Rose Franken

Rose Lewin Franken challenged her audiences with fiction, films, and plays that turned their expectations on their heads. Franken discovered a mis-delivered typewriter on her doorstep and took it as a sign that she should become a writer, practicing her craft daily and publishing her first novel, Pattern, in 1925. Her third play, Another Language, was wildly successful, opening in 1932 and running for 453 performances. It was adapted for film the following year. In 1933, Franken moved to Hollywood and spent five years writing screenplays and short stories. In 1937 she married William Brown Meloney and began collaborating with him (under the pen name Franken Meloney) on novels and screenplays like 1939’s Strange Victory and 1940’s When Doctors Disagree. Her 1941 play, Claudia, based on her fiction, opened in New York with 722 performances, followed by road shows and productions in London. In 1943 she wrote and directed Outrageous Fortune, a play about anti-Semitism and homophobia, casting against type to defy stereotypes, but despite praise from critics, the play closed after 77 performances. Throughout her career, Franken set up and deflated sentimentality in her work with quirky humor and plot twists that played against expectations.

Topics: Fiction, Plays

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Date of Birth

Gainesville, TX
United States

Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rose Franken ." (Viewed on September 18, 2020) <>.


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