Hollywood Heroines

The Most Influential Women in Film History

by Laura L. S. Bauer, Editor


Kathryn Bigelow is the only woman to have ever won the Academy Award for Best Director, and only four other women have been nominated: Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, and Greta Gerwig.

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Cover image for Hollywood Heroines

December 2018


Pages 407
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Popular Culture/Film
  Women's Studies/General

This is a topical resource that provides a comprehensive look at the most influential women in Hollywood cinema across a wide-range of occupations rarely found together in a single volume.

Unlike other anthologies, Hollywood Heroines: The Most Influential Women in Film History is a hybrid of film history and industry information with an exclusive focus on prominent women. This reference work includes more commonly discussed categories of important women in Hollywood film history, such as directors and actresses, and reaches beyond them to encompass women working as cinematographers, casting directors, studio heads, musical composers, and visual and special effects supervisors.

The wide range of filmmaking crafts covered in the book provides an acute view of the industry and increases the visibility of and quality of representation for women working in Hollywood. By bringing the experience of these influential women to light, Hollywood Heroines joins a growing movement that endeavors to dismantle harmful, long-standing industry myths that perpetuate the systemic underrepresentation of women and the devaluation of women's stories in the Hollywood film industry.


  • Provides the reader with an invaluable, complete, and easy-to-understand view of film history and filmmaking while simultaneously highlighting the most important women, making the subject of Hollywood and film more transparent as a whole
  • Enables a fuller understanding of the many complicated challenges women have faced historically and currently in Hollywood filmmaking
  • Offers a unique blend of film history and industry information, cohesively presenting them both in one place
  • Reaches beyond the more commonly discussed categories of women who have had important roles throughout Hollywood film history, such as directors and actresses, although they too are included
  • Examines women's visibility and representation in Hollywood in the context of the history of the film industry for students
Author Info

Laura L. S. Bauer is a PhD candidate in the English department of Claremont Graduate University (CGU) and film studies editor for Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal published by Taylor & Francis. She coedited All Things Dickinson: An Encyclopedia of Emily Dickinson's World with Wendy Martin and Karen Beth Strovas. Previously, she worked for Steve Small at Paradigm Talent Agency and film producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura at Di Bonaventura Pictures. She is a Laura P. Fernandez Endowed Fellowship recipient and vice president of the CGU chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society.



"For general readers as well as scholars in film and/or gender studies looking for biographical information about women in film history."Library Journal

"An interesting work that belongs in large public and most academic libraries."Booklist

"...recommended for public libraries and academic libraries, particularly at institutions with film and gender studies programs."ARBA

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