Mary Astor

Mary Astor
Mary Astor

from the trailer for The Great Lie (1941)
Born Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke
May 3, 1906(1906-05-03)
Quincy, Illinois, U.S.
Died September 25, 1987(1987-09-25) (aged 81)
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1920–64
Spouse Kenneth Hawks (m. 1928–1930) «start: (1928)–end+1: (1931)»"Marriage: Kenneth Hawks to Mary Astor" Location: (linkback://
Franklin Thorpe (m. 1931–1936) «start: (1931)–end+1: (1937)»"Marriage: Franklin Thorpe to Mary Astor" Location: (linkback://
Manuel del Campo (m. 1936–1941) «start: (1936)–end+1: (1942)»"Marriage: Manuel del Campo to Mary Astor" Location: (linkback://
Thomas Gordon Wheelock (m. 1945–1955) «start: (1945)–end+1: (1956)»"Marriage: Thomas Gordon Wheelock to Mary Astor" Location: (linkback://

Mary Astor (May 3, 1906 – September 25, 1987) 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. She was sued for support by her parents and was later branded an adulterous wife by her ex-husband during a custody fight over her daughter. Overcoming these stumbling blocks in her private life, Astor went on to even greater success on the screen, eventually winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Sandra Kovak in The Great Lie (1941). She was an MGM contract player through most of the 1940s and continued to act in movies, on television and on stage until her retirement from the screen in 1964. Astor was the author of five novels. Her autobiography became a bestseller, as did her later book, A Life on Film, which was specifically about her career.

Director Lindsay Anderson wrote of her in 1990: "...that when two or three who love the cinema are gathered together, the name of Mary Astor always comes up, and everybody agrees that she was an actress of special attraction, whose qualities of depth and reality always seemed to illuminate the parts she played."[1]


Early life

Mary Astor was born Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke in Quincy, Illinois, the only child of Otto Ludwig Langhanke (October 2, 1871 – February 3, 1943) and Helen Marie de Vasconcellos (April 19, 1881 – January 18, 1947). Both of her parents were teachers.

Her Berlin-born father immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1891 and became a naturalized citizen; her mother was born in Jacksonville, Illinois, of Portuguese and Irish extraction.[2] Langhanke and de Vasconcellos married on August 3, 1904 in Lyons, Kansas. Astor's father was a German teacher at Quincy High School until the U.S. entered World War I. Later on, he began doing light farming. Astor's mother, who had always wanted to be an actress, taught drama and elocution.

Astor was home-schooled in academics and taught to play the piano by her father, who insisted she practice daily. Her piano talents came in handy when she played piano in her films The Great Lie and Meet Me In St. Louis. In 1919, Astor sent sent a photograph of herself to a beauty contest in Motion Picture Magazine, becoming a semifinalist. Her father then moved the family to Chicago, where he took a position 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, in order for his pretty daughter to become an actress in motion pictures. He managed all her affairs from September 1920 to June 1930.

A Manhattan photographer, Charles Albin, saw a 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.

Silent movie career

Mary Astor Stars of the Photoplay.jpg

Astor made her debut in the 1920 film The Scarecrow. At age 14, she appeared in the 1921 film Sentimental Tommy, but her small part in a dream sequence wound up on the cutting room floor. Paramount let her contract lapse. She then appeared in some movie shorts with sequences based on famous paintings. She received critical recognition for the 1921 two-reeler The Beggar Maid. Her first feature-length movie was John Smith (1922), which was followed that same year by The Man Who Played God. In 1923, she and her parents moved to Hollywood.

After appearing in several larger roles at various studios, she was signed by Paramount again, this time to a one-year contract at $500 a week. She had appeared in several more movies when John Barrymore saw a photograph of her 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. It was only because 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, but also because Barrymore became involved with Astor's fellow WAMPAS Baby Star Dolores Costello, whom he later married.

In 1925, Astor's parents bought a Moorish style mansion with 1-acre (4,000 m2) of land known as "Moorcrest" in the hills above Hollywood. The Langhankes not only lived lavishly off 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 with 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 recently has undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation, is still 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.

