Mary Astor
Actress, author
Mary Astor
Mary Astor was an American actress. Most remembered for her role as Brigid O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon (1941) with Humphrey Bogart, Astor began her long motion picture career as a teenager in the silent movies of the early 1920s. She eventually made a successful transition to talkies, but almost saw her career destroyed due to public scandal in the mid-1930s.
Biography
Mary Astor's personal information overview.
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Forget gold, TCM strikes platinum, blonde that is, with Carole Lombard Aug. 28 - Examiner.com
Google News - over 5 years
He also had familiar tie to Hollywood, being second cousins with Howard Hawks and cousin-in-law to Mary Astor. Lombard was married twice. Her first marriage was to William Powell, some sixteen-years her senior, from 1931-1933
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Youtube Weekend Fave: 1937's "The Hurricane" - Hartford Courant (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
How about the 1937 film "The Hurricane," directed by John Ford and starring Dorothy Lamour, Jon Hall, Thomas Mitchell, Raymond Massey and Mary Astor. The isle of Manikoora has nothing on the isle of Manhattan. Thoughts? Share them in the "Comments"
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Joan Blondell Q&A Pt.2: Joan Blondell-Dick Powell-June Allyson Triangle, Lost ... - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Blondell co-starred with Adolphe Menjou, Dick Powell, and Mary Astor.] When I read about Convention City, I just want to weep. It sounds like such a sterling piece of pre-Code near-vulgarity. There are some fairly raunchy studio memos that went back
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USPS celebrates John Huston -- and Baltimore's Dashiell Hammett - Baltimore Sun (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
It employs a terse camera style and a virtuoso cast (Mary Astor, Elisha Cook Jr., Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet) to supply a superbly wrought narrative with sardonic humor and spontaneous feeling. It's also a work with Baltimore roots
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Humphrey Bogart on TCM: THE CAINE MUTINY, THE MALTESE FALCON, SAHARA - Alt Film Guide (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Admittedly, some of the supporting cast of the 1941 version is more effective: Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre vs. Bebe Daniels, Dudley Digges, Otto Matieson. Zoltan Korda's Sahara (1943) is a watchable World War II drama,
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TV: What to Watch - Omaha World-Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor star in this film-noir tale of a private detective who takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a good-looking liar and their scheme for a priceless statuette. You might feel a bit itchy after
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TV picks for Aug. 17 - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Google News - over 5 years
In this 1941 classic, Humphrey Bogart plays detective Sam Spade, Mary Astor is the femme fatale and Peter Lorre is the crafty criminal as a trio of ruthless people chase after a gem-encrusted statue of a falcon. On paper, "Love in the Wild" (9 pm,
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Mobile movie houses, now with air conditioning and the 'crooniest, spooniest ... - Press-Register - al.com (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
At the Crown: "'So They Were Married,' with Mary Astor (then at the height of a divorce trial which scandalized the nation by reports of liaisons with George S. Kaufman and others, and a famous diary sharing the details) and Melvyn Douglas
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Rereading a great American novel - Glens Falls Post-Star (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
If you have seen the movie with Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet (one of the greatest casts ever assembled), then scenes from it will often flash into your mind as you read the book, because the movie is about as faithful
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Meet Me in St. Louis (re-... - DVD.nl
Google News - over 5 years
Moeder Ann Smith (Mary Astor)bestiert het huishouden, samen met keukenmeid Katie (Marjorie Main). De twee oudste dochters Rose (Lucille Bremer) en Esther (Judy Garland) zijn voornamelijk bezig met jongens. Esther is vooral onder de indruk van de nieuwe
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Rotary Club of Glenview Sunrise program speaker Mary Astor Gomez of Little by ... - TribLocal
Google News - over 5 years
The program speaker for the Rotary Club of Glenview Sunrise meeting on Thursday, July 7, 2011 was Mary Astor Gomez, RN, MSN, APN of Children's Memorial Hospital and former board member of the Little by Little
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Codebreakers at Film Forum - The L Magazine
Google News - over 5 years
Initially attracted to the ever-patrician Mary Astor, Gable soon realizes he's a bum and that Harlow is the one for him: less than flattering, but honest. Filmed on MGM's massive Stage 6, the rubber plantation sets convince, especially when everything
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The Greatest Hollywood Director You May Never Have Heard Of - Huffington Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The Oscar-nominated Huston is note-perfect, as is Chatterton and a radiant Mary Astor as the woman who enters Sam's life at just the right moment. Jezebel (1938)- Julie Marsden (Bette Davis) is a willful New Orleans belle engaged to banker Preston
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Moms: Draw the line when kids are online - Pensacola News Journal
Google News - over 5 years
If you want to see a replay of the last 35 seconds of last year's LSU - Florida game or find the name of the actress who played Brigid O'Shaughnessy in "The Maltese Falcon" (Mary Astor) all you have to do is hit a few keystrokes and "Whoomp!
