Mary Miles Minter

Mary Miles Minter

Original Name Juliet Reilly
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA
Death 4 Aug 1984 (aged 82)
Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea
Memorial ID 20224 · View Source
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Actress. Born Juliet Reilly, daughter of Lily Pearl Miles Reilly. In1908, she attracted the attention of Broadway producer Charles Frohman. One of her early roles was as the abandoned child in the 1909 stage production of "A Fool There Was," the story that a few years later was adapted as a movie and launched Theda Bara to stardom. By 1911, Juliet was Broadway's most prolific child actress. It was around 1912 that she attracted unwanted attention from the Gerry Society, which policed child performers under the age of 16. Since Juliet was only 10, she needed a new, older identity. An older sister of Charlotte Shelby's named Mary Miles, who had married Auguste Lafayette Minter had a daughter named Marie Milles Minter. Both Minter and her daughter had died some years before after having unknowingly drank apple cider which had been contaminated with lethal snake's venom. Shelby appropriated the younger Minter's birth certificate and gave 10-year-old Juliet Shelby a new identity as a 17-year-old "midget" known as Mary Miles Minter. Mary made a total of 26 films between 1916 and 1918. Two of Mary's films have survived. "The Eyes of Julia Deep" (1918) is one of the only Minter titles widely available to the general public on video. William Desmond Taylor directed Mary in "Judy of Rogue's Harbor," "Nurse Marjorie," and "Jenny Be Good." Mary developed a great admiration for Taylor while working under his direction, and they became close friends. On February 2, 1922, William Desmond Taylor was found shot to death. His murder was the third major scandal to rock Hollywood, following closely behind the drug-related death of Olive Thomas in 1920, and the Arbuckle scandal of 1921. By the mid-1920s, Mary had put on a great deal of weight as she no longer had any incentive to maintain a strict diet once her movie career had ended. She filed a number of lawsuits over mismanagement of her money. In 1981 Mary made local headlines for yet another tragedy. She had been brutally beaten and robbed and left for dead in her home. A former servant was said to have been directly involved in the crime. Fortunately, Minter recovered from her injuries, in spite of her health problems associated with diabetes. Mary hand-wrote her last will and testament on August 9, 1983. In this will she stated her wishes to be cremated, with her ashes to be scattered in Santa Monica Bay, near her home.

Bio by: MC

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 10 Feb 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 20224
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Miles Minter (25 Apr 1902–4 Aug 1984), Find a Grave Memorial no. 20224, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea.