Most famous for playing opposite Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon, Mary Astor was one of Hollywood’s most beloved film stars. But her story wasn’t a happy one. Widowed at twenty-four, she quickly entered a rocky marriage with Dr. Franklyn Thorpe in which both were unfaithful. When they finally divorced in 1936, Astor sued for custody of their baby daughter Marylyn, setting off one of Hollywood’s most scandalous court cases.
In the ruthless court battle, Thorpe held a trump card: the diaries Astor had been keeping for years. In them, Astor detailed her own affairs—including with playwright George S. Kaufman—as well as the myriad dalliances of some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Studio heads were desperate to keep such damning details from leaking. But speculation of the dairy’s contents became a major news story, stealing the front page from The Spanish Civil War and Hitler’s 1936 Olympic Games in newspapers all over America.
With unlimited access to the photographs and memorabilia of Mary Astor’s estate, The Purples Diaries is an in-depth look at Hollywood’s Golden Age as it has never been seen before.
About the author
Joseph Egan is something of a renaissance figure. Soon after earning a degree in film and theatre, he wrote for and edited a weekly entertainment newspaper. In addition, he is the editor of a privately printed anthology, has edited several college literary magazines, worked as a free-lance editor and is a professional researcher. Mr. Egan has also worked in motion picture promotion, has had several film scripts optioned and served as a judge at an international independent Film festival. In addition, as a conceptual artist, he has presented installations in New York City as well as in the Midwest.
Joseph Egan is also a close personal friend of Marylyn Thorpe Roh, the child at the center of this famous custody case. He is an expert on a wide range of subjects including the motion picture Heaven’s Gate, producer David O. Selznick, inventor Nikola Tesla and of course, Mary Astor. Mr. Egan and his wife live on the side of a mountain in Dutchess County, New York where their daily visitors are restricted to white tail deer, wild turkeys, chipmunks, rabbits, raccoons and a rather reclusive family of possums.