Classic Movie Hub (CMH)


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Mary Astor

Mary Astor

Bette Davis was originally cast as Sandra Kovak, the hot-tempered but talented pianist, in The Great Lie (1941) but instead opted for the smaller role of Maggie Van Allen in a bid to let her good friend Astor save her film career. As a result Astor won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance.

According to "Reel Facts: The Movie Book of Records," Astor earned $500 per week in the early 1920s at Famous Players and rose to $3750 per week at Fox during the 40 week 1928-29 season.

Acording to an August 1924 Topeka Capital article, Mary Astor (Lucille Langhanke) grew up and attended school in Topeka. Her father was a window dresser at the Crosby Brothers store.

After shooting Little Women (1949) Astor decided against renewing her contract with MGM as she had grown tired of playing humdrum mothers.

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 38-40. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.



Converted to Roman Catholicism in 1951 following a suicide attempt.

Daughter, Marylyn Hauoli Thorpe, born 16 June 1932. Son, Anthony ("Tono") born in 1939.

Gave birth to her daughter Marylyn two months premature on her yacht in Honolulu, Hawaii. Both mother and daughter almost lost their lives.

Having suffered from alcoholism for 20 years, Astor finally checked into a sanitarium for alcoholics in 1949.

Her father Otto died in February 1943 of a heart attack and her mother Helen died in January 1947 of a heart ailment.

Her mother was Portuguese.

In 1959 she penned her frank autobiography, "My Story," which was a best seller, a tell-all in which she openly discussed her battle with alcohol and her failed marriages, but, interestingly, avoided the subject of her film career. She also wrote five novels and came out with a memoir, "A Life on Film", in 1971, in which she DID discuss her film career. This was also a best seller.

Interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California, USA. Specific Interment Location: N-L523-5.

Lived with her close friend Florence Eldridge and her husband Fredric March following the sudden death of her husband Kenneth Hawks.

Lived with her son Tono in Fountain Valley, California after filming Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) until 1971 when she moved to a small cottage on the grounds of the Motion Picture and Television Country House in Woodland Hills due to her chronic heart condition.

Measurements: 33 1/2 -27-37 (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

Sister-in-law of Howard Hawks, cousin-in-law of Carole Lombard.

Sister-in-law of William B. Hawks.

Thanked both Bette Davis and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in her acceptance speech for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 1941 for The Great Lie (1941).

WAMPAS Baby of 1926

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