My Dear Secretary

My Dear Secretary
Directed by Charles Martin
Produced by Leo C. Popkin
Written by Charles Martin
Starring Laraine Day
Kirk Douglas
Keenan Wynn
Helen Walker
Music by Heinz Roemheld
Cinematography Joseph F. Biroc
Edited by Arthur H. Nadel
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
5 November 1948[1]
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
Language English

My Dear Secretary is a 1948 American comedy film directed by Charles Martin and starring Laraine Day, Kirk Douglas, Keenan Wynn, and Helen Walker. The supporting cast features Rudy Valee, Alan Mowbray and Irene Ryan.


Successful novelist and playboy Owen Waterbury (Kirk Douglas) hires aspiring writer Stephanie 'Steve' Gaylord (Laraine Day) as his secretary; a dream come true for Steve who admires Owen and his work. Steve soon finds out that the egomaniacal Owen has gone through a series of secretaries who have left when they are fed up with his behaviour. He is constantly in debt and cannot begin to write a contracted novel that will pay his bills including a lucrative advance by his publisher. Steve and Owen end up marrying, and Steve perseveres until the novel, based on the events of Steve's life and that mentions a character based on his publisher shown in an unflattering light, is refused publication.

Owen claims he cannot have a wife and a secretary so fires his wife and goes back to his old ways, hiring an admiring and attractive female to be his secretary. In the meantime Steve takes Owen's rejected manuscript to her former companion, Charles Harris (Rudy Vallee), who is a major publisher. Harris, who now employs Elsie (Helen Walker), Owen's former secretary before Steve, also asks to see Steve's manuscript.

Harris finds Owen's manuscript interesting but ordinary, but believes Steve's manuscript to be not only worthy of publication but a serious candidate for literary prizes. Steve initially refuses publication due to hurting Owen's fragile ego but soon changes her mind because of the philandering. Steve goes on to be a best-selling author, causing Owen extreme annoyance. She hires an attractive male secretary, after which Owen snaps and insists that he will be her secretary. Steve narrates a book based on their life to Owen. They end up getting back together.



  1. ^ Internet Movie Database, "My Dear Secretary (1948) Release Info",

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