Cari Beauchamp, Who Chronicled the Women of Early Hollywood, Dies at 74

Cari Beauchamp, a political adviser turned historian, passed away on Thursday at the age of 74. She was known for documenting the overlooked story of women in early Hollywood, when the film industry’s chaotic beginnings allowed them to assert a surprising amount of power.

Her work began with the publication of her 1998 book, “Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood.” Ms. Beauchamp discovered that about half of all copyrighted films between 1911 and 1925 were written by women, and that they produced and directed movies seen by millions of people worldwide.

Most of these women and their accomplishments were erased by the male-dominated studio system in the 1930s. Ms. Beauchamp’s avenue through the story is the life of Frances Marion, a screenwriter with more than 200 scripts to her name, two of which — “The Big House” (1930) and “The Champ” (1931) — won Oscars.

Ms. Beauchamp was involved in Politics before transitioning to Hollywood history, with her outspoke advocacy for women and active role in local and state Politics. She continued her political work through the 1980s, even as she grew increasingly enthralled with Hollywood and film history.

In addition to her books and written works, Ms. Beauchamp also wrote a number of documentaries about Hollywood.

Cari Beauchamp’s work shines a light on the numerous achievements of women in early Hollywood who were often overshadowed and underappreciated. Her documents serve as a testament to the strength and capability of these women as they navigated through a male-dominated industry, and her work continues to inspire and inform many today.

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