Steven graduated Cum Laude from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications, focusing on film studies, journalism and theatre arts. Dubbed a "prolific" writer by Hollywood icon Kenneth Johnson (The Incredible Hulk, V, The Bionic Woman, Alien Nation), Steven has been honored by the Arkansas College Media Association for his story writing prowess. He has also received recognition for his dramatic writing from the Eerie, Shriekfest and Screamfest horror film festivals. Publications include: Carroll County News, Saline Courier, Forum, Echo and Moroch.
February marks the ninth anniversary, and the beginning of year 10 for Women in Horror Month (WiHM). The purpose of #WiHM is to salute the fantastic contributions of women in all realms of horror whose work still finds itself marginalized. Such an example of belittlement happened all too recently when Blumhouse's CEO, founder and producer Jason Blum made the following statement last October: "There are not a lot of female directors period, and even less who are inclined to do horror."
It is hard to believe such an attitude still exists in 2019, but unfortunately a bias toward female artisans of scary movies still haunts modern times. Surely, enough is enough. #WiHM is well-known for its tireless efforts spotlighting women in horror, and this 28-day celebration will focus on film and television. As such, each day this month will celebrate a different woman whose contributions have left an irrevocable mark on the horror genre.
Mary Philbin's love of drama and the arts were born thanks to local trips to theaters and the opera with her father in Chicago, Illinois as a child. Despite not being able to sing, Philbin was adept at playing piano and the pipe organ. Philbin studied classical dance, including ballet, but she did not attend any professional acting schools. Despite this, Mary enjoyed a relatively short career as an actress from 1921 until 1929. Genre fans will undoubtedly recognize her as the ingenue Christine Daae in 1925's Silent-Era classic The Phantom of the Opera alongside Lon Chaney's Phantom.
Curiously, due mostly to her domineering parents, Philbin abandoned Hollywood after making her final film After the Fog (1929). She took on a life of celibacy and dropped out of the limelight completely by 1931. Philbin made her first public appearance in nearly sixty years in 1988, but by this time she had been battling with the symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease since the early 1970s.
At the behest of her lifelong friend Carla Laemmle, Mary again appeared in public for the opening night of Andrew Lloyd Webber'sThe Phantom of the Opera at the Ahamasohn Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. Later, and once more at the request of Laemmle, Philbin promoted Philip Riley's The Phantom of the Opera publicly. It was Philbin's final public appearance. On May 7, 1993, Mary Philbin passed away from pneumonia. She was 90 years old.