Another Scandalous Pickford: Lottie

      The middle child in the Pickford trio was Lottie, named for her mother Charlotte. Like all Pickfords, Lottie was pretty and had some acting talent, but she clearly rode to Hollywood on the coattails of her big sister Mary, the silent screen’s most famous actress. For instance, Mary insisted that her husband Douglas Fairbanks give Lottie a role in his swashbuckling film “Don Q: Son of Zorro” and Douglas acquiesced, even though he despised party-girl Lottie for her wild behavior and drunkeness.

      Lottie married four times. Her first marriage to Alfred Rupp produced a daughter. The girl, initially named Mary Pickford Rupp, was born in 1915. But Lottie and Alfred divorced and Lottie’s mother, Charlotte, took custody of the child (and changed her n ame to Gwynne), presumably because Lottie was unable or uninterested in caring for the girl addicted as she was by then to alcohol, wild parties, and drugs. 

      Lottie married another actor, Alan Forrest, divorced him, and married a businessman, Russel Gillard. In 1933 she married a fourth time, before getting a divorce from #3. When the judge granted the divorce, Lottie announced that she had already married Pittsburgh society man named John Lock. While this made her a bigamist, something considered shocking in those days, Lottie figured correctly that no charges would be brought against the sister of “America’s Sweetheart,” Mary Pickford.

      Lottie died at 43 of a heart attack, probably brought on by her lifestyle.


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