Groomed from childhood to be a star, Mary Astor fulfilled that dream and proved to be an exceptional performer. Beauty contest exposure and an exceptionally camera-friendly face earned her an invitation to Hollywood and Astor gradually moved from supporting assignments to leads in such major silent films as Beau Brummel (1924) and Don Juan (1926). She easily made the jump to sound pictures and displayed her versatility in everything from the sizzling Red Dust (1932) to the elegant Dodsworth (1936) to the screwball classic "Midnight" (1939). However, she was truly indelible as the deceitful heroine of The Maltese Falcon (1941) and gave an Oscar-winning barnstormer of a performance in The Great Lie (1941) that managed to overshadow the rarely dwarfed Bette Davis. In between the triumphs, Astor dealt with much adversity, including the money-grubbing machinations of her parents, several failed marriages, infidelity charges, a suicide attempt, and a penchant for alcohol that plagued her for two decades. She publicly aired those problems in the autobiography “My Story” (1959), the success of which helped to launch a new career for Astor as a novelist at a time when her movie career was coming to a close. Thanks to the enduring love for The Maltese Falcon (1941), it would almost certainly be Astor's best remembered credit, but her considerable dramatic and comedic abilities were on full view during virtually all phases of a commendable career that spanned four decades… more