White, Pearl

BORN 4 Mar 1889, Greenridge, Missouri - DIED 4 Aug 1938, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine
CAUSE OF DEATH cirrhosis of the liver
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Passy Cimetière, 2 Rue du Commandant Schloesing (division 13 )

Pearl White's was the daughter of a farmer. Her mother died when she was only three years old. She first appeared on the stage when she was six years old. When she was eighteen she started performing with the Trousedale Stock Company at night. At day she worked to bring her father some money. Later she started travelling with the Company and on 12 Oct 1907 she married Victor Sutherland in Oklahoma City.

She left the Company and performed performed American songs in Cuba and appeared in dance halls in South America. It was because of throat problems that she joined the movies. She worked for the Powers Film Company in New Jersey where she soon made a lot of money. She worked for Lubin, Pathe and then the Crystal studio's. In 1913 she took her savings and went to Europe for six months.

In 1914 she divorced Sutherland and she accepted a leading part in "The Perils of Pauline". This serial turned her into a star and many other serials for Pathe followed. In 1919 she married Major Wallace McCutcheon who appeared next to her in "The Black Secrets" (1919). But McCutcheon disappeared and they were divorced in 1921. Later he turned up in a sanatorium in Washington DC and in 1928 he committed suicide.

In 1920 she went to work for Fox but the movies she made were less successful and in 1922 she decided to take a break. She went to Paris, where she performed at the Montmartre Music Hall. In 1924 she made her last film "Terror". She already suffered from health problems, probably caused by the stuntwork that she had done herself before she became very famous.

She spent the rest of her life in France. In 1937 she received an offer to make a return but she refused. The next year she died in Neuilly-sur-Seine. She had never made a single film in Hollywood.


The grave of Pearl White at Passy Cimetière, Paris.
Picture by Androom (18 May 2005)


Wichmann, Herman

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 30 May 2021