Frances Ryan Millington, whose interests included the cafes of Paris and the sound stages of Hollywood, as well as fiction writing and local film production, died Jan. 6 at Washington Hospital Center from cancer. She was 77.
Before her recent retirement she was associated with Impact Advertising Co., which she joined after selling Paragon Productions, a company she had formed. Prior to moving to Washington 25 years ago, she had worked in Hollywood as an aide to producer Stanley Kramer, as well as being sectary of the Screenwriters Guild, and a script reader at Paramount Studios.
A slender woman who disliked being photographed, Mrs. Millington was born in the District on Nov. 17, 1899. He father, Albert Ryan, was a political protege of William E. Borah, the powerful Idaho Senator. Mrs. Millington told friends her mother, Elise Dufour Pinchon, was descended from Swiss immigrants invited to this country by Thomas Jefferson to plant grapes for wine production in Virginia.
As a child Mrs. Millington was with her parents in the Palace Hotel in San Francisco when the 1906 earthquake struck. Her father rushed his family out of the burning city in a horsedrawn buggy.
Mrs. Millington attended the Mt. Vernon Seminary and the University of Wisconsin, graduating in 1921. Between 1923 and 1923 she was married to Morrill Cody, then a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, stationed in Paris.
Living in the Montparnasse section, the couple became acquainted with Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and other writers and artists.
Hanging over the fireplace in her Washington townhouse for amny years has been a Matisse lithograph, signed by the artist, whom she met during that period.
Shw was also married briefly to Norris Millington, according to friends.
During the 1930s and 1940s she worked in Hollywood as a script reader, advising producer Stanley Kramer and others of the quality of incoming material.
She was associated with the Screen Writers Guild during the years when it was headed by Ronald Reagean.
In 1937 she published a movel. The Crime Across the Way, and followed that 10 years later with Black Eagle. At the time of her death she was working on a biographical study of her great-grandmother, Miranda Fravel Aveline, who had crossed the country in a covered wagon.
In Washington, Mrs. Millington worked as a commercial film maker, taking assignments from industrial clients and corporate accounts.
She is survived by her only on, Peter M. Cody, a state department official stationed in Manila, by four grandchildren, and one great grandchild.