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Con la giornata del bacio, ecco i record più pazzi - TicinOnline.ch
Google News - over 5 years
Il maggior numero di baci nel corso di un film sono stati dati nel 1927 da John Barrymore in „Don Juan“, che ha baciato le sue due partner cinematografiche Estelle Taylor e Mary Astor niente di meno che 127 volte. Nella storia del cinema,
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Mary Astor
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1987
    Age 80
    Astor died on September 25, 1987, at age 81, of respiratory failure due to pulmonary emphysema while a patient in the hospital in the Motion Picture House complex.
    More Details Hide Details She is interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City. Astor has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6701 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. She has been quoted as saying: "There are five stages in the life of an actor: Who's Mary Astor? Get me Mary Astor. Get me a Mary Astor type. Get me a young Mary Astor. Who's Mary Astor?" Several other actors, among them Jack Elam and Ricardo Montalban, have been quoted as saying this.
  • 1971
    Age 64
    She later moved to Fountain Valley, California, where she lived near her son, Tono del Campo (from her third marriage to Mexican-born film editor Manuel del Campo) and his family, until 1971.
    More Details Hide Details That same year, suffering from a chronic heart condition, she moved to a small cottage on the grounds of the Motion Picture & Television Country House, the industry's retirement facility in Woodland Hills, where she had a private table when she chose to eat in the resident dining room. She was photographed by Life magazine riding an adult tricycle on the grounds. She appeared in the television documentary series Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film (1980), produced by Kevin Brownlow, in which she discussed her roles during the silent film period. After years of retirement she had been urged to appear in Brownlow's documentary by a former sister-in-law Bessie Love who also appeared in the series
  • FIFTIES
  • 1964
    Age 57
    After a trip around the world in 1964, Astor was lured away from her Malibu home, where she was gardening and working on her third novel, to make what she decided would be her final film.
    More Details Hide Details She was offered the small role as a key figure, Jewel Mayhew, in the murder mystery Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, starring her friend Bette Davis. She filmed her final scene with Cecil Kellaway at Oak Alley Plantation in southern Louisiana. In A Life on Film, she described her character as "a little old lady, waiting to die." Astor decided it would serve as her swan song in the movie business. After 109 movies in a career spanning 45 years, she turned in her Screen Actors Guild card and retired.
    Astor also tried her hand at fiction, writing the novels The Incredible Charley Carewe (1960), The Image of Kate (1962), which was published in 1964 in a German translation as Jahre und Tage, The O'Conners (1964), Goodbye, Darling, be Happy (1965), and A Place Called Saturday (1968).
    More Details Hide Details She appeared in several movies during this time, including A Stranger in My Arms (1959). She made a comeback in Return to Peyton Place (1961) playing Roberta Carter, the domineering mother who insists the "shocking" novel written by Allison Mackenzie should be banned from the school library, and received good reviews for her performance. According to film scholar Gavin Lambert, Astor invented memorable bits of business in her last scene of that film, where Roberta's vindictive motives are exposed.
