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Purple Diaries : Mary Astor and the Most Sensational Hollywood Scandal of the 1930s (Paperback) (Joseph

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1936 was set to be a great year for the movie industry. Theatre attendance was up; the financial setbacks of The Great Depression were subsiding. Americans everywhere were sitting in the dark to watch the stars, and few stars shined as brightly as one of America’s first sweethearts, Mary Astor. But Astor’s story wasn’t a happy one. A poor family, Mary's parents grabbed the reins and the checks at the first sign her looks would earn them money. Widowed at twenty-four, Mary Astor looked for any port in a storm, and thought she'd found one in Dr. Franklyn Thorpe. The marriage was a rocky one, destined for divorce seemingly from the moment the two stepped off the altar. Both were unfaithful, but the relationship did not dissolve before Mary Astor gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Marylyn. The custody battle that followed was so fiery it pushed war off of the front pages. Astor and Thorpe were ruthless in their fight to gain custody of their daughter, but Thorpe held a trump card: the diary that Mary Astor had kept for years. In this diary, Astor detailed her own affairs as well as the myriad dalliances of some of Hollywood’s biggest names. The studio heads, longtime controllers of public perception, were desperate to keep the juiciest details from leaking. With the support of the Astor estate, Joseph Egan has painted a portrait of one of the greatest film actresses of all time in her most challenging role, that of the unwilling whistleblower, fighting for her child. Egan also spins a wildly absorbing yarn of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the scandal that threatened to tarnish it all.

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