Mary Astor

astor1May 3, 1906 – September 25, 1987

Making the transition to the “talkies” was every Silent Era star’s nightmare.  For some, the change was easy and sound only helped make their career greater.

Meet Mary Astor; the young, auburn-haired girl of German descent whose family moved to New York so she could be discovered. A ploy that worked, as it turns out. Astor (born Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke) landed small roles in silent films and  a contract with Paramount pictures. Though successful, her early life as an actor was not a happy one. In fact, Mary’s life was rife with scandal.  Her parents lived lavishly off the money she made and kept her locked away from the world in their Hollywood mansion. She endured tragic marriages and messy divorces. Lawsuits, affairs, secret diaries, you name it. If TMZ existed in the 1930’s, they would have loved her.

On screen, though, she continued to shine.  She starred opposite Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon and Across the Pacific and opposite Bette Davis in The Great Lie, for which she won an Oscar and got to show off her skill at playing concert piano.

She wrote a little (seven published books.) And she drank a lot. After a 45 year career and more than 100 films, Mary retired to spend the rest of her life off the screen. She did not want to become the little old lady version of herself so she quit on her terms.  27 years later, she died quietly at a Hollywood retirement home. She was 81.

Burial

Holy Cross Cemetery – Culver City, CA

Specific Location

Section N-L523-5; In the section immediately southeast of the mausoleum, Mary’s grave is 10 rows down from the road (away from the mausoleum) and about 5 spaces west of a large tree.

holycross_astor

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