Mary Astor Argentinean Magazine AD.jpg

Astor's parents were not Theosophists, though the family was friendly with both Marie Hotchener and her husband Harry, both prominent TS members. Marie Hotchener was the person who 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 ability to come and go as she pleased. Nevertheless, she did not gain control of her salary until she was 26 years old, at which point her parents sued her for financial support. Astor settled the case by agreeing to pay her parents $100 a month. Otto Langhanke put Moorcrest up for auction in the early 1930s, hoping to get more than the $80,000 he had been offered for it; it went for $25,000.

Astor went on appearing in movies at various studios. When her Paramount contract ended in 1925, she was signed at Warner Bros. Among her assignments was another role with John Barrymore, this time in Don Juan (1926). 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.

Mary Astor Argentinean Magazine AD 2.jpg

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.

In 1928, she married director Kenneth Hawks at her family home, Moorcrest. 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 movie 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. 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.

New beginnings

Astor took voice training and singing lessons during 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 be back at work, but her happiness soon ended. 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. Astor had just finished a matinee performance at the Majestic when Florence Eldridge came to her with the news. She was rushed from the theatre and taken to Eldridge's apartment; a replacement, Doris Lloyd, stepped in for the next show. Astor remained with her friend, Eldridge, at her apartment for some time, but she soon went back 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. During the months of her illness, she was attended to by Dr. Franklyn Thorpe, whom she married on June 29, 1931.

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. In late 1932 though, Astor signed a featured player contract with Warner Bros. Meanwhile, besides spending lavishly, her parents invested in the stock market, which turned out in many instances to be unprofitable. They still lived in Moorcrest, Astor had dubbed it a "white elephant", and she refused to maintain the house. She had to turn to the Motion Picture Relief Fund in 1933 to pay her bills.

In 1933, she appeared as the female lead, Hilda Lake, the niece of the murder victims, in The Kennel Murder Case, co-starring with William Powell playing detective Philo Vance. Film critic William K. Everson pronounced it a "masterpiece" in the August 1984 issue of Films in Review. Unhappy with her marriage, she took a break from movie making in 1933 and went to New York by herself. While there, enjoying a whirlwind social life, she met the playwright George Kaufman and they had an affair, which she documented in her diary.[3]


A legal battle drew press attention on Astor in 1936. Dr. Franklyn Thorpe divorced Astor in 1935 and a custody battle resulted over their four-year-old daughter, Marylyn.[4] Thorpe threatened to use Astor's diary in the proceedings, which told of her affairs with many celebrities, including George S. Kaufman.[5] The diary was never formally offered as evidence during the trial, but Thorpe and his lawyers constantly referred to it, and its notoriety grew.[6] 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 had been 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 claims it was then destroyed, with her permission.[7]

Astor had just begun work on Dodsworth as news of the diary became public. Producer Samuel Goldwyn was urged to fire her, as her contract had a morality clause, but Goldwyn refused and the movie went on to be a hit.[5]

Career continues

Ultimately, the scandals caused no harm to Astor's career, which was actually revitalized because of the custody fight and the huge amount of publicity it generated; Dodsworth (1936), with Walter Huston, was released to rave reviews, and the public's acceptance assured the studios that she was still a viable commercial property.

The Hurricane (1937)

In 1937, she returned to the stage in well-received productions of Noel Coward's Tonight at 8:30, The Astonished Heart, and Still Life. She also began performing regularly on radio. Some of her best movies were still 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 was cast in her best known role as scheming temptress Brigid O'Shaughnessy. The film also starred Humphrey Bogart, with 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 with her 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 during the scenes where she plays the concerto, with violent hand movements on the piano keyboard, was actually 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.

Astor was not propelled into the upper echelon of movie stars by these successes, however. She always declined offers of starring in her own right. Not wanting the responsibility of top billing and having to "carry the picture," she preferred the security of being a featured player.

In 1942 she was reunited with Humphrey Bogart and Sydney Greenstreet in John Huston's Across the Pacific. 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.