  • 1959
    Age 52
    Astor's memoir, My Story: An Autobiography, was published in 1959, becoming a sensation in its day and a bestseller.
    More Details Hide Details It was the result of Father Ciklic urging her to write. Though she spoke of her troubled personal life, her parents, her marriages, the scandals, her battle with alcoholism, and other areas of her life, she did not mention the movie industry or her career in detail. In 1971, a second book was published, A Life on Film, where she discussed her career. It too became a bestseller.
  • FORTIES
  • 1956
    Age 49
    She starred on Broadway again in The Starcross Story (1954), another failure and returned to Southern California in 1956.
    More Details Hide Details She then went on a successful theatre tour of Don Juan in Hell directed by Agnes Moorehead and co-starring Ricardo Montalban.
  • 1955
    Age 48
    She also separated from her fourth husband, Thomas Wheelock (a stockbroker she married on Christmas Day 1945), but did not actually divorce him until 1955.
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  • 1954
    Age 47
    In 1954, she appeared in the episode "Fearful Hour" of the Gary Merrill NBC series Justice in the role of a desperately poor and aging film star who attempts suicide to avoid exposure as a thief.
    More Details Hide Details She also played an ex-film star on the Boris Karloff-hosted Thriller, in an episode titled "Rose's Last Summer."
  • 1952
    Age 45
    In 1952, she was cast in the leading role of the stage play The Time of the Cuckoo, which was later made into the movie Summertime (1955), and subsequently toured with it.
    More Details Hide Details After the tour, Astor lived in New York for four years and worked in the theater and on television. Her TV debut was in The Missing Years (1954) for Kraft Television Theatre. She acted frequently in TV during the ensuing years and appeared on many big shows of the time, including The United States Steel Hour, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Rawhide, Dr. Kildare, Burke's Law, and Ben Casey.
  • 1951
    Age 44
    In 1951, she made a frantic call to her doctor and said that she had taken too many sleeping pills.
    More Details Hide Details She was taken to a hospital and the police reported that she had attempted suicide, this being her third overdose in two years, and the story made headline news. She maintained it had been an accident. That same year, she joined Alcoholics Anonymous and converted to Roman Catholicism. She credited her recovery to a priest, Peter Ciklic, also a practicing psychologist, who encouraged her to write about her experiences as part of therapy.
  • 1949
    Age 42
    She hit bottom in 1949 and went into a sanitarium for alcoholics.
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  • 1947
    Age 40
    Before Helen Langhanke died of a heart ailment in January 1947, Astor said she sat in the hospital room with her mother, who was delirious and did not know her, and listened quietly as Helen told her all about terrible, selfish Lucile.
    More Details Hide Details After her death, Astor said she spent countless hours copying her mother's diary so she could read it and was surprised to learn how much she was hated. Back at MGM, Astor continued being cast in undistinguished, colorless mother roles. One exception was when she played a prostitute in the film noir Act of Violence (1948). The last straw came when she was cast as Marmee March in Little Women (1949). Astor found no redemption in playing what she considered another humdrum mother and grew despondent. The studio wanted to renew her contract, promising better roles, but she declined the offer. At the same time, Astor's drinking was growing troublesome. She admitted to alcoholism as far back as the 1930s, but it had never interfered with her work schedule or performance.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1943
    Age 36
    In February 1943, Astor's father, Otto Langhanke, died in Cedars of Lebanon Hospital as a result of a heart attack complicated by influenza.
    More Details Hide Details His wife and daughter were at his bedside. That same year, Astor signed a seven-year contract with MGM, a regrettable mistake. She was kept busy playing what she considered mediocre roles she called "Mothers for Metro." After Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), the studio allowed her to debut on Broadway in Many Happy Returns (1945). The play was a failure, but Astor received good reviews. On loan-out to 20th Century Fox, she played a wealthy widow in Claudia and David (1946). She was also loaned to Paramount to play Fritzi Haller in Desert Fury (1947) playing the tough owner of a saloon and casino in a small mining town.
