Judith Woods, where did the towers go?


This cool and classy green-eyed blonde had several more strings to her bow than your average 30's starlet. She was born Helen Johnson in New York City on August 1 1906. Schooled in New York, she completed a fine arts course at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs and afterwards continued her studies for another two years in Paris. Returning home, she became a fashion stylist for R. H. Macy's department store and subsequently worked as a commercial artist in an advertising agency. Thus endowed with both looks and intellect, she made her way to California, set up home base in the Hollywood Hills and began acting in films by 1929. Within a year - still billed as Helen Johnson - she had received leads in the musical comedy Children of Pleasure (1930), the crime drama Soldiers and Women (1930) and Working Girls (1931), a 'women's picture' directed by Dorothy Arzner. In 1931, she was voted a WAMPAS Baby Star and adopted the stage name Judith Wood. Unfortunately, her year was marred by a traffic accident which resulted in a lengthy recuperation and absence from the screen.

In late 1932, Judith appeared on stage in the original Broadway production of "Dinner at Eight", playing the part of Kitty Packard, a much coveted role which went to Jean Harlow in the film version a year later. She had another motion picture lead as a blackmailing ex-con in The Crime Doctor (1934) and then, suddenly, her career was unaccountably at an end. Judith herself later suggested in an interview that her many affairs (among others, with stars William Powell and Robert Montgomery) may have had a bearing on her declining fortunes, quoted as saying "my entire life has been a near miss". Sometime in the late 30's, she married the son of "Beau Geste" author Percival Christopher Wren. After divorcing him, she had several more failed attempts to break back into films, eventually secured work as a radio actress and, finally, as a costume designer, working on "everything from operas to porno films". At least, she had the fortune to be blessed with a long life, passing away at the ripe old age of 95 in Los Angeles.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (1)

Percival Rupert Christopher Wren (17 March 1939 -?) (Divorced)

Trivia (2)

Minor leading lady (as Helen Johnson) of several Paramount features in the early 30's.
WAMPAS Baby Star in 1931.