In February 1943, Astor's father, Otto Langhanke, died in Cedars of Lebanon Hospital as a result of a heart attack complicated by influenza. His wife and daughter were both at his bedside.

That same year, Astor signed a seven-year contract with MGM, which turned out to be a regrettable mistake. She was kept busy playing what she considered mediocre mother roles. After Meet Me In St. Louis (1944), the studio allowed her to make her Broadway debut in Many Happy Returns (1945). The play was a miserable 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) in which she played the tough owner of a saloon and casino in a small mining town.

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. 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 went on 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 became despondent. The studio wanted to renew her contract, promising to give her better roles, but she declined the offer.

Middle years

At the same time, Astor's drinking was getting much worse. She admitted to having a problem with alcohol as far back as the 1930s, but it had never interfered with her work schedule or performance. She hit bottom in 1949 and went into a sanitarium for alcoholics.

In 1951, she made a frantic call to her doctor and told him she had taken too many sleeping pills. 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. She also separated from her fourth husband, Thomas Wheelock (a stockbroker she had married on Christmas Day 1945), but did not actually divorce him until 1955.

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. After the tour, Astor lived in New York for four years and worked in the theatre 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 most of the big shows of the time, including The United States Steel Hour, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Rawhide, Dr. Kildare, Burke's Law, and Ben Casey. 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 being exposed as a thief.[8]

She also starred on Broadway in The Starcross Story (1954), another failure.

She returned to Southern California in 1956. She then went on a successful theatre tour of Don Juan in Hell directed by Agnes Moorehead and co-starring Ricardo Montalban.

Astor's memoir, My Story: An Autobiography, was published in 1959, becoming a sensation for its day and a bestseller. 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 things about her life, she did not mention the movie industry or her career in any detail. In 1971, another book was published, A Life on Film, where she discussed her career. It too became a bestseller. Astor also tried her hand at fiction, writing the novels The Incredible Charley Carewe (1960), The Image of Kate (1962), The O'Conners (1964), Jahre und Tage (1964) (a German translation of The Image of Kate), Goodbye, Darling, be Happy (1965), and A Place Called Saturday (1968).

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.

Later life

After taking a trip around the world in 1964, Astor was lured away from her Malibu home, where she was spending time gardening and working on her third novel, to make what she decided would be her final movie appearance.

When she was offered the small role as a key figure in the murder mystery Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte, starring her friend Bette Davis, Astor decided it would serve as her swan song in the movie business. After 109 movies during a career spanning 45 years, she turned in her Screen Actors Guild card and retired.

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. That same year, suffering from a chronic heart condition, she then 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 her own private table when she chose to eat in the resident dining room.[3]

In 1980, she appeared in the television documentary series Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film, produced by Kevin Brownlow, in which she discussed her roles during the silent film period.[9]

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. She is interred in Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City.[3]

Mary 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?"[10]


