ALBANY — Long before she married Ernest Hemingway or was portrayed by Nicole Kidman in the film "Hemingway & Gellhorn" airing Monday on HBO, Martha Gellhorn was a cub reporter at the Times Union who turned heads and raised eyebrows.
Well-educated, outspoken and a leggy beauty, Gellhorn was nicknamed "the blonde peril" by veteran cop reporter Joe O'Heaney.
She was 21 years old in 1929 when she joined the staff of the paper on Beaver Street, along Newspaper Row downtown, shortly after dropping out of Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia in her junior year to pursue a career in journalism.
As the lone female reporter on the Times Union staff, she repeatedly had to fend off unwanted advances by the city editor, who had a propensity to drink too much, according to Caroline Moorehead's biography, Gellhorn: A Twentieth-Century Life …
But Gellhorn, peppered with whistles and catcalls as she made her rounds of the city, longed for more ambitious assignments and began to chafe at her cub reporter role…
Read all of Paul Grondahl’s story, Albany was her starting point, in the Times Union.
Hemingway & Gellhorn premieres tonight on HBO.
Photo courtesy Nicole Kidman.
Hat tip to Mrs M, known to regular readers as the blonde but never, ever, EVER referred to as “the blonde peril.”