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Mary Miles Minter

Female 1902 - 1984  (82 years)


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  • Name Mary Miles Minter 
    Born 1 Apr 1902  Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Female 
    Name Juliet REILLY 
    _UID 23F0F925A08346EB9E9D5D4AFBB3F1CBD16C 
    Died 4 Aug 1984  Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Notes 
    • From findagrave.com:
      "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."

      A clip from "The Eyes of Julia Deep" can be seen, along with much else, at http://www.mary-miles-minter.com/

      1920 US Federal Census: as Juliet SHELBY (daughter, 17, born Louisiana) with mother and sister at 56 Fremont Place, Los Angeles Assembly District 63.

      1930 US Federal Census, in Las Altunas, Scenic Drive, Santa Barbara, California, Juliet REILLY (head, 28, single, born Louisiana, father born Texas, mother born Louisiana, retired).
      This entry seems to have been added later than the rest of the entries on the page.

      1940 US Federal Census: at 509 North Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Juliet SHELBY (head, 37, single, born Louisiana, owner, interior decorating). Also a servant, Tillie DONING (19, single, born Ohio).
    Person ID I8597  America
    Last Modified 5 Apr 2019 

    Father Joseph Homer REILLY,   b. 26 Jul 1877, Overton, Rusk, Texas, United States Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 18 Jan 1958, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Mother Lily Pearl MILES,   b. 19 Dec 1877, Toro, Sabine, Louisiana, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Mar 1957, Los Angeles, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 4 May 1899  Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Family ID F3484  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Brandon OHILDEBRAND,   b. 15 Dec 1898, Delaware, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 13 Aug 1965, Los Angeles, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years) 
    Married 20 Jun 1958  Los Angeles, California, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 3
    • The California, Marriage Index, 1949-1959 includes Brandon's 1958 marriage. It gives names as Brandon OHILDEBRAND and Juliet REILLY.
    Last Modified 5 Apr 2019 
    Family ID F3491  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Mary Miles Minter
    Mary Miles Minter

    Documents
    Mary Miles Minter
    Mary Miles Minter
    1921 passport application

  • Sources 
    1. [S66] findagrave.com, November 2014 and later.

    2. [S380] Pierce Family tree at ancestry.com.

    3. [S303] California, Marriage Index, 1949-1959 at ancestry.com, November 2015 and later.