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Creator / Mary Astor

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"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?'"

Mary Astor (born Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke; May 3, 1906 – September 25, 1987) was an American actress active during The Golden Age of Hollywood. She is mostly remembered now for her role in the 1941 version of The Maltese Falcon; before then, however, she had been appearing in movies since before they were made with sound.

Her first screen role was in a 1920 short film starring Buster Keaton (it turned out to be a Deleted Role). She continued making films throughout her teen years for the benefit of her parents, who took all the money she earned for their own lavish lifestyles, until she rebelled. (Many of these pictures are considered to be lost). Named one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars (the era's Hollywood Hype Machine actresses) in 1926, she managed the transition to talkies despite failing her initial sound test, in which her deep voice was termed "hollow" and "almost masculine".

Astor appeared in a variety of roles in a variety of genres for a variety of studios; although mostly an unknown actress nowadays, she co-starred with a number of famous stars who are still known today, such as Humphrey Bogart, Judy Garland, and Clark Gable. She hit the headlines in 1936 thanks to a messy child custody case, during which her ex-husband (who was no slouch in the infidelity/bigamy department himself) threatened to reveal an alleged maneater reputation (in particular, an affair with the married playwright George S. Kaufman) that she had written about in her Secret Diary.note  While said diary was never called to court – because the judge demanded the whole book, not just torn-out pages or excerpts – New York Daily News Intrepid Reporter Florabel Muir was able to get hold of it and her photocopies were published. It didn't damage Astor's career, however; she was even able to win an Academy Award for The Great Lie in 1941.

While in rehab due to her alcoholism, Astor was recommended by a priest/psychologist to write her autobiography. The book became a bestseller in 1959. She later moved to New York, appeared on Broadway and acted on TV. She also became an author, writing another autobiography as well as fiction. She retired from acting in the 1960s and died from respiratory failure at 81 years old.

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