The Great Lie
Mary Astor (born Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke; May 3, 1906 – September 25, 1987) was an American actress. She is best remembered for her role as Brigid O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon (1941),
Astor began her long motion picture career as a teenager in the silent movies of the early 1920s. She eventually changed to talkies but nearly saw her career destroyed due to scandal in the mid-1930s. She was sued for support by her parents and was later branded an adulterous wife by her ex-husband, in a custody fight over her daughter. Overcoming these stumbling blocks in her private life, Astor went on to greater success on screen, eventually winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in The Great Lie (1941). She was a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player through most of the 1940s and continued to work in film, television and on stage until her retirement in 1964. Astor was the author of five novels. Her autobiography was a bestseller, as was her later book, A Life on Film, which was about her career. Director Lindsay Anderson wrote of her in 1990: "that when two or three who love the cinema are gathered together, the name of Mary Astor always comes up, and everybody agrees that she was an actress of special attraction, whose qualities of depth and reality always seemed to illuminate the parts she played."