~Olive Thomas~

Born: October 20, 1894 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: September 10, 1920 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Olive Thomas as a young girl was married and divorced and off to New York by the age of 20. She won
a contest seeking the most beautiful girl in New York. The prize was to have her portrait painted by
Howard Chandler Christie. She began working as a model which lead her to become a Ziegfeld Follies

Olive worked as a Follies girl for just a year and toward the end of her Follies work she began acting
for Wharton Studios in Ithica, New York. It is at this same time that Olive met Jack Pickford (Mary
Picford's brother) at a party and a romance developed. Olive and Jack eloped in 1916, but kept their
marriage a secret for over a year.

In 1917, Olive went under contract with Triangle Films and was off to Hollywood to become a star.
Most of her films with Triangle depicted her as a young girl in poverty to become wealthy and
welcomed in society. In 1919, Thomas moved from Triangle to Selznick Pictures (and was their first
true star). In 1920, Olive starred in the first flapper film entitled
The Flapper.

With Olive's marriage to troubled Jack Pickford having problems, the couple set off to Paris for a
second honeymoon. After a long night partying Olive took a tablet of crystallized mercury bichloride
with alcohol. After four days at the American Hospital near Paris, Olive died. She was only 25 years

Her death was ruled an accident, but some hinted that Olive had committed suicide or that her
husband, Jack Pickford, may have had a part in her death. After a chaotic funeral in New York, she
was buried in a Pickford crypt in Bronx, New York. Her final film
Everybody's Sweetheart was
released just a week after her death.  

Written by Kay Shackleton
~Silent Filmography~

Everybody's Sweetheart (1920) .... Mary
Darling Mine (1920) .... Kitty McCarthy
The Flapper (1920) .... Ginger King
Youthful Folly (1920) .... Nancy Sherwin
Footlights and Shadows (1920) .... Gloria Dawn
Out Yonder (1919) .... Flotsam
The Glorious Lady (1919) .... Ivis Benson
The Spite Bride (1919) .... Tessa Doyle
Prudence on Broadway (1919) .... Prudence
Love's Prisoner (1919) .... Nancy, later Lady Cleveland
Upstairs and Down (1919) .... Alice Chesterton
... aka Up-stairs and Down (USA: copyright title)
The Follies Girl (1919) .... Doll
Toton the Apache (1919) .... Toton/Yvonne
Heiress for a Day (1918) .... Helen Thurston
Limousine Life (1918) .... Minnie Wills
Betty Takes a Hand (1918) .... Betty Marshall
Tom Sawyer (1917) (uncredited) .... Choir Member
Indiscreet Corinne (1917) .... Corinne Chilvers
Broadway Arizona (1917) .... Fritzi Carlyle
An Even Break (1917) .... Claire Curtis
Madcap Madge (1917) .... Betty
A Girl Like That (1917) .... Fannie Brooks
Beatrice Fairfax Episode 10: Playball (1916) .... Rita Malone
Beatrice Fairfax (1916) .... Rita Malone (#10 Playball)
... aka Letters to Beatrice (USA: alternative title)


Youthful Folly (1920)
If you are a fan of Olive
Thomas or would like to
get to know her better, I
suggest trying the
documentary about her
life: "
Olive Thomas:
Sweetheart" as part of
the Olive Thomas
Collection (which
includes a remastered
version of "The
Flapper". This DVD is
available on
A Biography of Olive
Thomas, written by
Michelle Vogel
Thomas: The Life and
Death of a Silent Film
Beauty" is also available
on Amazon.com