Women in Film and Television History

In honor of Women’s History Month, Mellini Kantayya and I wrote about women pioneers as part of the “Women in Film & Television History” Series for the New York Women in Film & Television blog.


(via Biography.com)

Meet Lucille Ball, Actor, Comedian, Producer

Sure Lucille Ball was a funny lady, but did you know that her production company Desilu was responsible for launching the Star Trek franchise?

(via Washington Post)

Meet Ethel Payne, Journalist & First Female African-American National Network News

The “first lady of the black press,” Ethel Payne’s life and work is truly inspirational.


(via Senses of Sound)

Meet Dorothy Arzner, Director, Editor, Screenwriter, Boom Inventor

One of the most prolific directors of early American cinema.  BOOM!


(via Women Pioneers Project)

Meet Marion E. Wong, Film Company President, Director, Screenwriter, Producer, Actor, Costume Designer

Like indie filmmakers today, Marion E. Wong wore MANY hats.


Meet Tressie Souders, Director, Producer, Screenwriter

In 1922, Souders was named by the Black press as the first African-American woman director. The story of Tressie Souders, or perhaps more accurately, the lack of details about Tressies Souders’ life and work, exemplifies the need to research and rescue early film-works of women of color.

  1. Craig Kimberley said:

    Marion Wong, like dang bad ass! Great stuff! Craig KimberleyDirector-DP-Editor 757-685-6858

  2. Kathryn,
    Inspiring! I introduced my 20 year old daughter to I Love Lucy years ago and she still loves it. When she needs a boost, she pops in a dvd and laughs it out! I was not familiar with the other women you profiled, so thanks for introducing them to me. I’m a new blogger with a mature, feminine point of view…I wonder if you could recommend other blogs (in addition to yours) that I may learn from?

    • busyk said:

      Thanks so much for checking out the site, Michele. I, too, was surprised during the research of some of the profiles here. I had no idea that Lucille Ball was involved with Star Trek in any way. For more information about women in media, I recommend reading the New York Women in Film & Television blog (https://nywift.wordpress.com). NYWIFT supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media by illuminating their achievements, providing training and professional development, and advocating for equality. Full disclosure: I’m on the board of directors.

      • My husband turned me on to Star Trek, so I knew about that! (Never thought I’d say I’m a Trekkie!) TY for recommendation.
        As you can see, I’m doing a Quote a Day…interesting when you start paging thru quote books and searching on-line…majority of quotes by men. I made a decision to give women (only) a voice in my quote section!

      • busyk said:

        Love it! Keep ’em coming!

  3. I adore this article! feel free to read my blog and follow each other if you like 🙂 keep up the great posts

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