An American science fiction writer and screenwriter, she is best known for her work on such films as The Big Sleep, Rio Bravo, and The Long Goodbye. Her numerous works of short science fiction include Child of the Green Light (1942) and The Vanishing Venusians (1945).
She published her debut science fiction story, Martian Quest, in early 1940. Four years later, she published a mystery novel entitled No Good from a Corpse.
She worked on the Hugo Award-winning screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back.
She grew up in Los Angeles, California. In 1946, she married Edmond Hamilton.
She was inspired by the work of fellow screenwriter and novelist, Raymond Chandler.