F. Hugh Herbert

For the film comedian, see Hugh Herbert.

Frederick Hugh Herbert (May 29, 1897 - May 17, 1958) was a playwright, screenwriter, novelist, short story writer, and infrequent film director.

F. Hugh Herbert
Frederick Hugh Herbert

(1897-05-29)May 29, 1897
DiedMay 17, 1958(1958-05-17) (aged 60)


Born in Vienna, Austria, Herbert was educated at the University of London.[1] He emigrated in the United States from England on the S/S Kroonland, which docked at the port of New York on September 11, 1920. He began his film career in 1926 with two projects starring Conrad Nagel, The Waning Sex and There You Are!, the latter adapted from his play of the same title. His screenwriting credits included Vanity Fair, Fashions of 1934; Smarty in 1934, adapted from his own play; Sitting Pretty; Dark Command; Our Very Own; The Little Hut; Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! and The Girls of Pleasure Island, the last two of which he also directed. He co-wrote a few films in which the similarly named, but unrelated actor Hugh Herbert appeared: Fashions of 1934 (1934), We're in the Money (1935) and Colleen (1936).

One of Herbert's most enduring creations was the character of American teenager Corliss Archer, who was introduced in 1943 in a series of Good Housekeeping short stories. The story cycle was quickly adapted to radio, as Meet Corliss Archer, and to theatre, as Kiss and Tell.[2] Shirley Temple performed Corliss on screen in 1945 and 1949. Herbert's property was later adapted as a comic book series also titled Meet Corliss Archer, as well as a television series.

Herbert's play The Moon Is Blue had a run of 924 performances on Broadway,[3] which was adapted for the screen version produced and directed by Otto Preminger, who had been responsible for the stage production. The film adaptation, released in 1953, was controversial at the time owing to its frank language and sexual themes. When the Breen office refused to give it a Motion Picture Production Code seal of approval, United Artists opted to release the film without one, and the success of the film was instrumental in weakening the long-standing influence of the Code.[4]

Herbert won the Writers Guild of America Award for Sitting Pretty and was nominated for The Moon is Blue. The uncle of actress Kathleen Hughes, he died in Beverly Hills.

Partial filmographyEdit

As screenwriter unless otherwise indicated.


  1. ^ F. Hugh Herbert at AllMovie.com
  2. ^ Kiss and Tell at the Internet Broadway Database
  3. ^ The Moon is Blue at the Internet Broadway Database
  4. ^ Fujiwara, Chris, The World and Its Double: The Life and Work of Otto Preminger. New York: Macmillan Publishers 2009. ISBN 0-86547-995-X, pp. 140-147

External linksEdit