The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.

Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Past chats with our guests.

Moderators: Sue Sue Applegate, movieman1957, moira finnie, Lzcutter

Joseph Egan
Posts: 45
Joined: January 17th, 2017, 2:07 pm

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Joseph Egan » January 22nd, 2017, 3:08 pm

For Sue-Sue

That is quite true—especially with Ruth Chatterton. Despite the possibility of being harmed by the scandal Chatterton was with Astor in that courtroom all but two days of the Hearing (she had to work those two days) and when Chatterton came from the set during her lunch break she told Astor in front of the press that everyone on the set wished her luck. This was not the rule but pretty much the exception because many of Astor’s friends, fearing for their careers, avoided Astor and one actress even flew with her husband to London in case she might have to testify. Outside of Chatterton and a few others Mary Astor was pretty much alone during this time and it took great strength, determination and commitment to follow through.

User avatar
Mrs. Osborne
Posts: 58
Joined: June 14th, 2013, 10:45 am

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Mrs. Osborne » January 22nd, 2017, 3:35 pm

Joe-

Is there any newsreel footage of the trial?
I know there are many photos of the trial taken by the swarm of newspaper reporters. I cannot imagine the noise and crowd and claustrophobia in that courtroom.

Mrs. O

Joseph Egan
Posts: 45
Joined: January 17th, 2017, 2:07 pm

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Joseph Egan » January 22nd, 2017, 4:30 pm

For Mrs. Obsorne

You know, it’s interesting that you should ask that question. I am doing the research for a filmmaker who is working on a documentary about he Custody battle. I’m doing the research, a job that, considering my knowledge of the subject, I am pretty well suited to do. And yes, you are right, there are tons of photos—and I have located most of the ones that are still around—but I couldn’t find a single archival newsreel house that had any footage of the trial. I also inspected each of the photos—taken in the courtroom as well as in the courthouse corridors—and didn’t see any newsreel cameramen which I thought was very interesting. I didn’t look into it more than that.

Since the L.A. courts in those day allowed photographers in the courtroom there are plenty of photos of witnesses on the stand and of Astor, Thorpe, Astor’s Mother and Thorpe’s father and mother as well as Lillian Miles Thorpe’s girlfriend and others in and around the courtroom. Because most of the major newsreels emanated from Hollywood studios it is my presumption, and this is merely a guess, is that these companies purposely didn’t cover it. Truthfully, the last thing the studios wanted was for this scandal, which could be extremely damaging to Hollywood, to become an even bigger story than it already was by newsreel footage playing in the very movie houses the studios owned. But again, that’s just me guessing about something that I really know nothing about.

User avatar
Sue Sue Applegate
Administrator
Posts: 3313
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 8:47 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » January 22nd, 2017, 4:38 pm

Joe, it was nice to know that Ruth Chatterton spent all but two days of the trial supporting Mary.

I can't wait to hear more about the documentary.
Blog: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/
Twitter:@suesueapplegate
TCM Message Boards: http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/ ... ue-sue-ii/
Sue Sue : https://www.facebook.com/groups/611323215621862/
Thelma Ritter: Hollywood's Favorite New Yorker, University Press of Mississippi-2018
Avatar: Ginger Rogers, The Major and The Minor

Joseph Egan
Posts: 45
Joined: January 17th, 2017, 2:07 pm

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Joseph Egan » January 22nd, 2017, 4:54 pm

For Sue-Sue About Chatterton

Chatterton was a remarkable, one of a kind woman and I am indebted to Scott Obrien’s wonderful biography of her. Chatterton comes alive on the pages of that book. Ruth was a woman who demanded control of her life and lived life entirely on her terms. She was a feminist before the term was even coined. She was also a rabid individualist who cared little what others thought of her. Among her many accomplishments, she became one America’s top woman flyers was a trial reporter writing for a L.A. newspaper and the woman’s accomplished were many. Ruth never saw herself as just a woman. She saw herself as a person first equal to any man…and frankly, better than most. She was an independent thinker who when she thought she was right wasn’t the least bit hesitant in telling you. After Dodsworth, in which she gave her greatest performance, she realized it would soon be downhill for her in the movies, so she returned to the theatre and never looked back. She eventually became a bestselling author writing about controversial subjects that she believed in and even wrote book reviews of the New York Times. She proved a very good friend to Astor and was, according to Astor a great help during the trial who Astor’s attorney believed could have made a first rate trial attorney. A truly remarkable woman who I can’t do justice about in the limited space I have here. If you want to learn about her you should read Scott’s bio.

Joseph Egan
Posts: 45
Joined: January 17th, 2017, 2:07 pm

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Joseph Egan » January 22nd, 2017, 5:03 pm

For Sue-Sue Regarding the Documentary

It’s coming along nicely. The script is almost finished and a plethora of photographs and other visual elements have already been gathered. In addition interviews are being conducted with Marylyn Roh, Mary Astor’s daughter as well as William Wyler’s son and Kevin Thomas, film historian already filmed. I have great faith in the filmmaker who has forgotten more about films than I will ever know. She is not only a big fan of Mary Astor but is even more enthusiastic about the project than I am which is saying a lot.

User avatar
Mrs. Osborne
Posts: 58
Joined: June 14th, 2013, 10:45 am

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Mrs. Osborne » January 22nd, 2017, 5:27 pm

Joe-

It's so interesting that Ruth Chatterton was also Bette Davis' idol, which seems to show that Astor, Davis and Chatterton were similar in their interests and priorities.

I am hearing that NYC will be the next stop for the documentarian. She's planning to snag Molly Haskell and Robert Osborne. They have already accepted the invitation to participate.

