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November 20, 1900|
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
|Died||March 17, 1985
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
(m. 1923; div. 1928)
(m. 1928; div. 1940)
|Children||2 sons, 1 daughter|
|Relatives||Norma Shearer (sister)
Douglas Shearer (brother)
Shearer was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. As a teenager, her divorced mother moved the two girls to New York City and then to Hollywood and in 1920 she obtained her first minor film role. In 1923, Athole Shearer married John Ward, with whom she would have a son; the pair divorced in 1928. The same year, she married again, this time to noted film director Howard Hawks (1896–1977), with whom she had a son and a daughter. They divorced twelve years later, in 1940, as a result of Hawks's affair with Slim Keith, whom he would later marry.
Athole Shearer suffered from bipolar disorder that went unrecognized for years resulting in her suffering numerous problems. Her film career was limited to a few bit parts because of her personal difficulties. She spent many years in mental institutions until her illness was properly diagnosed.