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Joseph Jackson (screenwriter)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph Jackson
Joseph Ashurst Jackson

(1894-06-08)June 8, 1894
Winchester, Kentucky, US
DiedMay 26, 1932(1932-05-26) (aged 37)
Laguna Beach, California, US
Years active1927–1932
Marjorie Manning
(m. 1921; died 1922)
(m. 1927)

Joseph Ashurst Jackson (June 8, 1894 – May 26, 1932) was an American screenwriter, playwright and publicist who was nominated for the now dead category of Best Story at the 4th Academy Awards. He was nominated alongside Lucien Hubbard. They were nominated for Smart Money.[1]

He had over 50 screenplay credits from 1927 to 1932.

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Early life and career

One of three children born to Frank Hoard Jackson and Florence Prewitt,[2] Jackson was a graduate of both Kentucky Wesleyan College and Columbia University School of Journalism. He served in the United States Navy during World War I, after which he briefly served as assistant drama editor at the New York World and publicist for Goldwyn Pictures before moving to Los Angeles and Warner Brothers.[3]

In 1923, Jackson was elected president of the Wampas, organization of the publicity and advertising men. In October 1924, he was hired as the personal representative of Rudolph Valentino,[4][5][6][7] in which capacity he served for roughly one year,[8][9] at which point he left to pursue his writing career in earnest. In the fall of 1925, Jackson authored one-act dramatic vehicles for Frank Keenan, Ethel Grey Terry, and Francis X. Bushman.[10] Soon he began writing for film and for the next five years turned out screen plays for Warner Brothers First National Pictures. He wrote the script and dialogue for The Singing Fool (1928), The Terror (1928), My Man (1928), Tenderloin (1928), Those Who Dance (1930), Fifty Million Frenchmen (1931), Smart Money (1931) and scores of others.[11]

Personal life

Jackson married twice. On February 19, 1921, he married stage and aspiring screen actress Marjorie Manning; within eight months, Manning had fallen ill and, roughly eight months later, she died from that undisclosed illness on June 4, 1922.[12][13] On April 27, 1927, actress Ethel Shannon and Jackson were wed at the Wilshire Boulevard Congregational Church in Los Angeles.[14]


On May 26, 1932, Jackson, accompanied by actor Robert Armstrong and screenwriter Arthur Caesar, was swimming well offshore at Laguna Beach. When the trio encountered a group of barely submerged rocks about 100 feet out, all but Jackson turned back. Braving both the rocks and what would later be erroneously described as a "terrific rip tide,"[15] Jackson was approximately 200 feet from the shore when he realized he was in trouble and called back for help. After his companions again failed to surpass the 100-foot mark, an 18-year-old bystander did finally succeed in reaching him, but by then it was too late. Attempts to revive the unconscious screenwriter proved futile, and Jackson was pronounced dead, due to a combination of drowning and heart attack.[16]

Jackson was survived by his wife Ethel and one son, Ronald Shannon Jackson.[17]

Selected filmography


  1. ^ "The 4th Academy Awards (1931) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  2. ^ "California Marriages, 1850-1945", database, FamilySearch ( : 24 March 2020), Joseph Ashurst Jackson, 1921.
  3. ^ "Heroic Youth Battles Rip Tide at Beach". Santa Ana Register. May 27, 1932. p. 3. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  4. ^ Fowler, L.B. (October 24, 1924). "In Review: For Children; Sid Returning; Joe Jackson; Other News Notes". Los Angeles Daily News. p. 19. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  5. ^ "Winchester: With Valentino". The Lexington Leader. December 18, 1924. p. 9. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  6. ^ "The News Reel: We Hear 'Cobra' Won't Be a Snake Picture". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. January 4, 1925. p. 4E. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  7. ^ "Jackson and Valentino". The Lexington Leader. June 13, 1925. p. 2. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  8. ^ "Joe Jackson Free Agent". Variety. September 29, 1925. p. 34. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  9. ^ "Joe Jackson Said 'Sheik' Always Kept Himself In Good Condition". The Lexington Leader. August 24, 1926. p. 1. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  10. ^ "Wampas Doin's". The Motion Picture Director. December 1925. p. 50. Retrieved February 21, 2022.
  11. ^ The Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, California)27 May 1932, Fri. Page 19 & 20
  12. ^ "Film Beauty Weds Publicity Manager". Los Angeles Evening Express. February 19, 1921. p. 2. Retrieved February 15, 2022.
  13. ^ "Wife of Cinema Publicity Man Passes Away". The Los Angeles Times. June 4, 1922. p. 13. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  14. ^ Los Angeles Times, Apr. 11, 1927, "She Trades Fame For Home --- Ethel Shannon Quits Films to Marry," p. 2A
  15. ^ "Heroic Youth Battles Rip Tide at Beach". Sant Ana Register. May 27, 1932. p. 3. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  16. ^ "Joe Jackson's Passing Stuns Film Capital; Hollywood Mourns Tragedy Marking End of Writer in Laguna Surf". Los Angeles Evening Citizen News. May 27, 1932. p. 11. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  17. ^ "Wife Watches Film Writer Husband Die; Joe Jackson, Pioneer Author in Hollywood, Drowns in Laguna". Los Angeles Record. May 27, 1926. p. 1. Retrieved February 16, 2022.
  18. ^ "Melville Brown is Titling Production". The Film Mercury. April 23, 1926. p. 6. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  19. ^ "Joseph Jackson Titled 'Her Big Night'". The Film Mercury. April 30, 1926. p. 16. Retrieved February 22, 2022.
  20. ^ "Empire Puts Over 'Her Big Night' in a Big Way". Universal Weekly. March 12, 1927. p. 26. Retrieved February 22, 2022.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 20 April 2024, at 20:24
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