Sunday, May 1, 2022

May 1: Harry Leon Wilson, American novelist


Harry Leon Wilson (1867-1939) was an American novelist who, though not a household name today, brought pleasure to thousands (if not millions) by writing the novels that became four films: Merton of the Movies (filmed in 1924, a film that is now lost; 1932, as Make Me a Star; and 1947, with Red Skelton); and Ruggles of Red Gap (1935), with Charles Laughton as an English "gentleman's gentleman" who has been gambled away to a couple of gauche, nouveau riche American millionaires. Merton was also done as a stage and radio play. After working in the publishing industry in New York, Wilson settled permanently at Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, in an artists' community that included Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Ambrose Bierce, Sinclair Lewis, and others. This is where he wrote his most famous novels.


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