The Schmooze

Frederica Sagor Maas, Hollywood's 'Shocking Miss Pilgrim'

On July 6, the New York-born screenwriter Frederica Sagor Maas celebrated her 110th birthday in La Mesa, California.

Maas was born into a family of Russian Jewish immigrants named Zagorsky — anglicized to Sagor at Ellis Island — who placed a solid emphasis on culture, despite their humble social status. In addition to subsidizing the young Frederica’s lessons with Russian Jewish pianist Jacques Danielson, Maas’s parents also paid for concert tickets so that she could hear such noted Jewish pianists as Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler.

While still a teenager Maas landed a job as an assistant story editor at Universal Pictures and soon moved to Los Angeles, where she wrote the screenplay for 1925’s “The Plastic Age,” a silent screen portrayal of modern “flaming” youth starring Clara Bow.

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Frederica Sagor Maas, Hollywood's 'Shocking Miss Pilgrim'

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