Helen Simon

Helen Simon



Helen Simon was an American film director and producer who was active in the early years of Hollywood. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1889. She was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia School of Design.

Simon began her career as a script reader for Mack Sennett and Hal Roach, two of the most prominent producers in the early days of Hollywood. She then worked as a director for several independent production companies before joining Universal Pictures in 1920.

At Universal, Simon worked on a number of short films and feature films. She was the first female director to be given a long-term contract and was responsible for many of the studio's early successes. She directed the films The Fable of Elvira and Her Big Bad Wolf (1920), The Little Giant (1921), The Sheik (1921), The Saphead (1922), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923).

Simon's success at Universal earned her the nickname "the female D.W. Griffith". She was known for her innovative use of camera angles and for her ability to quickly shoot scenes. As a result of her work, she was able to gain more responsibility at the studio and eventually was given the opportunity to direct her own feature films.

In 1925, she left Universal to form her own production company, Helen Simon Productions. She produced a number of feature films including The Scarlet Letter (1926), The Unknown (1927), and The Miracle of the Bells (1948).

In addition to her work as a director and producer, Simon was also an advocate for the rights of women in the film industry. She was a founding member of the League of Women Directors and was an active participant in the Hollywood Equal Rights League.

Throughout her career, Simon received numerous awards and recognitions for her work. In 1997, she was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Her contributions to the film industry have been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002.

Helen Simon was a pioneering figure in the early days of Hollywood who pushed the boundaries for women directors and producers. She was a talented director and producer who left a lasting legacy in the film industry.

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