From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Sonya Levien (born Sara Opesken; 25 December 1888 – 19 March 1960) was a Russian-born American screenwriter. She became one of the highest earning female screenwriters in Hollywood in the 1930s and would help a number of directors and film stars transition from silent films to talkies. In 1955 she received an Academy Award for her screenplay Interrupted Melody. Sara Opesken (Sonya being the Russian diminutive) was born in Panimunik, a small village in the Pale of Settlement on 25 December 1888 (later changing the date to 1898.) The oldest child to parents Julius (b. ca. 1863) and Fanny (b.ca. 1865), Sonya had two brothers, Arnold and Max] Her grandfather instructed her in Russian, French, German, and Hebrew as well as encouraged her to read from the Talmud and the Shulhan' Aruk on a daily basis.