10 E Oglethorpe Ave, Savannah, GA 31401
Rowland Henry Gordon Leigh (May 16, 1902 – October 8, 1963) was an aristocratic Anglo-American lyricist, screenwriter, and librettist, who worked with many famous actors and musicians during his career on Broadway and in Hollywood. He was a frequent guest at George Cukor's infamous parties and was friends with Louis Mason, Peggy Fears and William Haines.
Rowland Leigh, called Rowley by his family, was Rowland Henry Gordon Leigh. His mother, Mabel Gordon of Savannah, the youngest daughter of General William Washington Gordon, married Hon. Rowland Charles Frederick Leigh (1859–1943), son of William Henry Leigh, 2nd Baron Leigh of Stoneleigh and Lady Caroline Amelia Grosvenor, on 31 October 1898. He was in remainder to the peerage title of Baron Leigh. Rowland had one sister, Margaret Ethel Leigh Graves. She was an author who used the pen name Jane Gordon. The Gordons of Savannah were in the cotton business. Rowland's grandparents were Eleanor Kinzie Gordon of Chicago and William Washington Gordon Jr. Willie Gordon served in the Confederate Army and the Spanish-American War. Rowland Leigh was a nephew of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts. His mother, Mabel Gordon, was her sister. Both women, raised in Savannah, Georgia, married Englishmen. A portrait of Rowland's mother, Mabel McLane Gordon Leigh, is in the New York Historical Society.
Mabel McLane Gordon was the daughter of General William Washington Gordon of Savannah, Georgia, and Eleanor (Lytle) Gordon. She married Rowland Charles Frederick Leigh, the son of the second Baron Leigh (d. 1905) of Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, England.
In the 1930s, when Katherine Hepburn was visiting the South (she was being considered to play Scarlett in Gone with the Wind), she went to lunch at the house of the Gordon family at 10 E. Oglethorpe Avenue, Savannah. Rowley had sent her to meet his uncle's family.
Leigh had written The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) and Vigil in the Night (1940), but he never quite fit into the screenwriting world of Hollywood. He preferred his duties writing the book for Cole Porter's Broadway musical "You Never Know," starring Clifton Webb and Rex O'Malley in 1938. "I always got the sense he didn't feel very comfortable in the studios," said a friend. "He preferred the theater."
Leigh married 17 November 1937 Catherine de Bernard de La Fosse, daughter of Vicomte Pierre de Bernard de La Fosse, of Château de Beaumont, Loir-et-Cher, France, but they had no children and divorced in 1943.
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