I think I should explain my love for Olive Thomas and Jack Pickford, since it is a bit of an obsession.
I remember the day I first laid eyes on Olive. It was waayyyy back when people still used Myspace and such. I was looking at a page about some other silent star (whom I can't remember) when I glanced at their "friends" list, it was then when I saw Olive.
I immediately clicked on her page, wanting to know more about her. The brief information next to her picture stated, "Olive Thomas 1894-1920 Accidental Poisoning". I was suddenly overwhelmed with great sadness; I felt so bad for this young woman who died so young and tragic.
It was then that I decided to research this beauty.
I decided that I would write a biography on Olive.
|The first photo of Ollie that I've ever seen.|
What I loved and still love about Olive, is that she seems so present. She died almost a century ago but she has a modern quality to her, something so innocent and sweet. Watching her on screen is - to me - like watching an actress from now days. It's like she's still her.
Her photos and film footage have a haunting glow to them, making her seem almost like an orb - an angel on screen.
There are many secrets hidden behind her death; secrets that we may never know the answers to. Secrets that were buried with her. She died suddenly leaving many things behind in her life. Which is my reasoning behind her haunting at the New Amsterdam Theatre. She has unfinished business and staying at a place which she loved, makes perfect sense in my mind.
It was Olive who brought me to Jack Pickford. Obviously, I knew who he was but not too much about him. All I knew was that he was Mary Pickford's brother. Nothing else.
Jack was Olive's second husband, at first I wasn't so fond of Jack. From what I've read (on the internet, of course) I found that he was a bad man to be with Olive. Olive who was like heaven to me, paired with a man that was a drinker and druggy.
Reading about Olive's death with the Mercury Bichloride and Jack's Syphilis, I believed at first, but then nothing added up. Nothing made sense in my mind. Things Jack was accused of didn't fit or work into Olive's story. Diseases Jack supposedly had didn't seem correct. So I decided to do my own research.
What I found was that most things written about Jack Pickford today, is incorrect. Like, for example, Olive's published biography, pretty accurate on Olive's part but not on Jack's. That book made him seem like a horrible man. I'll admit, he wasn't the greatest man on earth, he had his faults, but he wasn't as bad as Olive's biographer made him. Not that the biographer tried to be mean or anything, just didn't research very well on Jack's life.
On a book that was supposed to be only about Olive, started becoming more about Jack and getting his story straight. I found myself being way more interested in Jack than Olive.
That's when my Olive bio turned into "They Played in Silence", the Death of Olive Thomas and the life Jack Pickford led after her demise. I decided to write about what I knew most about. I was to only write facts, nothing else. If I only had one statement of a true fact about a specific event on Jack and Olive, then that would be my only statement.
No more lies. No more exaggerating. No more played up versions of Olive's death and no more lies written about Jack. They both deserve better.
They both had their problems, even though I credit Olive as being an "angel", she was not. She wasn't the devil either. They both were human beings, who had some inner demons that tormented both of them.