Year Title Role Notes
1920 Scarecrow, TheThe Scarecrow Bit Part[11]
1921 Wings of the Border Bit Part[11]
1921 Beggar Maid, TheThe Beggar Maid Peasant Girl / Beggar Maid[11] Extant
1921 My Lady o' the Pines Bit Part[11]
1921 Sentimental Tommy Bit Part[12] Lost
1921 Brother of the Bear Bit Part[11]
1921 Bashful Suitor, TheThe Bashful Suitor Bit Part[11]
1921 Bullets or Ballots Bit Part[11]
1922 Rapids, TheThe Rapids Elsie Worden[11] Extant
1922 The Man Who Played God Young Woman Extant
1922 Hope Hope Extant
1922 John Smith Irene Mason Lost
1922 Young Painter, TheThe Young Painter Bit Part[11] Lost
1922 Angelus, TheThe Angelus Bit Part[11]
1923 To the Ladies Bit Part[11] Lost
1923 Woman-Proof Violet Lynwood Lost
1923 Marriage Maker, TheThe Marriage Maker Vivian Hope-Clarke Lost
1923 Puritan Passions Rachel Lost
1923 Bright Shawl, TheThe Bright Shawl Narcissa Escobar Extant (per; at UCLA Film & Television)
1923 Success Rose Randolph Lost
1923 Hollywood Herself (cameo) Lost
1923 Second Fiddle Polly Crawford Extant
1924 Inez from Hollywood Fay Bartholdi Lost
1924 Price of a Party, TheThe Price of a Party Alice Barrows
1924 Unguarded Women Helen Castle Lost
1924 Fighting American, TheThe Fighting American Mary O'Mallory Extant
1924 Beau Brummel Lady Margery Alvanley Extant
1924 Fighting Coward, TheThe Fighting Coward Lucy Extant
1925 Scarlet Saint Fidele Tridon Extant
1925 Pace That Thrills, TheThe Pace That Thrills Doris Lost
1925 Don Q Son of Zorro Dolores de Muro Extant
1925 Playing with Souls Margo Lost
1925 Enticement Leonore Bewlay Lost
1925 Oh, Doctor! Dolores Hicks Extant
1926 Forever After Jennie Clayton Lost
1926 Don Juan Adriana della Varnese Extant
1926 Wise Guy, TheThe Wise Guy Mary Lost(per Arne Andersin's Lost Film Files for First National)
1926 High Steppers Audrey Nye Lost
1927 No Place to Go Sally Montgomery Lost
1927 Rough Riders, TheThe Rough Riders Dolly Extant
1927 Rose of the Golden West Elena Lost
1927 Two Arabian Knights Mirza Extant
1927 Sunset Derby, TheThe Sunset Derby Molly Gibson Lost
1927 Sea Tiger, TheThe Sea Tiger Amy Cortissos Lost
1928 Romance of the Underworld Judith Andrews Extant
1928 Dry Martini Elizabeth Quimby Lost
1928 Heart to Heart Princess Delatorre/Ellen Guthrie Extant (* Library of Congress; per
1928 Three-Ring Marriage Anna Lost
1928 Dressed to Kill Jeanne Extant(per silent era; museum of modern art
1928 Sailors' Wives Carol Trent Lost
1929 Woman from Hell, TheThe Woman from Hell Dee Renaud Lost
1929 New Year's Eve Marjorie Ware Lost
1930 Lash, TheThe Lash Rosita Garcia Extant
1930 Holiday Julia Seton
1930 Ladies Love Brutes Mimi Howell Extant
1930 Runaway Bride, TheThe Runaway Bride Mary Gray, AKA Sally Fairchild Extant
1931 Men of Chance Martha Silk
1931 Smart Woman Mrs. Nancy Gibson
1931 White Shoulders Norma Selbee Lost film
1931 Sin Ship, TheThe Sin Ship Frisco Kitty
1931 Behind Office Doors Mary Linden Extant
1931 Other Men's Women Lily Kulper Extant
1931 Royal Bed, TheThe Royal Bed Princess Anne Extant
1932 Red Dust Barbara Willis Extant
1932 Successful Calamity, AA Successful Calamity Emmy 'Sweetie' Wilton Extant
1932 Those We Love May Ballard Extant
1932 Lost Squadron, TheThe Lost Squadron Follette Marsh Extant
1933 Convention City Arlene Dale Lost
1933 World Changes, TheThe World Changes Virginia 'Ginny' Clafflin Nordholm
1933 Kennel Murder Case, TheThe Kennel Murder Case Hilda Lake Extant
1933 Jennie Gerhardt Letty Pace Extant
1933 Little Giant, TheThe Little Giant Ruth Wayburn Extant
1934 I Am a Thief Odette Mauclair Extant
1934 Case of the Howling Dog, TheThe Case of the Howling Dog Bessie Foley Extant
1934 Man with Two Faces, TheThe Man with Two Faces Jessica Wells Extant
1934 Return of the Terror Olga Morgan Extant
1934 Upper World Mrs. Hettie Stream Extant
1934 Easy to Love Charlotte Hopkins Extant
1935 Man of Iron Vida Extant
1935 Red Hot Tires Patricia Sanford Extant
1935 Page Miss Glory Gladys Russell Extant
1935 Dinky Mrs. Martha Daniels Extant
1935 Straight from the Heart Marian Henshaw Extant
1935 Lady from Nowhere Polly Extant
1936 Dodsworth Mrs. Edith Cortright Extant
1936 Trapped by Television Barbara 'Bobby' Blake Extant
1936 And So They Were Married Edith Farnham Extant
1936 Murder of Dr. Harrigan, TheThe Murder of Dr. Harrigan Lillian Cooper Extant
1937 Hurricane, TheThe Hurricane Madame Germaine De Laage Extant
1937 Prisoner of Zenda, TheThe Prisoner of Zenda Antoinette de Mauban Extant
1938 Listen, Darling Mrs. Dorothy 'Dottie' Wingate Extant
1938 Woman Against Woman Cynthia Holland Extant
1938 There's Always a Woman Lola Fraser Extant
1938 Paradise for Three Mrs. Irene Mallebre Extant
1938 No Time to Marry Kay McGowan Extant
1939 Midnight Helene Flammarion Extant
1940 Brigham Young Mary Ann Young Extant
1940 Turnabout Marion Manning Extant
1941 Maltese Falcon, TheThe Maltese Falcon Brigid O'Shaughnessy Extant
1941 Great Lie, TheThe Great Lie Sandra Kovak Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress; Extant
1942 Palm Beach Story, TheThe Palm Beach Story The Princess Centimillia
1942 Across the Pacific Alberta Marlow
1943 Thousands Cheer Hyllary Jones
1943 Young Ideas Josephine 'Jo' Evans
1944 Blonde Fever Delilah Donay
1944 Meet Me in St. Louis Mrs. Anna Smith
1946 Claudia and David Elizabeth Van Doren
1947 Cass Timberlane Queenie Havock
1947 Cynthia Louise Bishop
1947 Desert Fury Fritzi Haller
1947 Fiesta Señora Morales
1948 Act of Violence Pat
1949 Any Number Can Play Ada
1949 Little Women Marmee
1956 Power and the Prize, TheThe Power and the Prize Mrs. George Salt
1956 Kiss Before Dying, AA Kiss Before Dying Mrs. Corliss
1957 Devil's Hairpin, TheThe Devil's Hairpin Mrs. Jargin
1958 This Happy Feeling Mrs. Tremaine
1959 Stranger in My Arms, AA Stranger in My Arms Virgily Beasley
1961 Return to Peyton Place Mrs. Roberta Carter
1964 Youngblood Hawke Irene Perry
1964 Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte Mrs. Jewel Mayhew


