Barbara La Marr
Actress, screenwriter
Barbara La Marr
Barbara La Marr was an American stage and film actress, cabaret artist and screenwriter. La Marr was known as "The Girl Who Is Too Beautiful", after a Hearst newspaper feature writer, Adela Rogers St. Johns, saw a judge sending her home during the police beat in Los Angeles because she was too beautiful and young to be on her own.
Biography
Barbara La Marr's personal information overview.
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Timeline
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    TWENTIES
  • 1926
    Age 29
    On January 30, 1926, she died of complications associated with tuberculosis and nephritis at her parents' home in Altadena, California, at the age of 29.
    More Details Hide Details She was interred in a crypt at Hollywood Cathedral Mausoleum, in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. For her contribution to the motion picture industry, La Marr has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1621 Vine Street. Notes Bibliography
  • 1925
    Age 28
    By 1925, La Marr's drug and alcohol use began to take its toll.
    More Details Hide Details She developed nephritis and tuberculosis.
  • 1923
    Age 26
    Before the divorce from Deely was finalized, La Marr married actor Jack Dougherty in May 1923.
    More Details Hide Details They remained married until La Marr's death. Some years after her death, it was revealed that she had given birth to a son. The name of the boy's father has never been publicly released. The child, Marvin Carville La Marr, was adopted after La Marr's death by the actress ZaSu Pitts and her husband, film executive Tom Gallery. He was renamed Don Gallery.
  • 1920
    Age 23
    After marrying and moving with her second husband to New York City, La Marr found employment writing screenplays at Fox studios using the name "Folly Lytell". Her association with filmmakers led to her returning to Los Angeles and making her film debut in 1920.
    More Details Hide Details Over the next few years she acted frequently in films and was widely publicized as "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World." With this, she rapidly shot to stardom. La Marr made the successful leap from writer to actress in Douglas Fairbanks' The Nut (1921), appeared in over thirty films, wrote seven screenplays for United Artists and Fox Film Corporation, and danced in musical comedies on Broadway. She is also said to have filmed dancing shorts in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles, with such diverse partners as Rudolph Valentino and Clifton Webb. Among La Marr's films are The Prisoner of Zenda and Trifling Women, both 1922 releases directed by Rex Ingram. Although her film career flourished, she also embraced the fast-paced Hollywood nightlife, remarking in an interview that she slept no more than two hours a night. La Marr also began abusing drugs and alcohol and reportedly developed a cocaine and heroin habit. Her lifestyle eventually began to affect her career and she was dropped by M-G-M. La Marr signed with First National Pictures where she appeared in three films which proved to be her last.
  • 1918
    Age 21
    La Marr married for a fourth time to Ben Deely in 1918.
    More Details Hide Details They separated in April 1921.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1916
    Age 19
    In 1916, La Marr married dancer Phil Ainsworth. Ainsworth was sent to San Quentin for passing bad checks. They divorced in 1917.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1914
    Age 17
    La Marr's name appeared frequently in newspaper headlines during the next few years. In November 1914, she came back from Arizona and announced that she was the newly widowed wife of a rancher named Jack Lytell and that they were supposedly married in Mexico.
    More Details Hide Details As legend goes, Lytell became enamored of La Marr as he saw her one day riding in an automobile while he was out on horseback. He rode up to her car and swept her on his horse and rode off with her. They were married the next day. She also stated that she loathed the name Reatha and preferred to be called by the childhood nickname "Beth."
    La Marr married for a second time, on June 2, 1914, to lawyer Lawrence Converse.
    More Details Hide Details Converse was already married with children when he married La Marr and was arrested for bigamy the following day. While in jail, Converse repeatedly banged his head on his cell wall while calling for La Marr and knocked himself unconscious. He died of a blood clot in his brain on June 5.
    La Marr was married five times. She married her first husband, Jack Lytell, in 1914 at the age of 17.
    More Details Hide Details Lytell died of pneumonia a few weeks after the marriage.
  • 1913
    Age 16
    In January 1913, La Marr's half-sister, now going by the name of Violet Ake, took her 16-year-old sister on a three-day automobile excursion with a man named C.C. Boxley.
    More Details Hide Details They drove up to Santa Barbara, but after a few days La Marr felt that they were not going to let her return home. Ake and Boxley finally let La Marr return to Los Angeles after they realized that there were warrants issued for their arrests accusing them of kidnapping. This episode was published in several newspapers, and La Marr even testified against her sister, but the case was eventually dropped.
  • 1910
    Age 13
    By 1910, La Marr was living in Fresno, California, with her parents.
    More Details Hide Details Some time after 1911, the family moved to Los Angeles.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1900
    Age 3
    By 1900, she was living with her parents in Portland, Oregon, with her brother William, her half-sister Violet Ross, and Violet's husband Arvel Ross.
    More Details Hide Details As a child, La Marr also performed in a few stage productions and performed as a dancer in vaudeville.
  • 1896
    Born
    La Marr was born in 1896 as Reatha Dale Watson to William Wallace and Rosana "Rose" Watson in Yakima, Washington (La Marr later claimed she was born in Richmond, Virginia).
    More Details Hide Details Her father was an editor for a newspaper, and her mother had a son, Henry, born in 1878, and a daughter, Violet, born in February 1881, from a previous marriage. The couple wed some time during 1884, and had a son, William Watson, Jr., born in June 1886 in Washington. In the 1920s, Watson became a vaudeville comedian under the stage name of "Billy Devore." The Watsons lived in various locations during La Marr's formative years.
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