Mrs. O

User avatar
Sue Sue Applegate
Administrator
Posts: 3313
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 8:47 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » January 22nd, 2017, 5:33 pm

Well, Mrs. Osborne, you certainly seem to have a great deal of information about the documentary! Can you share a little more about it?
Blog: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/
Twitter:@suesueapplegate
TCM Message Boards: http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/ ... ue-sue-ii/
Sue Sue : https://www.facebook.com/groups/611323215621862/
Thelma Ritter: Hollywood's Favorite New Yorker, University Press of Mississippi-2018
Avatar: Ginger Rogers, The Major and The Minor

User avatar
Sue Sue Applegate
Administrator
Posts: 3313
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 8:47 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » January 22nd, 2017, 5:35 pm

Joe, I also was wanting to know about Mary Astor''s final years. Did she ever reveal whom she thought to be the love of her life? And how did she respond to her success as a writer?
Blog: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/
Twitter:@suesueapplegate
TCM Message Boards: http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/ ... ue-sue-ii/
Sue Sue : https://www.facebook.com/groups/611323215621862/
Thelma Ritter: Hollywood's Favorite New Yorker, University Press of Mississippi-2018
Avatar: Ginger Rogers, The Major and The Minor

User avatar
Mrs. Osborne
Posts: 58
Joined: June 14th, 2013, 10:45 am

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Mrs. Osborne » January 22nd, 2017, 5:41 pm

Thanks Sue Sue.

Yes, Mrs. Osborne is your documentarian. Joe was gracious enough to trust me with his incredible book.

Another question Joe:

Will you tell the SSO members that unbelievable story about the studio heads meeting and trying to stop Astor from continuing with her trial/law suit?


Mrs. O

User avatar
Sue Sue Applegate
Administrator
Posts: 3313
Joined: April 14th, 2007, 8:47 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » January 22nd, 2017, 5:46 pm

Wow!!! Fabulous news, Mrs. Osborne!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I am so excited to hear about your participation in this project!
And another great question, too!
Blog: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/
Twitter:@suesueapplegate
TCM Message Boards: http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/ ... ue-sue-ii/
Sue Sue : https://www.facebook.com/groups/611323215621862/
Thelma Ritter: Hollywood's Favorite New Yorker, University Press of Mississippi-2018
Avatar: Ginger Rogers, The Major and The Minor

User avatar
Lzcutter
Administrator
Posts: 3180
Joined: April 12th, 2007, 6:50 pm
Location: Lake Balboa and the City of Angels!
Contact:

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Lzcutter » January 22nd, 2017, 5:56 pm

Joe,

Thanks so much for the reply about "Hollywood Babylon".

I hope you don't mind another question, what was the thing that surprised you the most from your research for the book?
Lynn in Lake Balboa

"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."

"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese

Avatar-Warner Bros Water Tower

Joseph Egan
Posts: 45
Joined: January 17th, 2017, 2:07 pm

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Joseph Egan » January 22nd, 2017, 6:01 pm

For Mrs. Osborne about the documentary

That’s true. Not only are there a lot of Mary Astor fans out there but many, many people like the book. You might find this amusing but, because I’m such a busy body, even though I live New York the filmmaker has politely asked me to stay away from the filming as she and the person she interviews need to concentrate. I’m amused about this because the two of us are so in sync that we understand each other completely. I would like to meet Robert Osborne as I have a lot respect for the man but as I am, as they used say, very intense I might be too much for him. My wife tells me this all the time and when we are with people she will say 10 which means most intense and I should calm down. Or she will say 2 which means I’m all right. I did meet Molly Haskell a while back and found her to be absolutely delightful. If you are interested in movies she is the person to sit down and have a conversation with. Wonderful, wonderful person with a kind heart. I adored my time with her.

Joseph Egan
Posts: 45
Joined: January 17th, 2017, 2:07 pm

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Joseph Egan » January 22nd, 2017, 6:07 pm

For Mrs. Osborne About Chatterton Being Davis's Idol

A-I think that was because Ruth was a very strong person who very much controlled her career even when she had been on the stage and Davis admired that. In time, when she was had some power at Warner Bothers Davis became much the same way. In any case they were both individual one of a kind women.

Joseph Egan
Posts: 45
Joined: January 17th, 2017, 2:07 pm

Re: Welcome Joseph Egan for a Q & A on Mary Astor 1-21 & 1-22

Postby Joseph Egan » January 22nd, 2017, 6:30 pm

Regarding Astor's Last Years

She was living and writing in Mexico when in the early 70s she had several slight heart attacks and developed OCD and was forced to return to the States and live with her son until she got better. Two years later she moved into the Motion picture Country Home which was and is basically an assisted living facility. She had her own bungalow (as she was paying her own way) and where she could be alone to write. She kept pretty much to herself and as she didn’t like discussing her movies or listening to people complain about their medical problems she didn’t involve herself much with the other residents. In fact she ate alone at her own table. In fact she finished her last unpublished novel while there. It was also very hard because her friends were dying and this made her feel more end isolated. Eventually in the 80s she had several small strokes and things became difficult for her and she was difficult to others. But this should be expected to happen when an independent woman like her begins to weaken and feel that independence slipping away. Family would occasionally visit and her youngest granddaughter by Marylyn who worked near would often visited her. Also, she had stopped writing and for a woman as active, intellectually and otherwise, this was hard to live with. She was an avid birder and everyday feed the birds that flew about her bungalow but other than that there wasn’t really much for her to except watch her own decline. In 1985s he became very sick and had be moved to the facilities hospital where she died in her sleep two years later with her son and daughter-in-law at her bedside. Someone had neglected to inform her daughter of her mother’s impending death so Marylyn wasn’t there at the end but received a phone call from her brother saying, “Mom’s gone.” And that was pretty much the end of a relationship that fifty years earlier had made headlines across America.


Return to “Archived Guest Stars”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests