Actresses Who Had Abortions

Many classic actresses had to deal with unwanted pregnancies. Back then there weren't many options for birth control and having a baby out of wedlock was very controversial. These fourteen stars chose to have an abortion ...

 Ava Gardner had two abortions during her marriage to Frank Sinatra

Lana Turner had an abortion after leaving her husband Artie Shaw

Bette Davis had two abortions during her first marriage

 Marilyn Monroe had several abortions when she young

 Joan Crawford had an abortion when she was married to Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Rita Hayworth had an abortion during her romance with Howard Hughes

Jean Harlow had her first abortion in 1919 and her second in 1936

Marion Davies had a few abortions during her long affair with William Randolph Hearst

Judy Garland had an abortion when she was married to composer David Rose

 Betty Grable had an abortion during her relationship with Artie Shaw

Virginia Rappe had several abortions which may have led to her untimely death

Mary Pickford had an abortion during her first marriage which left her unable to have children

Kay Francis had several abortions during her life

Elizabeth Taylor had an abortion when Frank Sinatra refused to marry her

Mary Pickford

"I never liked one of my pictures in its entirety." ~ Mary

Mary Pickford was born Gladys Louise Smith on April 8, 1892, in Toronto, Canada. After her father's death Mary, her brother Jack, and sister Lottie began working on the stage to support the family. D.W. Griffith discovered her and soon she was appearing in silent films. At just five feet tall with long curls she was often cast as a child. She married Owen Moore, an actor, in 1911 but they separated shorty after. Mary starred in a string of hit movies including Stella Maris, Pollyanna, and My Best Girl. She became the highest paid actress in Hollywood and was nicknamed "America's Sweetheart". Mary fell in love with dashing actor Douglas Fairbanks and they were married in 1920. The couple lived in a lavish Beverly Hills mansion called "Pickfair". Mary joined Douglas, Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith to form United Artists Studios. She was also a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

 In 1929 she starred in Coquette, her first sound film, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Tired of making movies she decided to retire from acting. Her sixteen year marriage to Douglas ended in 1936 and a year later she married actor Charles "Buddy" Rogers (who was rumored to be gay). Mary was unable to have children due to a botched abortion so she and Charles adopted a son and a daughter. She was offered the role of Norma Desmond in the 1950 drama Sunset Boulevard but turned it down. Mary devoted most of her time to charity work and published her autobiography, Sunshine And Shadow. As she grew older she developed a drinking problem and became a recluse. She was presented with an honorary Oscar at the 1976 Academy Awards. Mary died on May 29, 1979 from a cerebral hemorrhage. She was cremated and her ashes are buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2013

 With Douglas Fairbanks


With Eleanor Roosevelt

A signed letter (from my collection)

Mary's trinket box (from my collection)

Vintage Autograph Collection

I have been collecting vintage Hollywood autographs for years. Many of my autographs can be 
seen right here on this blog. Here are some more of my favorites ...

 Clara Bow signed page from 1929

Loretta Young signed page

 Elizabeth Taylor signed page

 Mary Astor handwritten letter

 Gloria Grahame handwritten postcard

 Susan Peters signed page

 Una Merkel signed card

1961 guestbook signed by Janet Gaynor, Natalie Wood, and Robert Wagner

Clark Gable signed page

William Powell signed page from 1942

Cesar Romero signed Christmas card

Pat O'Brien signed photo

Janet Gaynor

"No one remains forever young and no one should want to." ~ Janet

Janet Gaynor was born Laura Augusta Gainor on October 6, 1906, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When she was a child her family moved to California. After high school she enrolled in secretarial school and worked in a shoe store. Janet decided to try acting and began getting work as an extra. Her first starring role was in the 1926 drama The Johnstown Flood. Just three years later she won the very first Academy Award for Best Actress for her cumulative work in Seventh Heaven, Sunrise, and Street Angel. She married Jesse Peck, an attorney, in 1929 but they divorced after four years together. Janet and Charles Farrell became a popular screen team and costarred in many hit films including Sunny Side Up and High Society Blues. By 1934 Janet was the top female box-office star in the country. She was nicknamed "The World's Sweetheart". Janet received another Oscar nomination in 1938 for 
her performance in A Star Is Born.

Despite all of her success she was tired of making movies and decided to retire. In 1939 she married MGM fashion designer Gilbert Adrian, who had worked on films like The Women and The Wizard Of Oz. They had a son, Robin, and moved to Brazil. Janet spent a lot of time traveling and started a second career as an artist. Her paintings were exhibited in galleries all over the country. She acted occasionally but never resumed her career full-time. In 1959 Adrian died of a heart attack. A few years later Janet married her close friend producer Paul Gregory. She also had a romantic relationship with actress Mary Martin that lasted for many years. In 1982 Janet was seriously injured in a car accident. She never fully recovered and died on September 14, 1984 from pneumonia. Janet was cremated and her ashes were buried next to Adrian at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2013

With her mother

With her husband Adrian

A handwritten letter (from my collection)

Jeanette MacDonald

"The one thing I missed was never having children. It just wasn't in the cards, I guess." ~ Jeanette

Jeanette Anna MacDonald was born on June 18, 1903, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the youngest of three daughters. Jeanette was a talented singer with a beautiful soprano voice. She went to New York to study music and began her career on Broadway. Jeanette made her film debut in the 1929 musical The Love Parade. It was a hit and she became one of Hollywood's hottest actresses. Her success continued with starring roles in The Lottery Bride and Love Me Tonight. Jeanette's sister, Marie Blake, also became an actress. In 1934 Jeanette signed a lucrative contract with MGM. The following year she he was paired with baritone Nelson Eddy in the musical Naughty Marietta. Jeanette and Nelson became one of Hollywood's most popular duos and were nicknamed "America's Singing Sweethearts". They made seven more movies together including Maytime and Sweethearts.

In real life Nelson and Jeanette were romantically involved for many years but kept their affair a secret. She married actor Gene Raymond in 1937. Although they appeared happy in public the couple had a troubled marriage. Jeanette was unable to have children and their were rumors that Gene was gay. By 1939 her $300,000 a year salary made her one of the highest paid actresses and she was voted "Queen Of Hollywood" in a nationwide poll. After making several unsuccessful films she decided to leave MGM in 1942. Jeanette performed live concerts and appeared in several stage productions. In 1958 Jeanette re-teamed with Nelson to record an album of duets. As she got older health problems forced her to stop working. Jeanette died on January 14, 1965 from a heart attack. She is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2013

 With Nelson Eddy


With her mother

Jeanette's personalized silk scarf (from my collection)