Silent movies and, occasionally, Robert Montgomery.

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Fred Thomson, silent Western star and husband of screenwriter Frances Marion
"Mary Pickford was married to one man and in love with another, but she still had an eye for a handsome face. In her position as their honorary colonel, she reviewed the troops of the 143rd Field Artillery and…spotted a six-foot-two, blue-eyed, sandy-haired fullback whose chiseled features stood out even in a crowd of good-looking men. She was careful to position herself next to him for the team picture.
Mary returned to Camp Kearney with Frances [Marion] a few weeks later to finalize the arrangements for the 143rd’s appearance in Johanna Enlists. The two women toured the base hospital because Mary’s ‘find’ from the previous visit was recovering from a broken leg. Frances had to agree that Fred Thomson was something to look at and…stayed behind to talk with the handsome patient…
…as Fred and Frances spent the afternoon talking, they realized they had met their respective match. He was well-read and a musician and mathematician by avocation with a breadth of knowledge she had rarely encountered - certainly never in someone so good-looking. [Fred was also a “world champion athlete,” chaplain of his division, and wrote regular articles about “the virtues of clean living.”]
'No one had written more satirically about 'love at first sight' than I,' Frances admitted, but that night she told Mary it had happened to her. She knew that if she had penned such a scene it would have been discarded as too far-fetched, but the truth was that the experienced and sophisticated writer had fallen in love with a straitlaced, God-fearing Boy Scout.”
~Excerpt from Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood by Cari Beauchamp

Fred Thomson, silent Western star and husband of screenwriter Frances Marion

"Mary Pickford was married to one man and in love with another, but she still had an eye for a handsome face. In her position as their honorary colonel, she reviewed the troops of the 143rd Field Artillery and…spotted a six-foot-two, blue-eyed, sandy-haired fullback whose chiseled features stood out even in a crowd of good-looking men. She was careful to position herself next to him for the team picture.

Mary returned to Camp Kearney with Frances [Marion] a few weeks later to finalize the arrangements for the 143rd’s appearance in Johanna Enlists. The two women toured the base hospital because Mary’s ‘find’ from the previous visit was recovering from a broken leg. Frances had to agree that Fred Thomson was something to look at and…stayed behind to talk with the handsome patient…

…as Fred and Frances spent the afternoon talking, they realized they had met their respective match. He was well-read and a musician and mathematician by avocation with a breadth of knowledge she had rarely encountered - certainly never in someone so good-looking. [Fred was also a “world champion athlete,” chaplain of his division, and wrote regular articles about “the virtues of clean living.”]

'No one had written more satirically about 'love at first sight' than I,' Frances admitted, but that night she told Mary it had happened to her. She knew that if she had penned such a scene it would have been discarded as too far-fetched, but the truth was that the experienced and sophisticated writer had fallen in love with a straitlaced, God-fearing Boy Scout.”


~Excerpt from Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood by Cari Beauchamp

  • 29 June 2012
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