Anita Loos (April 26, 1889 – August 18, 1981) was an American screenwriter, playwright and author, best known for her blockbuster comic novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
Anita Loos was born Corinne Anita Loos in Sisson, California, (today Mount Shasta) to Richard Beers Loos and Minnie Ellen Smith. Loos had two siblings: Gladys and Clifford (Harry Clifford), a physician and co-founder of the Ross-Loos Medical Group. On pronouncing her name, Loos is reported to have said, "The family has always used the correct French pronunciation which is lohse. However, I myself pronounce my name as if it were spelled luce, since most people pronounce it that way and it was too much trouble to correct them." Loos' father, R. Beers Loos, founded a tabloid for which her mother, Minerva "Minnie" Smith did most of the work of a newspaper publisher. In 1892, when Loos was four years old, the family moved to San Francisco, where Beers Loos bought the newspaper The Dramatic Event, a veiled version of the UK's Police Gazette, with money Minerva borrowed from her father.
While living in San Francisco, Loos followed her dissolute alcoholic father as they explored the city's underbelly. Together they would sit on the pier, fishing and making friends with the locals, feeding into Loos' lifelong fascination with lowlifes and loose women. In 1897, at their father's urging, she and her sister performed in the San Francisco stock company production of Quo Vadis. Gladys died while their father was on one of his drinking and philandering "fishing trips". Anita continued appearing on stage, sometimes being the family's sole breadwinner. Eventually Beers Loos' spendthrift ways caught up with them, and in 1903, Beers Loos took an offer to manage a theater company in San Diego. There, Anita performed simultaneously in her father's stock company, and under another name with the more legitimate stock company in town. It was around this time that she started shaving years off her true age...
Quotes by Anita Loos
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