Brown - Light
Charleroi, Pennslyvania, USA
Place of Death
Neuilly-sur seine, France
Cause of Death
Accidental poisoning (due to an ingestion of a solution of mercury bichloride)
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
Oliveretta Elaine Duffy was born on October 20, 1894, in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. Olive, as she was known to family and friends, did not have much of a childhood. Life in industrial Pittsburgh was depressing and grim with its smoky factories and hard living. She married Bernard Krug Thomas at the age of 16 (which wasn`t uncommon at the time), but the marriage wasn`t a happy one and they divorced two years later. By this time Olive had quit the Pittsburgh public school system and left for New York. Here she found work in a department store. By chance there was a competition for the most beautiful girl in New York City. On a lark she entered and, as fate would have it, she won. With the publicity coming from the win, Olive was spotted by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. and immediately went to work in his famed Follies. She was absolutely outstanding and men went wild over her beauty. She also posed nude for the famed Peruvian artist `Alberto Vargas` . As a result of her sudden fame, she was signed to a contract with Triangle Pictures. Her first film was Beatrice Fairfax (1916). Later that year, on October 20, she married Jack Pickford, brother of screen star Mary Pickford, but the relationship was a stormy one. In 1917, she starred in four more films: Madcap Madge (1917), A Girl Like That (1917), Broadway Arizona (1917) and Indiscreet Corinne (1917). With five films on her resume, Olive was the toast of Hollywood and indeed the film world. Her beauty was captivating. One look at her pictures can make one understand why. She made three films in 1918 and six in 1919. By 1920, Olive was at the top of the film world. She continued to make good pictures, most notably, Youthful Folly (1920) and The Flapper (1920), which was an overwhelming success and has assured her place in film history. After finishing shooting Everybody`s Sweetheart (1920), Olive and Jack sailed to France in August for a much needed vacation. The couple seemed happy, which seems odd in light of what was to follow. Olive accidentally ingested bi-chloride of mercury from a French-labeled bottle in a darkened bathroom, believing it to be another medication, and she died from it not long after. The death made worldwide headlines and it was finally ruled accidental. Had Olive not died so young, she would always be remembered as one of the finest actresses of the silent era. With the advent of sound pictures, she would have no doubt continued her dazzling career. Olive Thomas, who was considered to be one of the world`s great beauties, was only 20 when she died.
Full Name at Birth
Oliveretta Elaine Duffy
James (born 1896), William (born 1899)
Olive Thomas (October 20, 1894 – September 10, 1920) was an American silent film actress and model.
Claim to Fame
The Flapper (1920)
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