J. Grubb Alexander
A former civil engineer, Pennsylvania-born J. Grubb Alexander broke into show business as a vaudeville sketch and songwriter, later penning such lightweight plays as Wedlocked and It's All a Gamble. Turning to the art of screenwriting with various Universal companies in the mid-1910s, Alexander became somewhat of a serial specialist, writing Universal's The Voice on the Wire (1917) and such independent chapterplays as The Trail of the Octopus (1919) and The Screaming Shadow (1920). He later wrote for Fox and Paralta before finding a secure berth with newcomer Warner Bros. Writing dialogue as early as 1928, Alexander weathered the transition to sound better than most of his colleagues, remaining with Warners until his death in 1932.