Gene Gauntier (May 17, 1885 – December 18, 1966) was a remarkable writer, screenwriter and actress, and one of the pioneers of the industry, working in cinema from 1906 to 1920. As a screenwriter participated in dozens of films. Acted in 82 titles, and is accredited as the Director of The Grandmother (1909).


His real name was Genevieve Liggett, and was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He began his career in New York, where he began acting in theater with the name of “Gene Gauntier,” alternating theatrical work with interpretation in the cinema.

Kalem Company

In the summer of 1906, gene started working for Kalem Company, playing silent film titles. Gauntier was the main actress of Kalem, called by studying the “Kalem Girl,” being your most productive writer, collaborating with director Sidney Olcott on numerous projects.

Hyphens and copyright

Tom Sawyer was the first of more than three hundred scripts that Gene Gauntier wrote and produced or sold. In 1907 developed the screenplay of The Days of ‘ 61, the first film shot of Civil war. That same year she also appeared as an actress and writer in the first story of the film Ben Hur.

At that time there was no legislation on copyright to protect authors, and she described in her autobiography how film industry infringed it. As a result of the production of Ben Hur, HarperCollins and the author of the novel (Lew Wallace) querellaron with Kalem Company, Motion Picture Patents Company, and with Gauntier alleging piracy. Demand, which finally affirmed the right to copyright in United States took several years to be faulted for Harpers and Wallace.

His work as a screenwriter and actress among their participation in the 1912 film From the Manger to the Cross, selected for preservation in the National Film Registry of United States film.

Personal life and later years

In 1912 Gene Gauntier married actor Jack j. Clark, which divorced in 1918. In 1920, at 35 years of age, Gauntier left the world of entertainment.

Gauntier frequently traveled to Europe, because his sister Marguerite, Opera, which was rehearsed and performed at Germany. After leaving the cinema was moved to Europe, staying several years while writing his autobiography, Blazing the Trail. The work was published in 1928-29 in the American Woman’s Home Companion magazine, and the manuscript is exposed in the Film Library of the Museum of modern art in New York. Gauntier also wrote two novels, Cabbages and Harlequins in 1929 and Sporting Lady in 1933.

Gene Gauntier died in 1966 in Cuernavaca, Mexico.


* The First Female Stars: Women of the Silent Era by David w. Menefee. Connecticut: Praeger, 2004.

* Sidney Olcott and the Making of From the Manger to the Cross. By Charles Foster in In Stardust and Shadows: Canadians in Early Hollywood. Toronto, Canada: Dundurn Press, 2000.

* Blazing the Trail. By Gene Gauntier in woman’s Home Companion, Volume 55, Number 11, November 1928, 15-16, 132, 134.

* Directly translated from English Wikipedia