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Elinor Hughes served as a major critic for Boston’s theater community for nearly forty years. Born in Cambridge, she attended Radcliff College and immediately began working at the Boston Herald following graduation. She initially served as assistant to renowned critic Philip Hale, which included maintaining his theater clipping files. Upon his retirement in 1934, she took over his position as theater critic for the Herald, becoming first woman drama critic for a major Boston newspaper.
As a reviewer, Hughes predominantly acted as the Drama and Film Critic for the Boston Herald, contributing to the columns “The Play’s the Thing” and “Screened at the Movies.” Additionally, she contributed articles highlighting and interviewing film and stage actors. Aside from her work at the Herald, Hughes also contributed to the Junior League News Bulletin and the Hollywood Reporter. She collected clippings of these articles through her career and compiled them in bound volumes, which were indexed with names of plays, films, and actors.