Fast Facts

  • One of the biggest stars of early Hollywood, appearing in both silent films and the first talkies; became particularly well-known for her on-screen chemistry with frequent romantic lead Charles Farrell.
  • Awarded the very first Best Actress Oscar, for cumulative work in 1927 and 1928.
  • Retired in 1939 around the time of her marriage to her second husband, Hollywood costume designer Gilbert Adrian, with whom she bought a ranch in Brazil.
  • Returned to acting for one more film, 1957's Bernadine.
  • Had a role in the 1980 Broadway production of Harold and Maude.
  • An artist, her paintings were once exhibited in a New York gallery.
  • Her 1984 death was attributed to injuries she'd sustained two years earlier in a taxi accident; the crash also injured her fellow passengers, including actor Mary Martin.


  • 1937, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1928, Oscar — Best Actress: Winner


  • Harry C. Jones — Stepfather
  • Laura Buhl — Mother
  • Lydell Peck — Ex-husband
  • Gilbert Adrian — Husband (deceased)
  • Paul Gregory — Husband
  • Frank Gainor — Father
  • Helen Gainor — Sister


  • Attended Hollywood Secretarial School, Los Angeles, CA

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  • Birth Name: Laura Augusta Gainor
  • Birth Place: Philadelphia, PA
  • Died: September 14, 1984
  • Profession: Actor

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