  • My Story: An Autobiography (1959)
  • The Incredible Charlie Carewe (1963)
  • The O'Conners (1964)
  • Goodbye Darling, Be Happy (1965)
  • The Image of Kate (1966)
  • A Place Called Saturday (1968)
  • Life On Film (1969)


  1. ^ Lindsay Anderson "Mary Astor", Sight and Sound, Autumn 1990, reprinted in Paul Ryan (ed) Never Apologise: The Collected Writings, 2004, London: Plexus, p431-36, 431
  2. ^ Distinguished Americans & Canadians of Portuguese Descent
  3. ^ a b c "Mary Astor Dies at 81 – A 'Maltese Falcon' Star". Los Angeles Times. (09/26/1987) Accessed on August 14, 2007.
  4. ^ Mary Astor, 81, Is Dead; Star of 'Maltese Falcon'
  5. ^ a b Mary Astor Profile
  6. ^ Trivia – Mary Astor scandal
  7. ^ Mary Astor, "A Life on Film", Dell Publishing 1967, New York pp125-127
  8. ^ "Justice". The Classic TV Archive. Retrieved February 8, 2011. 
  9. ^ Brownlow, Kevin; Gill, David (1980). Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film. (video). Thames Video Production. 
  10. ^ Astor, Mary. A Life on Film. Dell Publishing Company, 1969
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k uncredited
  12. ^ scenes deleted

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