Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Monday, September 25, 2017
During World War 2 Olive volunteered as a nurse's aid in New York City. She decided to join the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) in December of 1942. Thirty-six year old Olive was sent to Fort Des Moines in Iowa. She earned $12.50 a week driving an ambulance. Olive told a reporter that being in the WAAC was harder than being an actress. She said "I wanted to help where I could do the most good". In 1943 she received a citation for bravery when she she turned over an enemy ammunition truck. Olive was forced to leave the Army when she injured her ankle. She spent several weeks in the hospital and was given an honorable discharge. Olive moved back to Hollywood where she tried to resume her acting career.
In 1926 Olive starred in the silent comedy Fig Leaves. She plays Eve, an unhappy housewife who becomes a model. Her real life boyfriend George O'Brien was cast as her husband. The movie was directed by Howard Hawks and the costumes were designed by Gilbert Adrian. Fig Leaves was a big success and Olive got rave reviews for her performance. You can watch some scenes here ...
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Olive died on October 1, 1947 at the young age of forty-one. Her official cause of death was cirrhosis of the liver. She had been suffering from alcoholism for many years and had recently been diagnosed with pneumonia. Her beloved mother Sibbie was at her side when she passed away. Olive had spent her final days living at The Sunshine Mission in Los Angeles. The only possessions she had were a scrapbook of clippings and her lucky pansy ring. Near her bed she kept a photo of her younger self with the inscription "Sincerely yours, Olive Borden". In her last interview she said "The whole world has fallen in on me. But the doctors will make me well."
Olive on her deathbed with her mother
Olive's funeral was held at the mission and Sister Essie Binkley West gave the eulogy. Her former costar Cornelius Keefe and director John Boland were the only Hollywood friends who attended. She was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. The epitaph on her grave reads ' Olive Borden Beloved Daughter 1906-1947". When Olive's mother Sibbie Borden passed away in 1959 she was buried next to her. Their graves can be found in the middle of the Liberty section. Forest Lawn is located at 1712 South Glendale Avenue. Dozens of other celebrities are buried at that cemetery including Elizabeth Taylor, Clara Bow, and Carole Landis.
Olive and her mom Sibbie