Gertrude Astor

Highest Rated: 100% Hold Back the Dawn (1941)
Lowest Rated: 75% A Place in the Sun (1951)
Birthday: Nov 9, 1887
Birthplace: Not Available
Gertrude Astor did so much work in Hollywood in so many different acting capacities that it's not simple or easy to characterize her career. Born in Lakewood, OH, she joined a stock company at age 13, in the year 1900, and worked on showboats during that era. She played in vaudeville as well, and made her movie debut in 1914 as a contract player at Universal. She was an accomplished rider, which got her a lot of work as a stuntwoman, sometimes in conjunction with a young Maine-born actor named John Ford in pictures directed by the latter's brother, Francis Ford. But Astor soon moved into serious acting roles; a tall, statuesque, angular woman, she frequently towered over the leading men of the era, and was, thus, ideal as a foil in comedies of the 1910s and '20s, playing aristocrats, gold diggers, and the heroine's best friend (had the character of Brenda Starr existed that far back, she'd have been perfect playing Hank O'Hair, her crusty female editor). Astor was the vamp who plants stolen money on Harry Langdon in The Strong Man (1926), Laura La Plante's wisecracking traveling companion in The Cat and the Canary (1927), and the gold digger who got her hooks into Otis Harlan (as well as attracting the attention of fellow sailor Eddie Gribbon) in Dames Ahoy. When talkies came in, Astor's deep, throaty voice assured her steady work in character parts, still mostly in comedy. Her roles weren't huge, but she worked prolifically at Hal Roach studios with such headliners as Laurel and Hardy, in the Our Gang shorts, and especially with Charley Chase, and also worked at Columbia Pictures' short subjects unit. Astor's specialty at this time was outraged dignity; she was forever declaring, "I've never been so embarrassed in all my life!" and stalking out of a slapstick situation, usually with a comedy prop (a balloon, a folding chairs, a cream puff) affixed to her posterior. Astor worked regularly into the early '60s; she was briefly glimpsed as the first murder victim in the Sherlock Holmes adventure The Scarlet Claw (1944) and was among the ranks of dress extras in Around the World in 80 Days (1956). Her longtime friend John Ford also gave her roles in his feature films right into the early '60s, culminating with her appearance in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Gertrude Astor remained alert and quick-witted into her eighties, cheerfully sharing her memories of the glory days of comedy short subjects with fans and film historians. And in a town that can scarcely remember last year's studio presidents, in 1975, when she was 87 years old, Astor was given a party at Universal, where she was honored by a gathering of old friends, including the directors George Cukor, Allan Dwan, and Henry Hathaway. She passed away suddenly and peacefully on the day of her 90th birthday in 1977.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
93% The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance Actor 1962
No Score Yet All in a Night's Work Customer 1961
No Score Yet The Oklahoman Woman 1957
No Score Yet Everything but the Truth Bit 1956
No Score Yet At Gunpoint (Gunpoint!) Woman 1955
No Score Yet Daddy Long Legs Woman 1955
80% Angel Face Matron 1952
No Score Yet Paula Mrs. Brown 1952
75% A Place in the Sun Woman 1951
77% When Worlds Collide Traveler 1951
98% Sunset Boulevard Courtier 1950
No Score Yet Montana Woman 1950
No Score Yet The Story of Seabiscuit Wife 1949
No Score Yet Jolson Sings Again (uncredited) 1949
No Score Yet The File on Thelma Jordon Juror 1949
No Score Yet Sitting Pretty Woman 1948
No Score Yet My Dear Secretary Miss Gee 1948
No Score Yet Sister Kenny Doctor (uncredited) 1946
No Score Yet Dragonwyck Nurse 1946
No Score Yet Dick Tracy, Detective Woman 1945
No Score Yet The Scarlet Claw Woman 1944
No Score Yet Great Guy Party Guest 1942
No Score Yet Lady for a Night Woman 1942
No Score Yet Moontide Woman 1942
100% Hold Back the Dawn Young Woman at Climax Bar 1941
No Score Yet Misbehaving Husbands Gossiping Friend 1940
92% The Women Nurse 1939
No Score Yet All Over Town Mamie 1937
100% Easy Living Saleswoman 1937
No Score Yet Our Relations Extra in Pirate's Club 1936
No Score Yet Postal Inspector Woman with Drum Sticks 1936
No Score Yet His Brother's Wife Actor 1936
100% San Francisco Drunk's Girl 1936
No Score Yet The Milky Way Woman 1936
No Score Yet Dante's Inferno Concessionaires' Wife 1935
No Score Yet No More Ladies Nightclub Extra 1935
No Score Yet Northern Frontier Mae 1935
No Score Yet Washee Ironee Actor 1934
No Score Yet Now I'll Tell Freddie's Wife 1934
No Score Yet Guilty Parents Marie 1934
No Score Yet After Midnight Harriet Naisson 1933
No Score Yet They Never Come Back Kate 1932
No Score Yet Be Yourself Lillian Thorpe 1930
No Score Yet Dames Ahoy The Blonde 1930
No Score Yet The Cohens and Kellys in Paris Paulette 1928
93% The Cat and the Canary Cecily Young 1927
No Score Yet Cheerful Fraud Rose 1927
No Score Yet The Strong Man Gold Tooth 1926
No Score Yet Kiki Paulette 1926
No Score Yet Behind the Front French Barmaid 1926
100% Beyond the Rocks Morella Winmarleigh 1922
No Score Yet Through the Back Door Hortense 1921
No Score Yet Through The Backdoor Hortense Reeves 1921
No Score Yet The Wicked Darling Adele Hoyt 1919

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet I Love Lucy
1951-1957
Flapper
  • 1952

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