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Publicity photo of Garon from Stars of the Photoplay (1824)
September 9, 1900|
Montreal, Quebec Canada
|Died||August 30, 1965
San Bernardino, California U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Lowell Sherman (1926–1930)
Clyde Harland John Alban (1940–1942)
Ross Forester (−1965)
Born in Montreal, Quebec as Marie Pauline Garon, Garon was the daughter of Pierre and Victoria Garon. Pierre was of French descent and Victoria's heritage was Irish. Her father first worked for the Canadian postal department, then worked at an insurance agency, where he managed to gain enough money to send his youngest child (out of eleven children) to the Couvent Sacre-Coeur (Sacred Heart Convent) in Montreal, one of the most prestigious schools in the city. Garon attended this school for seven years. She was the first graduate of the institution to perform in the theater. Garon did not learn English until she was ten years old.
Around age 20, Garon ran away to New York where she began work on Broadway, appearing in such productions as Buddies and Sonny. Garon debuted in films in Remodeling Her Husband as a body double for Dorothy Gish. She was said to be a protégé of Lillian Gish.
She was associated with D.W. Griffith when she first came to Hollywood in 1920. Garon's first important role came in 1921's The Power Within. She also played the body double for Sylvia Breamer in Doubling for Romeo (1921).
In 1923, she was hailed as Cecil B. DeMille's big new discovery. He cast her in only two films. One was Adam's Rib (1923). She was selected as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars in 1923. Even before her "discovery", Garon had been a steadily rising star. She appeared opposite Owen Moore in Reported Missing (1922). Garon received much praise for her role in Henry King's adaptation of Sonny (1922 film) (1922). She had been chosen for this role by King after he saw her portray the role in the stage production on Broadway.
In 1922 she played with Richard Barthelmess in the First National Pictures release, Sonny. Her role as Florence Crosby brought her to the brink of stardom. However the ingenue professed no real desire to be a celebrity. Garon admitted that the thought of the responsibilities of being a star frightened her.
Garon was making at least five films a year after her popularity soared. She was playing many lead roles in B movies and supporting roles in more glamorous films. The 1920s was a wonderful decade for the actress. She co-starred with Gloria Swanson and John Boles in The Love of Sunya which opened the lavish Roxy Theater in New York City on March 11, 1927.
By 1928 Garon's career began to decline dramatically. By the end, She appeared mostly in French renditions of Paramount Pictures movies. She was cast in less popular English films as well.
By the early 1930s, Garon was given very small uncredited roles. By 1934 she had vanished from film. Garon played a bit part in How Green Was My Valley (1941). She was in two westerns, Song Of The Saddle (1936) and The Cowboy and the Blonde (1941).
Garon married three times. She wed actor Lowell Sherman in February 1926. Sherman's influence led Garon to refuse a long-term contract with Paramount. In February 1928 Garon became a citizen of the United States. She separated from Sherman in August 1927. In February 1940 she eloped with radio star and actor, Clyde Harland John Alban, to Yuma, Arizona. Garon and Alban divorced in 1942. She wed comedian Ross Forester and remained with him until she died.
Garon died at Patton State Hospital, a psychiatric institution in San Bernardino, California, in 1965. The cause of death was a brain disorder. She was 63 years old. Garon's health had been precarious for some time. She collapsed at the 20th Century Fox studios in June 1952.
- Manslaughter (1922) (uncredited)
- Adam's Rib (1923)
- Wine of Youth (1924)
- The Farmer from Texas (1925)
- Compromise (1925)
- The College Hero (1927)
- The Heart of Broadway (1928)--(Survives at Library of Congress)
- Becky Sharp (1935)
- Charleston Gazette, Movie Star Granted Citizenship Papers, Wednesday, February 22, 1928, p. 24.
- Englewood Economist, Petite Pauline Garon Reaches Fame Rapidly, October 10, 1923, p. 6.
- Hayward Daily Review, Actress Gets Divorce Decree, April 22, 1942, p. 2.
- Lethbridge Herald, Behind The Scenes In Hollywood, June 9, 1952, p. 9.
- Lincoln Star, Film Features From The Cinema World, Sunday, May 13, 1923, p. 31.
- Lincoln Star, Film Features From The Cinema World, September 16, 1923, p. 40.
- Los Angeles Times, One..In..A..Million, July 9, 1922, p. 32.
- Los Angeles Times, To Honor Actress, July 16, 1922, p. 35.
- New York Times, Pauline Garon Wed in Yuma, February 21, 1940, p. 21.
- Washington Post, World's Greatest Golfer, October 16, 1932, page SM3.
- Washington Post, Sarazen's Ears Nicer Than Valentino's, Agents Told Gene, But He Wised Up In Time, May 4, 1950, p. 17.
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