“The Marilyn Monroe of The Early Years”
Olive Thomas was “Everyone’s sweetheart”Like Marilyn Monroe,Olive Thomas was ethereally beautiful.A school drop out and married in her teens.That marriage to Benard Krug Thomas,ended in divorce.Also like Marilyn,she gave various versions of her “real” name.Again like the legendary Marilyn,The lovely girls first job was in a factory in her home town.After her brief marriage,Olive went to Harlem to live with a relative.Life was still hard,not very different working in a department store,from working in a factory in Pennsylvania Her extraordinary Beauty offered her a way out of poverty when she entered a contest for “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World”and won.Like Marilyn she worked as a model,One of her employers Harrison Fisher wrote a letter of recommendation to Florenz Ziegfeld.She also posed nude for the artist Alberto Vargas. Olive Thomas appeared in The 1915 follies with such luminaries as W.C Fields,Ed Wynn, Eddie Cantor,and Ina Claire.She also became a star of Ziegfeld’s “Midnight Frolic”As a result of this,she soon found a place in the movie industry,from 1916 to 1920 she became a instant box office favorite,along with such names as The Gish Sisters ,Mabel Normand,Norma Talmadge,Gloria Swanson and others.In 1916 she met Jack Pickford,Brother of Legendary “Mary Pickford”.They both became so infatuated with each other,they were married in October of that same year.By this time her film career was in full swing,the two delayed there honeymoon for over a year because of movie commitments.Like Marilyn, Olive was always tormented by criticism that her success in movies was all because of her beauty,and not her talent.In 1919 she became a Selznick Star,The first “Baby Vamp”a sophisticated Flapper,while her success made her a true star,her marriage to Pickford was uneven.The marriage was marked by dramatic battles,followed by lavish apologys,and expensive gifts.Although he loved Olive very much,he remained a womanizer until Olive’s death.In 1920 Jack and Olive were in Paris for what was entended to be there second honeymoon.It was rumored that Jack had syphilis,and was undergoing treatment,after also infecting young Olive.Jack was undergoing treatment for this disease by taking Mercury Bichcloride.On September,5,in there hotel room,Olive mistakeinly swallowed a large amount of this medicine,thinking it was sleeping medicine?????Like Marilyn no one will ever really be sure if her death was suicide, or an accident.Olive Thomas was just 26 years old.Her funeral was held at ST. Thomas Episcopal church on fifth avenue.It was the first “Hollywood Funeral”and was attended by huge hysterical grieving crowds. Unlike Marilyn, Olive Thomas has been forgotten.