F. 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.jpeg
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 joined Paramount Pictures as a film writer,[2] beginning his 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.[3] Shirley Temple performed Corliss on screen in the 1945 film version of Kiss and Tell and in the 1949 sequel, A Kiss for Corliss. 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 (1951) had a run of 924 performances on Broadway,[4] 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.[5] His 1947 play For Love or Money was filmed in 1959 as This Happy Feeling. He adapted the Italian play The Best House in Naples for Broadway in 1956.[2]

He wrote several novels including I'd Rather Be Kissed (1954). He also wrote a book of poems.[2]

Herbert won the Writers Guild of America Award for Sitting Pretty and was nominated for The Moon is Blue. He was president of the Screen Writers Guild from 1953 to 1954 and was chairman until 1957.[2]

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. ^ a b c d "Obituaries". Variety. 21 May 1958. p. 79. Retrieved 23 January 2021 – via Archive.org.
  3. ^ Kiss and Tell at the Internet Broadway Database
  4. ^ The Moon is Blue at the Internet Broadway Database
  5. ^ 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