Frances Goodrich, born in Belleville, New Jersey, on December 21, 1890, was the second of five children born to Madeleine Christy Lloyd and Henry Wickes Goodrich. In 1893 the Goodriches moved to Nutley, New Jersey, where Frances grew up. She graduated from Vassar College in 1912, subsequently attended the School of Social Service, and shortly thereafter took up acting, appearing in plays such as Come out of the Kitchen (1916). Goodrich also began writing and in 1928 asked another actor, Albert Maurice Hackett, to help her with a script; thus they began to collaborate on screenplays—a partnership that lasted until they wrote their final screenplay together in 1962, Five Finger Exercise. After 1962, the only two works of Goodrich and Hackett are two teleplay adaptations: It Happened One Christmas and The Diary of Anne Frank.
Frances Goodrich enjoyed an enormously successful professional and personal relationship with Albert M. Hackett. They collaborated on thirty-five screenplays. Goodrich and Hackett married on February 7, 1931, and their very happy union lasted until Goodrich’s death in 1984. The marriage was Goodrich’s third and Hackett’s first. Goodrich’s first marriage was to actor Bob Ames on May 3, 1917. Her second marriage was to historian and author Hendrik Willem van Loon, on October 11, 1927. This marriage proved to be brief, lasting only two years; in fact, the incompatible couple lived apart throughout their marriage, keeping separate apartments.
Author David L. Goodrich, Frances’s nephew, attributes Goodrich’s willingness to marry van Loon to her loneliness and to the...
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