Lenore Coffee

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When a man of forty marries a girl of twenty, it isn't her youth he's seeking but his own.

Coffee's oft-quoted intertitle from
The Dangerous Age (1923)

Lenore Jackson Coffee (13 July 18962 July 1984) was an American screenwriter, playwright and novelist.


  • They pick your brains, break your heart, ruin your digestion -- and what do you get for it? Nothing but a lousy fortune.
    • Speaking with friend and colleague Frances Marion; as quoted in Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood (1997) by Cari Beauchamp
  • I met him one day coming out of Louis B. Mayer's office, and he told me Mr. Mayer had been telling him how much he liked the picture we had done. Mr. Brown said, "I told him, 'Give me writers like Lenore Coffee, and I'll give you stuff like that all the time." I put my hand on his shoulder, and I said, "Goodbye, Clarence." He said, "What do you mean?" I said, "I'll never work for you again. This is a producer's studio. They don't like teams of writers-directors." And I never worked for him again.

Quotes about Coffee[edit]

  • Coffee took pride in her sharp eyesight (no need of eyeglasses); she continued to read avidly (mostly romantic paperbacks), to talk of writing (although her hands were not up to it), and to be witty and sharp-tongued. The afternoon visit with her was memorable for its bon mots, its rambling panorama of Hollywood life, and the sly, sexual innuendo so surprising in a woman whose storytelling roots were essentially Victorian (and Roman Catholic). One could detect a sense of what a feisty and inventive writer the young Lenore Coffee must have been, fresh off the train in 1919; what a formidable presence she must have been in a roomful of male studio executives.

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