again in a memoir of her early years, <I>Final Verdict</I>, in 1962 and completed the companion piece about her years in the trade, <I>The Honeycomb</I>. She continued to pen books into the 1970s and established a new imprint as an irrepressible TV guest and documentary commentator on her eventful glory days. Carrying sensationalist billings such as "Mother Confessor of Hollywood" and "World's Greatest Girl Reporter," St. Johns mastered nearly every medium involving the written word and became a veritable living archetype.