  • 1942
    Age 35
    In 1942, she reunited with Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet in John Huston's Across the Pacific.
    More Details Hide Details Though usually cast in dramatic or melodramatic roles, Astor showed a flair for comedy as The Princess Centimillia in the Preston Sturges film, The Palm Beach Story (1942) for Paramount.
  • 1937
    Age 30
    In 1937, she returned to the stage in well-received productions of Noël Coward's Tonight at 8:30, The Astonished Heart, and Still Life.
    More Details Hide Details She also began performing regularly on radio. Some of her best movies were yet to come, including The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), John Ford's The Hurricane (1937), Midnight (1939) and Brigham Young (1940). In John Huston' s The Maltese Falcon (1941), Astor played scheming temptress Brigid O'Shaughnessy. The film also starred Humphrey Bogart and featured Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet. Another noteworthy performance was her Oscar-winning role as Sandra Kovak, the selfish, self-centered concert pianist, who willingly gives up her child, in The Great Lie (1941). George Brent played her intermittent love interest, but the film's star was Bette Davis. Davis wanted Astor cast in the role after watching her screen test and seeing her play Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. She then recruited Astor to collaborate on rewriting the script, which Davis felt was mediocre and needed work to make it more interesting. Astor further followed Davis's advice and sported a brazenly bobbed hairdo for the role. The soundtrack of the movie in the scenes where she plays the concerto, with violent hand movements on the piano keyboard, was dubbed by pianist Max Rabinovitch. Davis deliberately stepped back to allow Astor to shine in her key scenes. As a result of her performance, Astor won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, thanking Bette Davis and Tchaikovsky in her acceptance speech. Astor and Davis became good friends.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1935
    Age 28
    Dr. Franklyn Thorpe divorced Astor in April 1935 and a custody battle resulted over their four-year-old daughter, Marylyn.
    More Details Hide Details Thorpe threatened to use Astor's diary in the proceedings, which told of her affairs with many celebrities, including George S. Kaufman. The diary was never formally offered as evidence during the trial, but Thorpe and his lawyers constantly referred to it, and its notoriety grew. Astor admitted that the diary existed and that she had documented her affair with Kaufman, but maintained that many of the parts that had been referred to were forgeries, following the theft of the diary from her desk. The diary was deemed inadmissible as a mutilated document, and a judge ordered it be sealed and impounded. Astor claimed it was then destroyed, with her permission. Astor had just begun work as Edith Cortwright, opposite Walter Huston in the title role of Dodsworth as news of the diary became public. Producer Samuel Goldwyn was urged to fire her, as her contract included a morality clause, but Goldwyn refused and the movie was a hit.
  • 1933
    Age 26
    Unhappy with her marriage, she took a break from movie-making in 1933 and went to New York alone.
    More Details Hide Details While there, enjoying a whirlwind social life, she met the playwright George Kaufman and they had an affair, which she documented in her diary. A legal battle drew press attention to Astor in 1936.
    In 1933, she appeared as the female lead, Hilda Lake, niece of the murder victims, in The Kennel Murder Case, co-starring with William Powell as detective Philo Vance.
    More Details Hide Details Film critic William K. Everson pronounced it a "masterpiece" in the August 1984 issue of Films in Review.
    She had to turn to the Motion Picture Relief Fund in 1933 to pay her bills.
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  • 1932
    Age 25
    In late 1932, Astor signed a featured player contract with Warner Bros.
    More Details Hide Details Meanwhile, besides spending lavishly, her parents invested in the stock market, which often turned out unprofitable. While they remained in Moorcrest, Astor dubbed it a "white elephant", and she refused to maintain the house.
