MARY ASTOR : PRETTY FILM, TELEVISION, AND STAGE ACTRESS : TRAUMATIZED BY FAMILY

This vintage real photo postcard features American film, stage, and television actress and musician, Mary Astor (1906-1987). She played many memorable roles but she is most associated with her performance in “The Maltese Falcon” (1941). Astor also wrote five novels and an autobiography. She began her film career as a teenager by appearing in silent movies during the early 1920’s. Her career continued with the introduction of “talkies”. In 1936, Astor’s career was almost ruined by a scandal in which she had an affair with playwright George Kaufman. A custody fight with her ex-husband stigmatized her as being an adulterous wife. She managed to overcome the poor PR and in 1941, won an Academy Award fo Best Supporting Actress in “The Great Lie”.  Astor was born in Quincy, Illinois. Her father was a German teacher and her mother taught drama and elocution. Astor was home schooled by her father who also taught her the piano. In 1919, she sent her photo to a beauty contest in Motion Picture Magazine. She was chosen as a semi finalist. When she was fifteen, she and her family moved to Chicago where she took drama lessons and performed on the stage. She and her family moved to New York City so she could act in motion pictures. A Manhattan photographer asked Astor to pose for him and the resulting photographs led her to be signed by Paramount pictures. In 1921, at age fourteen, she made her film debut. In 1923, she and her family moved to Hollywood. During the filming of one movie, the underage actress was wooed off set by the significantly older actor, John Barrymore. She became a “WAMPAS Baby Star” in 1926. In Hollywood, her controlling parents kept her a virtual prisoner and lived lavishly off her earnings. They gave her a five dollar a week allowance while she was earning 2500 dollars a week. Her father was emotionally and physically abusive. She did not gain control of her salary until she was 26 years old. However, this resulted in her parents suing her for financial support.  In 1928 she married film director Kenneth Hawkes. In 1928, he was killed in a plane crash while filming sequences for a movie. After Astor appeared in a few more movies, she suffered a nervous breakdown related to the loss of her husband. She married the doctor who treated her for her psychiatric illness. By 1933, she had a child, and was seeking a divorce. Her personal life was coming apart at the seams. That is when the aforementioned scandal occurred. She continued to appear in films during the 1930’s but had entered the early stages of alcoholism. By 1949, she entered a sanitarium for alcoholics. In 1951, she experienced her third suicide attempt. Astor’s filmography credits her with 155 film appearances between 1921 and 1964. The IMDb reports that she appeared in two Broadway plays between 1945 and 1954. Astor was a very successful performer but was plagued by problems in her personal life. This photo postcard was published by Picturegoer as part of a series (no.240b). The firm was located in London, England. This postcard is in very good condition (see scans). 

mary-astor-10-1

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3903

To purchase this item, click on the Pay with PayPal button below

$15.75

mary-astor-10-2

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes International shipping outside the US) #3903

To purchase this item, click on the Pay with PayPal button below

$25.00