Mary Astor Biography

Birthday: 1906-05-03
Place of Birth: Quincy, Illinois
Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
Wiki Biography: Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 in Quincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke, and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, of Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for her as they recognized Mary's beauty and knowing if they played their cards right, they could make her famous. They understood that they wanted something better for their daughter than they had, so they made it happen by pushing Mary into various beauty contests. Luck was with Mary and her parents because one contest came to the attention of Hollywood moguls who signed her at the age of 14. Her first movie was a bit part in The Scarecrow (1920). It wasn't much, but it was a start. Throughout 1921-1923 she continued her career with bit or minor roles in a number of motion pictures. In 1924, Mary landed a plum assignment with a role as Lady Margery Alvaney opposite the great John Barrymore in the film Beau Brummel (1924). This launched her career to stardom as it did with a lively affair with Barrymore. However the affair ended before she could star with him again in the classic Don Juan (1926). Mary was, now, the new cinematic darling with each film packing the theaters. By the end of the twenties, the sound revolution had taken a strong hold on the industry and Mary was one of those lucky actresses who made the successful transition to "talkies" because of her voice and strong screen presence. Mary's career took off to greater heights. Films such as Red Dust (1932), Convention City (1933), Man of Iron (1935), and The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), kept her star at the top. In 1938, Mary turned out five feature films which kept her busy and in the spotlight. Afterwards, she churned out films at a lesser rate. In 1941, she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Sandra Kovac in The Great Lie (1941). That same year she appeared in the celebrated film The Maltese Falcon (1941), but her star soon began to fall. Because of her three divorces, the death of her first husband, Kenneth Hawks who died in a plane crash, alcoholism, a suicide attempt, and a persistent heart condition, Mary got smaller roles in movies. In the whole of the 1950s she appeared in only five productions. Her final fling with the silver screen was as Jewell Mayhew in Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964). Even though this was her final film, she had appeared in a phenomenal 123 motion pictures. Mary lived out her remaining days confined to the Motion Picture Country Home where she died of a heart attack on September 25, 1987 at the age of 81. IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson Mini Biography Her German immigrant father pushed her into a beauty contest at 14 and her first movie Sentimental Tommy (1921) at 15. After a number of minor parts she starred in John Barrymore's Beau Brummel (1924). She had a lively affair with Barrymore, over with before she starred a second time with him, in Don Juan (1926), the first silent movie with Vitaphone music and sound effects. Her first husband, director Kenneth Hawks (brother of Howard Hawks), died in a 1930 plane crash. While divorcing her second husband in 1936 her personal diary was entered in evidence in the custody fight for their daughter. Included among other well-publicized juicy bits was her secret affair with playwright 'George S. Kaufman (I)'. Her career picked up after the scandal -- The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), Midnight (1939) (again with Barrymore), Brigham Young (1940), and a best supporting Oscar for The Great Lie (1941). Her crowning role was the lying Brigid O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon (1941). Three divorces, alcoholism, and attempted suicide resulted in smaller parts from then on till Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), her last due to a heart condition. She lived her final years confined to the Motion Picture Country Home.

Mary AstorPhotos & Pictures

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Filmography

TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Turnabout 1940 Comedy
Return to Peyton Place 1961 Drama
Fast Food Mania Pat 2012
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
Don Q, Son of Zorro 1925 Adventure, Romance
The Show of Shows 1929 Musical
The Runaway Bride 1930 Crime, Romance
Red Dust Barbara Willis 1932
The Kennel Murder Case Hilda Lake 1933 Mystery
Convention City 1933 Comedy
Dodsworth Mrs. Edith Cortright 1936 Drama, Romance
The Prisoner of Zenda Antoinette de Mauban 1937 Adventure, Drama, Romance
Listen, Darling Dottie Wingate 1938 0, 0, Biography, 0
Midnight Helen Flammarion 1939
Brigham Young 1940 History, Romance
The Maltese Falcon Brigid O'Shaughnessy 1941 Game Show, Comedy
The Great Lie Sandra Kovac 1941
Across the Pacific Alberta Marlow 1942 0, 0, Biography
The Palm Beach Story 1942 Romance, Comedy
Thousands Cheer 1943
Young Ideas 1943 Comedy
Meet Me in St. Louis Mrs. Anna Smith 1944 0, 0, Biography, 0
Cass Timberlane 1947
Act of Violence 1948 Thriller, Drama
This Happy Feeling 1958 Comedy
Return to Peyton Place 1961 Biography