The Jack Pickford Scandals #1

       Jack Pickford was the younger brother of the silent film industry’s most famous actress, Mary Pickford. Throughout his short life–he died at 36–he traded on his sister’s name. An actor of modest talents, Jack relied on Mary for roles in movies, directing jobs, money, and help extracating himself from a steady stream of scandal.

       Early in 1918, right after the United States joined World War I, playboy Jack enlisted in the Navy. Lord knows why. He was already addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, and women (he had contracted siphilis and would spread it to many), and was not the sort to take advice, let alone orders, from anyone. Once in the Navy, he quickly became involved in a scheme to accept bribes from rich men who wanted to avoid dangerous assignments and for procuring women for officers. Facing a military trial, Jack managed to wriggle out with a “general discharge.” Some said his sister was responsible for persuading the authorities to give Jack a medical discharge in exchange for testifying against the others, but there was never any proof. His compatriots in the scheme got prison sentences and dishonorable discharges. Jack went back to Hollywood to resume his wild life.

Next” Scandal #2

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Published in: on February 27, 2010 at 10:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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