In many ways Adeline Leitzbach was the ideal ghostwriter for MAE WEST — — hard-working, experienced, flexible, self-effacing, and willing to shed her byline.
• • Sweet Adeline comes to mind in August because on 10 August 1918 the scriptwriter left Fox Films.
• • Adeline M. Leitzbach • •
• • A female author of German descent, who was often hired to collaborate on silent movie scripts as well as Broadway plays, Adeline was born in 1887 and raised in Manhattan, living in genteel circumstances in Greenwich Village — — until her father died.
• • In 1922, Mae had first contacted this hired pen, who helped her put together a full-length, three act play: "The Hussy."
• • During the World War I era, the unmarried woman was living in the Bronx with her widowed mother Mrs. Maximilian Leitzbach, and had many high-profile projects to her name. When she was 30 years old, Adeline Leitzbach had co-written the Broadway play "Success," staged at the Harris Theatre [254 West 42nd Street] from January — March 1918.
• • Building some momentum and increasing her visibility, Adeline kept busy supporting herself and her mother. Her credit was appearing frequently on screenplays for the silent cinema, too. In 1918, several of her projects made it to the big screen: "The Liar," "Her Price," "The Heart of Romance," and "Stolen Honor." Interestingly, one silent film she had scripted — — "Diamonds and Pearls"  — — featured actor Curtis Cooksey in the role of Jack Harrington. Eleven years later, Cooksey would be on stage opposite Mae in "Diamond Lil" in the plum role of Captain Cummings.
• • Miss Leitzbach was also tapped to adapt a woman's novel "Wife in Name Only" for the screen; it was filmed as "Counterfeit Love"  by Murray W. Garsson Productions.
• • Not long after, Mae West, age 32, and Adeline M. Leitzbach, age 38, would be revising the manuscript that would become "Sex" and would debut in April 1926 in the legit. The authorship would be attributed to "Jane Mast" (wink wink).
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
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