Pauline Garon is pictured in a cropped detail from an original portrait in the Northernstars Collection. Garon, whose full name was Marie Pauline Garon, was the youngest of eleven children. She attended Couvent Sacre-Coeur in Montréal, which was one of the most prestigious schools at the time, but didn’t learn to speak English until she was ten years old. She was the first Sacred Heart graduate to seek a career in theater and worked briefly on Broadway. But by that time film was the place to be and even then that usually meant Hollywood. She traveled to the west coast in 1920 and landed her first important role just a year later, with the 1921 film, The Power Within. She appeared opposite Owen Moore, who was then married to Mary Pickford, in Reported Missing (1922) and got good reviews for her work in the Henry King adaptation of Sonny. She had been chosen for this role by King after he saw her portray the role in the stage production on Broadway. In 1923, she was hailed as Cecil B. DeMille’s next big new discovery but he only used her in two films, one of which was the 1923 film, Adam’s Rib. Garon worked steadily after her popularity soared, but her first marriage to actor Lowell Sherman in February 1926 may have led to an early decline in her career. Acting on Sherman’s advice, Garon declined to sign a long-term contract with Paramount and was relegated to lesser roles. Perhaps recognizing her mistake, Garon separated from Sherman a few months after their first anniversary. Her 1927 film, a silent, The Princess on Broadway, was set in New York City. A romantic melodrama, Garon played a waitress who is given an acting job on Broadway, but then the show’s producers, wanting to get a rich young man to invest, tell him that the waitress is really a Russian princess, incognito. He falls for the deceit and falls for her, and later he learns the truth. In 1928, Garon became a US citizen. She was still playing lead roles, but only in B movies, and she had the occasional supporting role in more glamorous films, but by 1929 her career was on the wane, and by the early 1930s, with the coming of sound, she worked less often. Her career was essentially over by 1934 when she began to appear in a series of small, usually uncredited roles when she could get work at all. She made her final appearance in two 1941 movies including the 1941 Greer Garson / Walter Pidgeon film, How Green Was My Valley. Garon had married the radio star and actor, Clyde Harland in 1940 but that marriage didn’t last either and they were divorced in 1942. Her third marriage was to comedian Ross Forester which lasted until she died of a brain disorder at the Patton State Hospital, a psychiatric institution in San Bernardino, California, in 1965.
Features & TV Movies:
A Manhattan Knight (1920)
The Cowboy and the Blonde (1941)
Bunco Squad (1950)