Jump to content

Katherine MacDonald


Recommended Posts

Katherine Agnew MacDonald (December 14, 1891–June 4, 1956) was an American actress and film producer. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Starting her career as a popular model in New York City in the 1910s, MacDonald moved to Los Angeles in 1917. Initially signed to a contract by Paramount (now Paramount Pictures), MacDonald spent most of her career with First National. She achieved the peak of her popularity between 1920 and 1923 during the silent film era. She was among the top ranks of actresses financially in 1920, earning about $50,000 per picture from her contract with First National. She also became one of the first women to produce films in Hollywood. However, she was considered only a minor talent in the film industry, although her curvaceous figure resulted in the nickname of the "American Beauty".

Her first significant role was her lead role in Shark Monroe (1918) opposite William S. Hart. She would be featured in a number of silent films, including The Squaw Man (1918), Passion's Playground (1920), Beautiful Liar (1921), Stranger than Fiction (1921) and The Infidel (1922). Her films typically were romantic dramas. MacDonald only made two pictures after 1923; one each in 1925 and 1926.

Personal life

MacDonald's career was surrounded by controversy in her private life. She had a public feud with her sister, fellow actress Mary MacLaren. The gossip columns also held rumors of an affair with U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, which was unlikely given his poor health after his 1919 stroke. While working as a model in New York City Katherine met her first husband, artist K. Malcolm Struss. They married in 1910 but the marriage was short-lived and they officially divorced in 1919. She married Charles S. Johnston, a young Chicago millionaire, in 1924 and they soon had one son, Britt. They divorced in 1926. In 1928, she was married to Christian R. Holmes, an heir to the Fleischmann Yeast company, but that marriage ended in a sensational divorce suit in 1931. MacDonald claimed cruelty—that her husband had fired a revolver at her through a locked door, had deliberately burnt her with lit cigarettes, and had sometimes locked her in a cage. Holmes counter-sued, claiming that MacDonald had embarrassed him by having affairs. MacDonald and Holmes had one daughter, Ann.

Silent film actress Mary MacLaren was her sister.

After leaving the movie industry MacDonald ran a successful cosmetics business in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Her statistics list her height as 5 ft. 8 in. (172 cm) with a weight of 130 lb. (59 kg), having blond hair and blue eyes. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6777 Hollywood Boulevard.









Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...