  • 1931
    Age 24
    During the months of her illness, she was attended to by Dr. Franklyn Thorpe, whom she married on June 29, 1931.
    More Details Hide Details That year, she starred as Nancy Gibson in Smart Woman, playing a woman determined to retrieve her husband from a gold-digging flirtation. The clever dialogue, played against the trappings of a lavish mansion, involves another man who is obviously in love with Astor's character. This wealthy lord, at the behest of Gibson, attracts the attention of the gold-digger during lazy days at the manor. The husband, initially set upon divorcing Nancy and marrying the intruder "Peggy Preston", is dismayed to find Peggy attracted to the newcomer because of his extraordinary wealth. All done in a civil, but cunning, manner. In May 1932, the Thorpes purchased a yacht and sailed to Hawaii. Astor was expecting a baby in August, but gave birth in June in Honolulu. The child, a daughter, was named Marylyn Hauoli Thorpe: her first name combined her parents' names and her middle name is Hawaiian. When they returned to Southern California, Astor freelanced and gained the pivotal role of Barbara Willis in MGM's Red Dust (1932) with Clark Gable and Jean Harlow.
  • 1930
    Age 23
    On January 2, 1930, while filming sequences for the Fox movie Such Men Are Dangerous, Kenneth Hawks was killed in a mid-air plane crash over the Pacific.
    More Details Hide Details Astor had just finished a matinee performance at the Majestic when Florence Eldridge gave her the news. She was rushed from the theatre to Eldridge's apartment; a replacement, Doris Lloyd, stepped in for the next show. Astor remained with Eldridge at her apartment for some time, then soon returned to work. Shortly after her husband's death, she debuted in her first "talkie", Ladies Love Brutes (1930) at Paramount, which co-starred friend Fredric March. While her career picked up, her private life remained difficult. After working on several more movies, she suffered delayed shock over her husband's death and had a nervous breakdown.
  • 1929
    Age 22
    Though this was probably due to early sound equipment and the inexperience of technicians, the studio released her from her contract and she found herself out of work for eight months in 1929.
    More Details Hide Details Astor took voice training and singing lessons in her time off, but no roles were offered. Her acting career was then given a boost by her friend, Florence Eldridge (wife of Fredric March), in whom she confided. Eldridge, who was to star in the stage play Among the Married at the Majestic Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles, recommended Astor for the second female lead. The play was a success and her voice was deemed suitable, being described as low and vibrant. She was happy to work again, but her happiness soon ended.
  • 1928
    Age 21
    In 1928, she married director Kenneth Hawks at her family home, Moorcrest.
    More Details Hide Details He gave her a Packard automobile as a wedding present and the couple moved into a home high up on Lookout Mountain in Los Angeles above Beverly Hills. As the film industry made the transition to talkies, Fox gave her a sound test, which she failed because the studio found her voice to be too deep.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1926
    Age 19
    She was named one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1926, along with Mary Brian, Dolores Costello, Joan Crawford, Dolores del Río, Janet Gaynor, and Fay Wray.
    More Details Hide Details On loan to Fox Film Corporation, Astor starred in Dressed To Kill (1928), which received good reviews. That same year, she starred in the sophisticated comedy Dry Martini at Fox. She later said that, while working on the latter, she "absorbed and assumed something of the atmosphere and emotional climate of the picture." She said it offered "a new and exciting point of view; with its specious doctrine of self-indulgence, it rushed into the vacuum of my moral sense and captivated me completely." When her Warner Bros. contract ended, she signed a contract with Fox for $3,750 a week.
  • 1925
    Age 18
    Astor continued to appear in movies at various studios. When her Paramount contract ended in 1925, she was signed at Warner Bros.
    More Details Hide Details Among her assignments was another role with John Barrymore, this time in Don Juan (1926).
    In 1925, Astor's parents bought a Moorish style mansion with of land known as "Moorcrest" in the hills above Hollywood.
