skip navigation
Olive Thomas

Olive Thomas

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Also Known As: Died: September 10, 2020
Born: October 20, 1894 Cause of Death: bichloride of mercury poisoning
Birth Place: Charleroi, Pennsylvania Profession:

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A beautiful showgirl, Thomas became a film star after signing with agent Myron Selznick in 1916. From a Pennsylvania mining-town family, she moved to New York in the mid-1910s and her stunning looks swiftly advanced her from salesclerk to model to Ziegfeld Girl. She appeared in the "Follies" of 1915 and 1916, and starred as "The Midnight Frolics Girl" in Ziegfeld's rooftop cabaret.Thomas abandoned the stage when signed by Triangle in 1916. She was an almost immediate hit with such films as "Beatrice Fairfax" (1916), "Indiscreet Corinne" and "A Girl Like That" (both 1917), "Betty Takes a Hand" and "The Follies Girl" (both 1918). In 1919, she was signed to a star contract by Selznick, at $2500 a week. She earned her paycheck, though; in 1919 alone Thomas starred in "Upstairs & Down", "The Glorious Lady", "Love's Prisoner", "Prudence on Broadway", "Out Yonder", "Tonton" and "The Spiteful Bride". The following year her films included "Youthful Folly", "Darling Mine", "Footlights and Shadows", "The Flapper" (one of her biggest hits) and "Everybody's Sweetheart".In the summer of 1920, Thomas sailed for Europe with Jack Pickford, her husband since 1917. She died on September 9th in Paris after drinking...

A beautiful showgirl, Thomas became a film star after signing with agent Myron Selznick in 1916. From a Pennsylvania mining-town family, she moved to New York in the mid-1910s and her stunning looks swiftly advanced her from salesclerk to model to Ziegfeld Girl. She appeared in the "Follies" of 1915 and 1916, and starred as "The Midnight Frolics Girl" in Ziegfeld's rooftop cabaret.

Thomas abandoned the stage when signed by Triangle in 1916. She was an almost immediate hit with such films as "Beatrice Fairfax" (1916), "Indiscreet Corinne" and "A Girl Like That" (both 1917), "Betty Takes a Hand" and "The Follies Girl" (both 1918). In 1919, she was signed to a star contract by Selznick, at $2500 a week. She earned her paycheck, though; in 1919 alone Thomas starred in "Upstairs & Down", "The Glorious Lady", "Love's Prisoner", "Prudence on Broadway", "Out Yonder", "Tonton" and "The Spiteful Bride". The following year her films included "Youthful Folly", "Darling Mine", "Footlights and Shadows", "The Flapper" (one of her biggest hits) and "Everybody's Sweetheart".

In the summer of 1920, Thomas sailed for Europe with Jack Pickford, her husband since 1917. She died on September 9th in Paris after drinking bichloride of mercury, leaving one of Hollywood's darkest mysteries behind her. Pickford (a notorious drug addict who collected a huge life insurance policy) insisted it had been an accident, while rumors of suicide due to his drug habit or venereal disease ran rampant. Since her death, Thomas' ghost has been reported to haunt the New Amsterdam Theater, former home of "The Ziegfeld Follies".

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Youthful Folly (1920) Nancy Sherwin
2.
 Darling Mine (1920) Kitty McCarthy
3.
 Everybody's Sweetheart (1920) Mary
4.
 The Flapper (1920) Ginger King
5.
 Footlights and Shadows (1920) Gloria Dawn
6.
 Toton (1919) Toton/Yvonne
7.
 Prudence on Broadway (1919) Prudence
8.
 Love's Prisoner (1919) Nancy, "The Bird"
9.
10.
 The Follies Girl (1919) Doll
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Notes

Her birthyear is variously given as 1884, 1894 and 1898.

"That girl has a businesswoman's head. I believe she will be capable of directing someday . . . Olive is a joy-of-living optimist--but an intelligent one." --unnamed director, quoted in 1919 newspaper interview

Thomas' ghost is said to haunt the New Amsterdam Theatre in Manhattan.

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Bernard Krug Thomas. Salesman. Married briefly in early 1910s.
husband:
Jack Pickford. Actor. Born in 1896; married from 1917 until her death; died in 1933.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
James Duffy. Worked at Selznick Studios; survived her.
brother:
William Duffy. Worked at Selznick Studios; survived her.
half-sister:
Harriet Vankirk. Born c. 1914; survived her.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute