Elinor Fair ~ The Destitute Silent Star

Elinor Fair

Elinor Fair was a beautiful silent screen star who became a penniless alcoholic

She was born Elinor Virginia Crowe on December 21, 1903 in Richmond, Virginia. Sadly her only brother died in 1904 shortly before his third birthday. Her family moved to Seattle, Washington where her father was the manager of a credit card company. When she was a child she began her career performing in vaudeville. Her dream was to become a opera star. At the age of twelve she made her film debut in the 1916 drama The End Of The Trail. After her parents divorced she and her mother spent some time living in Paris, France. Elinor was signed by Fox studios in 1919. She appeared in numerous comedies with Albert Ray including Love Is Love, Be A Little Sport, and Tin Pan Alley. The beautiful brunette started dating Lew Cody, her costar in Wait For Me. In 1924 she was chosen to one of the Wampas Baby Stars along with Clara Bow and Lucille Ricksen. Then producer Cecil B. Demille cast her in his 1926 drama The Volga Boatman. Her performance got rave reviews and she fell in love with her leading man William Boyd. They were married on January 14, 1926. Elinor and William worked together in The Yankee Clipper and Jim The Conqueror. For several years she put her career on hold and became a full-time housewife. Her marriage to William ended in 1930. She returned to the screen with a role in the 1932 adventure 45 Calibre Echo. That same year she became engaged to actor Frank Clark.

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Following a fight with Frank she impulsively married Thomas W. Daniels, a stuntman, on December 27, 1932. The marriage was annulled a few weeks later. By this time her career was in trouble and she had a serious drinking problem. Her final film was the 1934 comedy Broadway Bill. Surprisingly she remarried her ex-husband Thomas W. Daniels in July of 1934. Eleven months later she divorced him claiming he "criticized her and called her unseemly names." Unfortunately she was now bankrupt and couldn't pay her rent. Her ex-husband William Boyd began helping her financially. In December of 1936 she was found wandering the streets of Los Angeles suffering from amnesia. Elinor was taken to a hospital where she was diagnosed with an acute nervous condition. She married actor Jack White in 1941. After they divorced in 1944 she married Merle Aubert Martin. The couple moved to Seattle, Washington but they struggled financially. During the early 1950s she was diagnosed with a liver condition caused by her chronic alcoholism. Elinor and her husband briefly returned to California in 1956 to ask her Hollywood friends for money. Sadly in the Spring of 1957 she was hospitalized and went into a hepatic coma. On April 26, 1957 she died from cirrhosis of the liver at the age of fifty-three. She was cremated and her ashes were given to her husband.

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Elinor Fair 1936