Pearl White (Pearl White)

Pearl White

Actress. Born Pearl Fay White, the youngest of five to farmers Ed and Inez White, Mrs White died when Pearl was still a toddler. At the age of 6 she appeared in a production of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in order to help with the family finances. She appeared in various juvenile theatrical roles during her childhood, and after leaving high school, she performed in stock theater before she took a secretarial job at Powers Film Company in the Bronx where she was noticed by director Joseph A. Golden, and over the next 13 years she made more than 100 comedy shorts, and serials. The most famous of her efforts came about in 1914 when she starred in a 20-episode serial for the American branch of the French film company Pathé, “The Perils of Pauline” became the most successful serial in film history, making White an international star. Initially she did numerous, often dangerous stunts for the series which resulted in a number injuries. Her other serials included, “The Exploits of Elaine” (1915), “The Iron Claw” (1916), and “The Black Secret” (1919). In 1920 she moved to 20th Century Fox in order try for a transition to a dramatic leading lady, appearing is almost a dozen films such as “The Mountain Woman” (1921), “The Broadway Peacock” (1922), and “Plunder” (1923), but she was an unpopular lead and the attempt was a failure. Old injuries and other health issues combined with depression, leading to both reported alcoholism and her early retirement. She emigrated to Paris where she appeared in one film, “Terreur” in 1924 before leaving acting behind permanently. Over the course of her career, she had reportedly earned almost $2 million which she invested in a successful Parisian nightclub, a Biarritz resort hotel and casino, and a profitable stable of thoroughbred race horses. She was able to live very comfortably. Over time, her alcohol use increased and in 1933 she was hospitalized for alcoholism, and during treatment she became addicted to the drugs administered. She succumbed to cirrhosis of the liver in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France at the age of 49. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6838 Hollywood Boulevard. (bio by: Iola)  Family links:  Parents:  Edward G. White (1854 – 1940)  Inez Lenore Farr White (1868 – 1936)  Spouses:  Victor Sutherland (1889 – 1968)*  Wallace McCutcheon (1894 – 1928)* *Calculated relationshipCause of death: Cirrhosis of the liver


  • March, 04, 1889
  • USA


  • August, 08, 1938
  • France

Cause of Death

  • Cirrhosis of the liver


  • Cimetiere de Passy
  • France

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