    More Details Hide Details The Langhankes not only lived lavishly off of Astor's earnings, but kept her a virtual prisoner inside Moorcrest. Moorcrest is notable not only for its ornate style, but its place as the most lavish residence associated with the Krotona Colony, a utopian society founded by the Theosophical Society in 1912. Built by Marie Russak Hotchener, a Theosophist who had no formal architectural training, the house combines Moorish and Mission Revival styles and contains such Arts and Crafts features as art glass windows (whose red lotus design Astor called "unfortunate"), and Batchelder tiles. Moorcrest, which has since undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation, remains standing. Before the Langhankes bought it, it was rented by Charlie Chaplin, whose tenure is memorialized by an art glass window featuring the Little Tramp. Astor's parents were not Theosophists, though the family was friendly with both Marie Hotchener and her husband Harry, prominent TS members. Marie Hotchener negotiated Astor's right to a $5 a week allowance (at a time when she was making $2500 a week) and the right to go to work unchaperoned by her mother. The following year when she was 19, Astor, fed up with her father's constant physical and psychological abuse as well as his control of her money, climbed from her second floor bedroom window and escaped to a hotel in Hollywood, as recounted in her memoirs. Hotchener facilitated her return by persuading Otto Langhanke to give Astor a savings account with $500 and the freedom to come and go as she pleased.
  • 1923
    Age 16
    In 1923, she and her parents moved to Hollywood.
    More Details Hide Details After appearing in several larger roles at various studios, she was again signed by Paramount, this time to a one-year contract at $500 a week. After she appeared in several more movies, John Barrymore saw her photograph in a magazine and wanted her cast in his upcoming movie. On loan-out to Warner Bros., she starred with him in Beau Brummel (1924). The older actor wooed the young actress, but their relationship was severely constrained by Astor's parents' unwillingness to let the couple spend time alone together; Mary was only seventeen and legally underage. It was only after Barrymore convinced the Langhankes that his acting lessons required privacy that the couple managed to be alone at all. Their secret engagement ended largely because of the Langhankes' interference and Astor's inability to escape their heavy-handed authority, and because Barrymore became involved with Astor's fellow WAMPAS Baby Star Dolores Costello, whom he later married.
  • 1921
    Age 14
    She received critical recognition for the 1921 two-reeler The Beggar Maid.
    More Details Hide Details Her first feature-length movie was John Smith (1922), followed that same year by The Man Who Played God.
    Astor's first screen test was directed by Lillian Gish, who was so impressed with her recitation of Shakespeare that she shot a thousand feet of her. She made her debut at age 14 in the 1921 film Sentimental Tommy, but her small part in a dream sequence wound up on the cutting room floor.
    More Details Hide Details Paramount let her contract lapse. She then appeared in some movie shorts with sequences based on famous paintings.
  • 1920
    Age 13
    He managed her affairs from September 1920 to June 1930.
    More Details Hide Details A Manhattan photographer, Charles Albin, saw her photograph and asked the young girl with haunting eyes and long auburn hair, whose nickname was "Rusty," to pose for him. The Albin photographs were seen by Harry Durant of Famous Players-Lasky and Lucile was signed to a six-month contract with Paramount Pictures. Her name was changed to Mary Astor during a conference between Paramount chief Jesse Lasky, gossip columnist Louella Parsons, and producer Walter Wanger.
  • 1919
    Age 12
    In 1919, Astor sent a photograph of herself to a beauty contest in Motion Picture Magazine, becoming a semifinalist.
    More Details Hide Details When Astor was 15, the family moved to Chicago, with her father teaching German in public schools. Lucile took drama lessons and appeared in various amateur stage productions. The following year, she sent another photograph to Motion Picture Magazine, this time becoming a finalist and then runner-up in the national contest. Her father then moved the family to New York City, in order for his daughter to act in motion pictures.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1906
    Born
    Born on May 3, 1906.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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