Anne Edwards, Best-Selling ‘Queen of Biography,’ Dies at 96

Ms. Edwards studied writing at the University of California, Los Angeles (where she later taught), from 1945 to 1946 while working in a junior writers’ program for MGM. She also studied at Southern Methodist University in Dallas from 1947 to 1948.

After being bedridden with polio for a year, she gravitated overseas, living in expatriate communities in Britain, Switzerland and France from the mid-1950s until 1973. When she returned to the United States, she lived in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York before returning to Beverly Hills.

In 1947, she married Harvey E. Wishner, whose uncle, the writer and director Robert Rossen, helped introduce her to Hollywood screenwriting. That marriage ended in divorce, as did her second marriage, to the producer Leon Becker. In addition to her daughter, from her first marriage, she is survived by a son, Michael Edwards, also from that marriage; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Her third husband, the author and songwriter Stephen Citron, whom she married in 1980, died in 2013.

Ms. Edwards, who was president of the Authors Guild in 1981, lamented the dearth of women working in creative roles in Hollywood when she was starting out. Mostly, she told Film International in 2013, “women were either actresses or they were script girls, secretaries or in the wardrobe department. There were a few women writers employed at studios.”

She said that she wrote “Leaving Home” in part to expose the pressures that the Red Scare of the 1950s had placed on Hollywood professionals who had been blacklisted, or feared they would be, to move to Europe. (Jonathan Yardley, in reviewing the book in The Washington Post, took her to task for claiming “membership in a persecuted group to which she did not belong,” which he called “distasteful at best, dishonest at worst.”)

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