Pearl White

Pearl White

Around 1914-1915 she was the most popular female star in silent films, for a time even topping Mary Pickford's popularity at the box office.

Born into poverty, she later became a shrewd businesswoman, investing in a successful Parisian nightclub, a Biarritz resort hotel/casino, plus a profitable stable of thoroughbred race horses.

Flying airplanes, racing cars and swimming across rivers, Pearl did much of her own dangerous stunt work and as a result she suffered a number injuries that forced her to begin using a stunt double in her later films. Over the years, White's alcohol use increased substantially to help numb her chronic pain from all those injuries. In 1933 she had to be hospitalized for alcoholism and became addicted to the drugs used during her treatment.

Pearl went on the stage starting at the age of six, playing Little Eva in a production of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to earn money for the family.

Second husband, actor/director Wallace McCutcheon Jr. had been gassed in World War One, later suffered mental problems and eventually committed suicide.

She was one of five children born to a farmer and his wife, the wife dying when Pearl was only three years old.

While performing with the Trousdale Stock Company, she met her first husband, actor Victor Sutherland.