Australia’s Sweetheart

1934 - Mary at Mount Cootha- Public Domain - hand-tinted postcard

A star-studded and stranger-than-fiction slice of Forgotten Australia, Australia’s Sweetheart is the first biography of Mary Maguire. After becoming a teen film star at home in the mid-1930s, Mary set off to find fame and fortune in Hollywood.

There she signed with Warner Bros., became the toast of tinsel town and starred in films with Ronald Reagan and Peter Lorre.

She also got the “star treatment” makeover.

After defecting to 20th Century Fox, Mary went to London and sought better dramatic roles.

But, with war approaching, her life followed a tumultuous trajectory.

From the Bodyline series and the Golden Age of Hollywood to the London Blitz and intrigues of English fascists, this is a true story with the twists and turns of a classic movie melodrama.

Australia’s Sweetheart is based on five years’ intensive research in Australia, the US and UK, which included work in our National Film & Sound Archive, the Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox archives in Los Angeles and the British Film Institute archives in London. It’s also informed by never-before-published interviews with Mary’s friends and family members.

Australia’s Sweetheart is published by Hachette Australia on 29 January 2019. It’s available to pre-order at QBD, Dymocks and Booktopia, and will be available in all independent book stores and Big W.