Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 inQuincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke,and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, ofPortuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for heras they recognized Mary's beauty and knowing if they played their cardsright, they could make her famous. They understood that they wantedsomething better for their daughter than they had, so they made ithappen by pushing Mary into various beauty contests. Luck was with Maryand her parents because one contest came to the attention of Hollywoodmoguls who signed her at the age of 14.
Her first movie was a bit partin The Scarecrow (1920) . It wasn't much, but it was a start. Throughout 1921-1923 she continued her career with bit or minor rolesin a number of motion pictures. In 1924, Mary landed a plum assignmentwith a role as Lady Margery Alvaney opposite the great'John Barrymore (I)' in the film Beau Brummel (1924) . Thislaunched her career to stardom as it did with a lively affair withBarrymore.
However the affair ended before she could star with himagain in the classic Don Juan (1926) . Mary was, now, the newcinematic darling with each film packing the theaters. By the end ofthe twenties, the sound revolution had taken a strong hold on theindustry and Mary was one of those lucky actresses who made thesuccessful transition to "talkies" because of her voice and strongscreen presence. Mary's career took off to greater heights. Films suchas 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 filmswhich kept her busy and in the spotlight. Afterwards, she churned outfilms at a lesser rate. In 1941, she won the Oscar for Best SupportingActress 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, KennethHawks who died in a plane crash, alcoholism, a suicide attempt, and apersistent heart condition, Mary got smaller roles in movies.
In thewhole of the 1950s she appeared in only five productions. Her finalfling with the silver screen was as Jewell Mayhew in Hush. . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) .
Even though this was herfinal film, she had appeared in a phenomenal 123 motion pictures. Marylived out her remaining days confined to the Motion Picture CountryHome where she died of a heart attack on September 25, 1987 at the ageof 81. Her German immigrant father pushed her into a beauty contest at 14 andher first movie Sentimental Tommy (1921) at 15. After a numberof minor parts she starred in 'John Barrymore (I)' '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 andsound effects.
Her first husband, director 'Kenneth Hawks (I)' (brother of 'Howard Hawks' ), died in a 1930 plane crash. Whiledivorcing her second husband in 1936 her personal diary was entered inevidence in the custody fight for their daughter. Included among otherwell-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 withBarrymore), Brigham Young (1940) , and a best supporting Oscarfor The Great Lie (1941) .
Her crowning role was the lying BrigidO'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon (1941) . Three divorces,alcoholism, and attempted suicide resulted in smaller parts from thenon till Hush. . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) , her last due to aheart condition.
She lived her final years confined to the MotionPicture Country Home. .
|1||A Successful Calamity||1932||as Emmy 'Sweetie' Wilton|
|2||A Trip Through the Paramount Studio||1927||as Herself|
|3||Bogart: The Untold Story||1996||as Actress in 'The Maltese Falcon'|
|4||In This Our Life||1942||as Extra at a Roadhouse Table|
|5||Return to Peyton Place||1961||as Mrs. Roberta Carter|
|6||Romance of the Underworld||1928||as Judith Andrews|
|7||The Beggar Maid||1921||as Peasant Girl/Beggar Maid|
|8||The Case of the Howling Dog||1934||as Bessie Foley|
|9||The Murder of Dr. Harrigan||1936||as Lillian Cooper|
|10||The Power and the Prize||1956||as Mrs. George Salt|
|11||The Prisoner of Zenda||1937||as Antoinette de Mauban|
|12||To the Ladies||1923||as Undetermined Secondary Role|
|13||Trapped by Television||1936||as Barbara 'Bobby' Blake|
|14||Robert Montgomery Presents||1950||as Norma Desmond|
|15||The United States Steel Hour||1953||as Lydia Chalmers|
|16||A Kiss Before Dying||1956||as Mrs. Corliss|
|17||A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies||1995||as Anna Smith, 'Meet Me in St. Louis'|
|18||A Stranger in My Arms||1959||as Mrs. Virgilnie Beasley|
|19||Across the Pacific||1942||as Alberta Marlow|
|20||Act of Violence||1948||as Pat|
|21||And So They Were Married||1936||as Edith Farnham|
|22||Any Number Can Play||1949||as Ada|
|23||Beau Brummel||1924||as Lady Margery Alvanley|
|24||Behind Office Doors||1931||as Mary Linden|
|25||Blonde Fever||1944||as Delilah Donay|
|26||Breakdowns of 1941||1941||as Herself|
|27||Brigham Young||1940||as Mary Ann Young|
|28||Brother of the Bear||1921||as Marcia Hawthorne|
|29||Bullets or Ballots||1921||as Bit Part|
|30||Cass Timberlane||1947||as Queenie Havock|
|31||Claudia and David||1946||as Elizabeth Van Doren|
|32||Convention City||1933||as Arlene Dale|
|33||Cynthia||1947||as Louise Bishop|
|34||Desert Fury||1947||as Fritzi Haller|
|35||Dinky||1935||as Mrs. Martha Daniels|
|36||Dodsworth||1936||as Mrs. Edith Cortright|
|37||Don Juan||1926||as Adriana della Varnese|
|38||Don Q Son of Zorro||1925||as Dolores de Muro|
|39||Dressed to Kill||1928||as Jeanne|
|40||Dry Martini||1928||as Elizabeth Quimby|