Owen Moore

Owen Moore (12 December 1886 – 9 June 1939) was an Irish-born American actor, appearing in more than 279 movies spanning from 1908 to 1937.[1]

Owen Moore
Moore in 1914
Born(1886-12-12)12 December 1886
Fordstown Crossroads, County Meath, Ireland
Died9 June 1939(1939-06-09) (aged 52)
Resting placeCalvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles
Mary Pickford
(m. 1911; div. 1920)
Katherine Perry
(m. 1921)
Relativesbrothers: Tom, Matt and Joe Moore

Early life and career

Moore was born in Fordstown Crossroads, County Meath, Ireland, and along with his parents, John and Rose Anna Moore, brothers Tom, Matt, and Joe, and sister Mary (1890–1919), he emigrated to the United States as a steerage passenger on board the S.S. Anchoria and was inspected on Ellis Island in May 1896; settled around Toledo, Ohio; Moore and his siblings went on to successful careers in motion pictures in Hollywood, California.

While working at D. W. Griffith's Biograph Studios, Moore met a young Canadian actress named Gladys Smith whom he married on January 7, 1911. Their marriage was kept secret at first because of the strong opposition of her mother. However, Gladys Moore would soon overshadow her husband under her stage name, Mary Pickford. In 1912, he signed on with Victor Studios, co-starring in a number of their films with studio owner/actress Florence Lawrence.

Mary Pickford left Biograph Studios to join the Independent Moving Pictures (IMP) to replace their major star, Pickford’s Canadian friend, Florence Lawrence. Carl Laemmle, the owner of IMP who soon merged IMP into Universal Studios, agreed to sign her husband as part of the deal. This humiliation, together with his wife's meteoric rise to fame, drastically affected Moore and alcohol became a problem that led to violent behavior and his physically abusing Pickford. In 1916, Pickford met actor Douglas Fairbanks, Pickford filed for a divorce from Moore, when she agreed to his demand of $100,000 settlement.[2] Pickford and Fairbanks married just days later in 1920.

Appearing in a number of successful films for Lewis J. Selznick (father of producer David O. Selznick and agent Myron Selznick), in the late teens and early 1920s, Moore was a popular star at Selznick Pictures along with Olive Thomas, Elaine Hammerstein, Eugene O'Brien and Conway Tearle. He also appeared in films for his own production company as well as Goldwyn and Triangle.

Moore married a second time to another silent film actress, Katherine Perry, in 1921. With the advent of sound film, Moore's career declined and he became basically a supporting actor for newer stars. He competed, as the third lead, with Cary Grant and Noah Beery, Sr. for the attentions of Mae West in She Done Him Wrong, Paramount's most lucrative film of 1933. His last film appearance was as a movie director in the 1937 drama A Star Is Born starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March.


After years of fighting alcoholism, Owen Moore died in Beverly Hills, California from a heart attack and was interred in the Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles, California.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Owen Moore has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6727 Hollywood Boulevard.[1]

Selected filmography


  1. "Hollywood Star Walk". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  2. Peggy Dymond Leavey, Mary Pickford: Canada's Silent Siren, America's Sweetheart. Dundurn Press (2011), p. 110
  3. "High Voltage". The New York Times.
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