Ann Sothern

Ann Sothern (January 22, 1909 - March 15, 2001) was a American film actress.

Born Harriette Arlene Lake in Valley City, North Dakota, Sothern began her film career as an extra in silent films in 1927. In 1934 she signed a contract with Columbia Pictures but after two years the studio released her from this contract, and she was signed by RKO Pictures in 1936. After a string of films that failed to attract an audience, Sothern left RKO and was signed to MGM, making her first film for them in 1939.

In a role originally intended for Jean Harlow, Sothern was cast as "Maisie", a bold, brassy but somewhat scatter-brained showgirl who was also an amateur detective. After years of trying, Sothern had her first real success, and a string of "Maisie" film sequels and radio plays took her through to the late forties. She appeared in A Letter to Three Wives in (1949) and the film earned her excellent reviews, but did not stimulate her career.

By the fifties she was rarely seen in films and was appearing regularly in television. She was the lead in the series Private Secretary from 1953 until 1957, and The Ann Sothern Show from 1958 until 1959. Both programs were very successful and earned Sothern four Emmy Award nominations, but a bout of hepatitis had left her with a bloated and overweight appearance, and she preferred not to be seen. In 1965 she was heard as the voice of the car in the series My Mother The Car.

She resumed working sporadically on television until the mid 1980s, including a television remake of her earlier success A Letter To Three Wives. Her final film role was in The Whales of August in 1987. Her role as the neighbour of elderly sisters, played by Lillian Gish and Bette Davis, with romantic interest provided by Vincent Price, brought Sothern an Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination.

She retired from acting, and died at her home in Ketchum, Idaho from heart failure.

She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - for Motion Pictures, at 1612 Vine St, and for Television, at 1634 Vine St.


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She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - for Motion Pictures, at 1612 Vine St, and for Television, at 1634 Vine St. Baker premiered her documentary on Olive Thomas' short life titled Olive Thomas: The Most Beautiful Girl in the World. She retired from acting, and died at her home in Ketchum, Idaho from heart failure. In 2004, with funding from Timeline Films and with the help of Hugh Hefner and his film preservation organization, Sarah J. Her role as the neighbour of elderly sisters, played by Lillian Gish and Bette Davis, with romantic interest provided by Vincent Price, brought Sothern an Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York and she was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York. Her final film role was in The Whales of August in 1987. Olive Thomas' funeral service was held at St.

She resumed working sporadically on television until the mid 1980s, including a television remake of her earlier success A Letter To Three Wives. Jack Pickford brought her body home to the United States and on the return trip, family friend and film director Allan Dwan had to talk him out of committing suicide. In 1965 she was heard as the voice of the car in the series My Mother The Car. A police investigation followed and her death was ruled accidental. Both programs were very successful and earned Sothern four Emmy Award nominations, but a bout of hepatitis had left her with a bloated and overweight appearance, and she preferred not to be seen. She was taken to the American Hospital in the Paris suburb of Neuilly, where her husband and former in-law Owen Moore stayed by her side until she succumbed to the poison a few days later. She was the lead in the series Private Secretary from 1953 until 1957, and The Ann Sothern Show from 1958 until 1959. Returning to their room in the Hotel Ritz at around 3:00 in the morning, an apparent drunken Olive Pickford accidentally ingested a large dose of mercury biochloride which had been prescribed for her husband's ongoing venereal disease.

By the fifties she was rarely seen in films and was appearing regularly in television. While doing film preparations mixed with a vacation in Paris, France, she and her husband went out for a night of entertainment at the famous bistros in the Montparnasse Quarter. She appeared in A Letter to Three Wives in (1949) and the film earned her excellent reviews, but did not stimulate her career. Florenz Ziegfeld hung the painting in his New Amsterdam Theatre office, much to the chagrin of his wife, actress Billie Burke. After years of trying, Sothern had her first real success, and a string of "Maisie" film sequels and radio plays took her through to the late forties. By 1920, she had become one of the brightest young stars in America and renowned artist Alberto Vargas painted another portrait of her, nude from the waist up. In a role originally intended for Jean Harlow, Sothern was cast as "Maisie", a bold, brassy but somewhat scatter-brained showgirl who was also an amateur detective. The following year, gossip columnists such as Louella Parsons were gushing about her career and the name Olive Thomas was emblazoned in electric lights on Broadway while magazines were filled with stories and photos of her soaring career.

After a string of films that failed to attract an audience, Sothern left RKO and was signed to MGM, making her first film for them in 1939. In 1918, film mogul and master promoter, Myron Selznick signed her for Selznick Pictures Company. Born Harriette Arlene Lake in Valley City, North Dakota, Sothern began her film career as an extra in silent films in 1927. In 1934 she signed a contract with Columbia Pictures but after two years the studio released her from this contract, and she was signed by RKO Pictures in 1936. Alcohol began playing a larger and larger role in Thomas' life and in a short span crashed her automobile on three occasions. Ann Sothern (January 22, 1909 - March 15, 2001) was a American film actress. They married in October of 1916, and although Olive was the love of his life, the marriage was a stormy one sometimes filled with highly charged conflict followed by lavish making up through expensive gifts. Through her work she met actor Jack Pickford (1896-1933), an alcoholic, drug-using, womanizer who lived extravagantly off the wealth and fame of his sister, Mary Pickford.

She went on to appear in more than twenty Hollywood films over the next four years. Approached by an executive from Triangle Pictures, she was put under contract and in 1916 made her motion picture debut using her married name, Thomas. Before long, the gorgeous Olive Thomas was the center of attention of the in-crowd such as those associated with Conde Nast and she was being pursued by a number of very wealthy and powerful men. She then modeled for another famous artist Harrison Fisher and eventually wound up on the cover of "Saturday Evening Post." She was hired by the Ziegfeld Follies and then worked for the much racier revue, the Ziegfeld Frolics," a show staged after hours in the roof garden of the New Amsterdam Theatre for mainly male patrons with plenty of money to bestow on the young and beautiful lady performers.

In 1914 she entered and won "The Most Beautiful Girl in New York City" contest run by the celebrated commercial artist, Howard Chandler Christy. A beautiful and ambitious girl, she went to stay with an aunt in New York City where she worked in a department store. At the age of 16, she married Bernard Thomas but the marriage lasted only a short time. Born Oliva Elaine Duffy into a working class family in a Pittsburgh suburb, her father died when she was young and she had to leave school to help support her mother and siblings.

Olive Thomas, born October 20, 1894 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, United States – died September 10, 1920 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, was an actress.

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