Kathleen Sharp / The Los Angeles Times
Lois Weber, often called America’s first female director, produced and directed a slew of films for Laemmle, many about controversial women’s issues such as abortion, divorce and sexual freedom. Her work was so popular that she became the highest-paid director at the studio and directed 100 films. Weber hired an assistant, Frances Marion, whose scripts were so good that Mary Pickford chose her as her official scriptwriter. Marion finished her career with 130 scripts to her name.