Tamar Halpern on Nellie Bly

“She was the beginning of investigative journalism... She showed the world what women can do.”

You’ve probably heard the name, but do you know what Nellie Bly did? She went from being a penniless unemployed woman to a national superstar for her risk-taking investigative journalism. She’s even got her own board game. Growing up, her nickname was Pinky… but once she adopted the moniker Nellie Bly she dominated her field, capturing the imagination of the public. She’s the idol and inspiration for writer/director Tamar Halpern, who tells us about Nellie’s exploits.


Tamar Halpern

Tamar Halpern directed the doc Llyn Foulkes One Man Band about an LA painter rediscovered by the international art world at age 77, as well as the feature films Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life (starring Mira Sorvino, Joe Pantoliano and Michael Urie) and Shelf Life (“a whip smart film that taps into a new source of American comedy.” – Variety). She’s penned scripts about legendary journalist Nellie Bly, forgotten civil rights figure Clyde Kennard, and has adapted two books for screen by New York Times bestselling YA author Wendy Mass. Recently named a Film Expert for the US Department of Education, Halpern is a proud alumna of Hedgebrook, a writing residency where women author change.

Featured Woman

Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly was an American journalist widely known for her record-breaking trip around the world in 72 days and an exposé in which she faked insanity to study a mental institution from within. She was a pioneer in her field, and launched a new kind of investigative journalism.