Mary Astor's Purple Diary

Mary Astor's Purple Diary

The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936

eBook - 2016
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In 1936 newspapers were ablaze with a scandalous child custody trial taking place in Hollywood and starring the actress Mary Astor; the story pushed Hitler and Franco off the front pages. George S. Kaufman, then the most successful playwright on Broadway and a married man to boot, had been Astor's lover. The scandal revolved around Mary's diary, which her ex-husband, Dr. Franklyn Thorpe, had found when they were still together. Mary, he claimed, had not only kept a tally of all her extramarital affairs but graded them-- and he already alerted the press in order to obtain a divorce and get custody of their daughter. Sorel provides all the juicy details of this particular slice of Hollywood Babylon, including Mary's life as a child star, and her teenage love affair with the much older John Barrymore.
Publisher: 2016
ISBN: 9781631490248
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
Alternative Title: Purple diary

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From Library Staff

I found it refreshing to read a bio where the author intersperses his subject’s life with anecdotes of his own; it gave a context to both.

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SurreyLibraries_Reads Nov 21, 2018

This book caught my eye because of the cover; yes I judge books by their cover. The author, Edward Sorel, is a cartoonist, illustrator, and caricaturist whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and many other magazines. Given his career he chose to do an illustrated biography on th... Read More »


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This book caught my eye because of the cover; yes I judge books by their cover. The author, Edward Sorel, is a cartoonist, illustrator, and caricaturist whose work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and many other magazines. Given his career he chose to do an illustrated biography on the actress Mary Astor after a serendipitous find while renovating his New York apartment in the 1960’s. I found it refreshing to read a bio where the author intersperses his subject’s life with anecdotes of his own; it gave a context to both. The fact that he illustrated it was icing on the cake. Many of the scandals we hear about in the entertainment field now are nothing new, it appears they have been around since there are been actors on stage – just a play being reworked and put back on view again for a new generation (Submitted by RZW)

s
simhop
Jun 05, 2018

Author wrote himself into the story, am glad I did not buy this book although I enjoyed the illustrations.

b
badboy63
Oct 30, 2017

Not very good, Edward Sorel is in love with himself.

ArapahoeLesley Oct 29, 2017

Such a fun book from artist Edward Sorel full of his own drawings and his life long love for the under-appreciated Mary Astor.

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