Lenore Coffee was born in San Francisco, California, and began her writing career when she answered a Hollywood studio ad for a movie script for actress Clara Kimball Young, which was produced as The Better Wife (1919). She moved to Hollywood contract and went to work for director-producer Harry Garson. She progressed from writing title cards for silent films to being a sought-after filmdom script doctor and specialist in writing popular "women's pictures." She was under contract at MGM from 1929 to 1936, then moved on to Warner Brothers, where she was the only woman writer and stayed until 1944. During her 40-year career, she worked on about 85 films, most of them during the silent era. She was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay: first for Street of Chance (1929) in collaboration with Howard Estabrook and second for Four Daughters (1938), co-written with Julius J. Epstein. She was married to British writer and director William Joyce Cowen, with whom she had two children, and sometimes used his surname in her work. She also wrote a novel, Another Time, Another Place (British title: Weep No More, 1955) and a play, Family Portrait (1939), that was performed at The Strand Theatre in London. Her autobiography, Storyline: Reflections of a Hollywood Screenwriter, was published in 1973.