Mary Pickford in
"My Secret Wedding"
Co-starring Owen Moore
With a Cameo by Douglas Fairbanks
Staged in Mission San Juan Capistrano's Romantic Courtyard!
An Orange Coast production
By Pat H. Broeske / Illustration by Patrick McQuade
Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon did it. So did Sharon and Ozzy, Fergie and Josh, and Heidi and Seal. When Victoria “Posh Spice” and David Beckham did it, they reportedly got matching tattoos. Renewing wedding vows has become such a big deal among the show-biz crowd that it’s now de rigueur on reality TV. But you don’t have to be a Hollywood journalist to realize that many of these reaffirmations of love are simply for the career-boosting media coverage.
So what a surprise it was to learn that a wildly popular actress, on the cusp of being hailed as the most famous woman in the world, once slipped onto the grounds of Mission San Juan Capistrano and renewed her vows in secrecy.
There are no known photos of the event. And only scant newspaper mentions. You might think the couple wanted to keep the intimate occasion all to themselves. Yet after delving into accounts of the long-ago showbiz marriage, it’s apparent that, like much of what you find in Hollywood today, this ceremony may have been little more than an illusion.
To read the full story, order a print or digital copy of the November issue here.
This article originally appeared in the November 2011 issue of Orange Coast magazine.