Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford's visit to Egypt

Douglas Fairbanks wearing a fez during his visit in Egypt, 1929. Credit: Hossam Elouan.

According to Andrew Humphreys' Grand Hotels of Egypt, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford arrived in Alexandria in November 1929 on the SS Rashid of the Khedivial Mail Line and took a short tour of the town before they were driven to the station to catch the midday train to Cairo. Fairbanks told the waiting crowds at the station, “I’m just mad about Egypt.”

They stayed at Shepheard’s where they were interviewed by a correspondent from the Egyptian Gazette who asked what Fairbanks thought of the talkies: “The talkies are a wonderful invention,” he replied, “and have a great future but so far the talking has been exaggerated.” He then reportedly gave a demonstration in his room of how he leapt from the bough of a tree to a windowsill 30 feet away. In Cairo, they were shown round the Egyptian Museum by Howard Carter, before traveling up the Nile to Luxor. The paper says they were due to leave Egypt on November 12 bound for the next stop on their world tour, which was Colombo. The Gazette of November 4, 1929 reported on the pair’s visit to Egypt, noting that they were, “Better known and better loved than any other couple in the whole world.”

Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford in Luxor with the manager of the Winter Palace, Anton Badrutt, where they added their signatures to the hotel's Golden Book in November 1929. Credit: Grand Hotels of Egypt.

Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford are seen at Shepheard's hotel in Cairo. Pickford is wearing Salvatore Ferragamo pumps. Credit: Gamma-Keystone, 1929, by Adam Tschorn, Los Angeles Times.