Olive Borden – The tale of The Beautician, The Movie Star and the Crook

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Beautician, Movie Star and Crook
Beautician, Movie Star and Crook

This is the story of a love triangle between The Beautician, The Movie Star, and The Crook.

Pearl Haworth married Teddy Spector, whose real name was Isadore Irving Spector, when she was just 15 and working in a stockbroker’s office, after a very short courtship.  They were married in Buffalo, NY.  After 18 months, Teddy leaves Pearl telling her, “I’ve got plenty of brains and I’m not going to waste them fussing around here!”  Those words would come back to haunt him.

Teddy goes off and lives his life for the next 15 or so years and on March 28, 1931 Teddy marries movie star Olive Borden. 

Olive Borden
Olive Borden

Olive moved to Hollywood in 1923 when she was 16.  Her mother came with her. Her father had died when she was just a baby.  Olive and her mother moved from Mount Washington, Maryland where her mother was a restaurant manager.  Olive’s aunt lived in Los Angeles and they moved in with her. 

She was a pretty girl with brown eyes and blue-black hair.  When Olive and her aunt were attending a cabaret that was being filmed by Al Christie, a producer, he hired Olive on the spot as an extra.  After that it was a little slow finding parts and their income was quickly evaporating. 

They opened a candy store near the University of California.  Olive sold lollipops and penny candy to the college students.  The candy store was not a success and soon closed. 

Then a casting director for a comedy studio, Hal Roach, featured Olive in some comedic shorts and she worked as a bathing beauty for Mark Sennett.  Her break came when she was given a part in “Dressmaker from Paris”.  She then supported Tom Mix in “The Yankee Senor”. 

In 1925 she signed a contract with Fox Films.  Her first starring role was that of a Polynesian girl.  For the next three years she got billing over other stars like Marie Dressler, Jack Pickford, Jack Oakie, Neil Hamilton, and George O’Brien. 

Olive Borden lived in Beverly Hills, she bought 5 mink coats, 3 cars, had a 5-year contract at $1,500 per week.  Between 1926 and 1927 she starred in 11 movies.  She fell in love with fellow actor, George O’Brien.  They were together for over three years until George took a trip to Europe.  When he returned they were no longer seen together. 

Fox wanted Olive to take a cut in pay, which she refused and suddenly, her roles began diminishing, she went to New York to star on Broadway, but the play never came out of rehearsals.  There she met Teddy Spector, a stockbroker, and eloped with him Harrison, NY, she couldn’t act in films them because her contract barred her from being married.  And then the trouble began.

Pearl Spector
Pearl Spector

Pearl all this time has been happy owning and operating a beauty salon called the Rouge Box.  Opening the paper one morning she saw a picture of Teddy and his new bride Olive Borden.  The only problem was that Pearl was still married to Teddy, they had never been divorced.

So why did Teddy commit bigamy?  He told Pearl that Olive threatened to jump off a 10-story building if he wouldn’t marry her.  When a woman threatens to jump if you don’t marry her, you marry the girl!  The marriage went well for about a year.  Olive had theater engagements in vaudeville and Teddy worked as a broker on Wall Street.  Then in April 1932 Pearl sees a picture of Olive and Teddy her long lost husband that left her 18 months after their marriage and hadn’t been heard from since.

Pearl files for divorce and heads to the District Attorney, Walter E. Ferris, to let him know about the bigamy.  On May 15, 1932, the grand jury throws the case out.  Pearl has no proof other than her marriage license, and on Teddy’s marriage license with Olive he states that it is his first marriage.  Also, when he married Pearl the marriage license said that Teddy’s place of birth was New York and his father’s name was Clayton.  On the Olive license, it says he was born Patterson, NJ and his father’s name was Arthur.

On May 22, Pearl and District Attorney head back to the grand jury with a picture of Teddy that Pearl had and the pictures from the newspapers that showed the same man albeit a little older, and the grand jury indicts him.  Pearl describes Teddy as ” a tall good-looking brute, who certainly has a fast line.” 

In July 1932 Pearl finally gets her divorce, uncontested.  She was not granted any alimony but did receive court costs of $51.62.  The oddest thing about the divorce was that Justice Almon W. Lytle signed an order that Teddy could not remarry as long as Pearl was alive without a court order.   

Pearl confronts Teddy saying, “How is it that as brainy a man you would marry a woman while he was still the husband of another.”  Repeating Teddy’s farewell speech back to him!

Olive Borden
Olive Borden

In November 1932 Olive gets an annulment and Pearl testifies.  After her annulment from Teddy, she remarried an electrician for a railroad, John Moeller.  For seven years Olive Borden was a housewife in Long Island.  Her father-in-law lived with them. 

The marriage broke up and in 1941 Olive joined the WACs and worked as an army chauffeur.  After the war she moved back to Los Angeles.  In 1946 she went to work for her mother the Director of the Sunshine Mission for Women and Children.  The mission was located on Skid Row. 

Olive took over the management of the kitchen.  The first Thanksgiving she prepared over a dozen turkeys for the residents.  In 1947 she became ill, it turned out to be pneumonia and she died in the mission at the age of 40.  As she was dying, she told her mother, “I have found the one thing Hollywood couldn’t give me — Happiness.”

I could find no further information on Pearl.  Hopefully, she went back to Buffalo and ran the Rouge Box and lived happily ever after.

Betty Stewart
Betty Stewart

Teddy is another story.  Teddy gets arrested several times for running a “bucket shop”.  For example, Teddy was arrested for trading a client’s securities in American Telephone and Telegraph (known as AT&T today) for oil royalties owned by the Standard Oil Company, guaranteeing the client $77 a month for 50 years.  Teddy kept the money from the sale of the stock and never invested in oil royalties. This was known as violating the Martin Act.  Teddy paid the client $2,000 and was released.  He had never gone to prison until…

In March 1937 Teddy marries model Betty Ryan.

Betty almost eloped at the age of 17 to a very handsome male model.  They got hungry and stopped at a hot dog stand before heading to the justice of the peace when they were stopped by the police, Betty’s parents had sent them as Betty was underage.  The couple vowed to marry when Betty turned 18, but it never happened, their work got in the way. 

So, in 1937 Betty married Teddy, who was going by Teddy I. Stewart at the time.  Teddy neglected to tell Betty about the bigamy and his problems with the law.   During their honeymoon, Teddy was arrested again. 

This time Teddy was arrested with 74 other people for selling fraudulent land in Texas for oil.  They cleared over $5,000,000, which in today’s money would be almost $100,000,000.  Some of the property had used up oil wells, but most had no oil, and some were imaginary plots that didn’t even have any land.

Betty did her duty and visited him in prison, but when he was released, she divorced him, October 15, 1941 in Reno.

And that’s the end of the information that I could find on Teddy.  Betty remarried Phil Ammidown, a society architect.

If you liked the story, why not buy the PDF eBook?

0,The Beautician, the Movie Star, and the Crook – eBook
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