Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Second-Class Actor

Among the passengers who boarded the SS Olympic at Southampton on July 21, 1920, were Hollywood honeymooners Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. Traveling on the same ship, in a less luxurious compartment, was an unknown British actor named Archibald Leach.

In his autobiography Cary Grant recalled the meeting: 'Among the fellow passengers were newlyweds Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford, the world's most popular honeymooners and the first film stars I ever met.

'They were gracious and patient in face of constant harassment, by people with cameras and autograph books, whenever they appeared on deck; and once even I found myself being photographed with Mr. Fairbanks during a game of shuffleboard. 'As I stood beside him I tried with shy, inadequate words to tell him of my adulation.

He was a splendidly trained athlete and acrobat, affable and warmed by success and well-being. A gentleman in the true sense of the word.' [Link]
The passenger list on which their names appear is among those to be digitized and indexed by findmypast.com. Their arrival in New York was recorded here and here.

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