Mary Pickford
Actress
Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford was a Canadian American motion picture actress, co-founder of the film studio United Artists and one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Known as "America's Sweetheart," "Little Mary" and "The girl with the curls," she was one of the Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood and a significant figure in the development of film acting.
Biography
Mary Pickford's personal information overview.
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Popular photos of Mary Pickford
News
News abour Mary Pickford from around the web
Once a Fast Track, Now a Real Hike to the Top
NYTimes - over 5 years
Beacon, N.Y. FOR modern travelers, transportation is less a marvel than a necessity, and it can be joyless: squishing into a sticky airplane seat, grabbing a still-warm subway pole or slumping behind a steering wheel and hoping you make it home in time for supper. But in 1902, when the Mount Beacon Incline Railway -- then the world's steepest
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NYTimes article
SL Green inks creative lease to expand retail options at 1552 Bway - The Real Deal New York (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
The I. Miller Building at 1552 Broadway, at the northeast corner of Broadway and 46th Street, has sculptures of four famous actors, Ethel Barrymore, Marilyn Miller, Rosa Ponselle and Mary Pickford that are part of the façade above the second floor
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'Spy Kids' sequel passes smell test - The Desert Sun
Google News - over 5 years
RICO TORRES Dimension Films Playing at: Century at the River, Mary Pickford, Metro 8, Rancho 16. The latest in Robert Rodriguez's “Spy Kids” franchise feels once again like an elaborate home movie. You'd be impressed if, say, a family member had ginned
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Silent Film Star Has Ties to San Juan Capistrano - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
The first annual West Coast Film festival kicked off at the Regency in downtown with a tribute to Mary Pickford. By Jackie Connor Opening day at the first annual West Coast film Festival began with a tribute to early screen legend Mary Pickford
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1552 Broadway changes hands - New York Post
Google News - over 5 years
The historic, four-story I. Miller Shoe Building is landmarked to preserve statues of actresses Ethel Barrymore, Marilyn Miller, Mary Pickford and Rosa Ponselle in niches on the second floor, but an addition can be constructed on top
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Cocktail recipes you can try at home - Daily News & Analysis
Google News - over 5 years
And the most iconic female face of the time, Mary Pickford; now, here was Hollywood royalty. She starred in over 120 films, married Douglas Fairbanks and lived a luxurious lifestyle in her Beverly Hills mansion and, like many celebrities of the day,
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San Juan festival to salute filmmakers big, small - OCRegister
Google News - over 5 years
Plus, there will be tributes to Mary Pickford and Gene Autry. 50% off! $5 for $10 worth of food at Joey's Smokin BBQ in Tustin The inaugural West Coast Film Festival will bring Warner Bros. film veterans, local filmmakers and their movies to the
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Cathedral City council delays vote on restaurant complex - The Desert Sun
Google News - over 5 years
Since Piazza Trilussa Ristorante opened five years ago across the street from the Mary Pickford Theatre, it's become common for moviegoers to patronize the restaurant. That's a trend Cathedral City leaders want to replicate in a few years if four new
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A Buffet of a Film Festival: History, Indie, Cartoons - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
21-25, the movie smorgasbord called the West Coast Film Festival includes screenings of new, small indie productions; rare, vintage Looney Toons cartoons; and a tribute to silent-film star Mary Pickford. Because blockbusters generally come out to
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Google News article
Pickford Film Center holds its official grand opening - Bellingham Herald
Google News - over 5 years
12, with a screening of the 1917 silent film "The Little Princess," starring Mary Pickford and, for more mature audiences, "Evil Dead 2" at midnight. There also will be tours of the space, free popcorn and drinks, and a celebratory toast and ribbon
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Talented cast makes 'Princess' a prize on Brunswick Alumni Community Theater stage - Plain Dealer
Google News - over 5 years
The play is based on “Sara Crewe,” the 1888 children's book by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and has been made into several films including ones with Shirley Temple and Mary Pickford. The play is an engaging production about self-respect and the importance
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Close Encounter of Royal Kind: Local Meets Duke and Duchess - Southern Pines Pilot
Google News - over 5 years
The couple and entourage (secretary, lady-in-waiting and, reportedly, a hairdresser) slept in "ordinary guest rooms" in the luxurious Mediterranean-style villa designed by Roaring '20s architect Wallace Neff, who created Pickfair for Mary Pickford and
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Photo Flash: Library of Congress' IN REHEARSAL Exhibit - Broadway World
Google News - over 5 years
... is being held in conjunction with the "Asian American Plays for a New Generation" book event on July 27 at noon in the Mary Pickford Theater, located on the third floor of the Library of Congress James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave
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Scariest Movies Ever - Screen Junkies
Google News - over 5 years
The movie stars Arthur Johnson, Mary Pickford, Marion Leonard, Mack Sennett and Henry Walthall. This movie is a play on Poe's "Cask of Amontillado." A king seals his unfaithful girlfriend and her lover in a vault while they are having sex
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'Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood' Starts in Fort Lee - Patch.com
Google News - over 5 years
These particular Brits are all fans of early American cinema, and they were thrilled to retrace the steps of Mack Sennett and Mabel Normand, DW Griffith, Mary Pickford, Roscoe Arbuckle, Oscar Micheaux and Alice Guy Blache right here on the streets of
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L.A.-based film series chooses Fort Collins as next location - The Coloradoan
Google News - over 5 years
Fort Collins has been chosen as the next location for a film series hosted by the Los Angeles-based Mary Pickford Institute for Film Education. As part of its Legacy Grant, the organization dedicated to film pioneer Mary Pickford and providing a bridge
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Mary Pickford
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1979
    Age 86
    On May 29, 1979, Pickford died at a Santa Monica, California hospital of complications from a cerebral hemorrhage she had suffered the week before.
    More Details Hide Details She was interred in the Garden of Memory of the Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery in Glendale, California. Buried alongside her in the Pickford private family plot are her mother Charlotte, her siblings Lottie and Jack Pickford, and the family of Elizabeth Watson, Charlotte's sister, who had helped raise Pickford in Toronto.
  • 1976
    Age 83
    In addition to her Oscar as best actress for Coquette (1929), Mary Pickford received an Academy Honorary Award in 1976 for lifetime achievement.
    More Details Hide Details The Academy sent a TV crew to her house to record her short statement of thanks – offering the public a very rare glimpse into Pickfair Manor.
  • 1959
    Age 66
    She appeared in court in 1959, in a matter pertaining to her co-ownership of North Carolina TV station WSJS-TV.
    More Details Hide Details The court date coincided with the date of her 67th birthday; under oath, when asked to give her age, Pickford replied, "I'm 21, going on 20". In the mid-1960s, Pickford often received visitors only by telephone, speaking to them from her bedroom. Buddy Rogers often gave guests tours of Pickfair, including views of a genuine western bar Pickford had bought for Douglas Fairbanks, and a portrait of Pickford in the drawing room. A print of this image now hangs in the Library of Congress.
  • FORTIES
  • 1937
    Age 44
    On June 24, 1937, Pickford married her third and last husband, actor and band leader Buddy Rogers.
    More Details Hide Details They adopted two children: Roxanne (born 1944, adopted 1944) and Ronald Charles (born 1937, adopted 1943, a.k.a. Ronnie Pickford Rogers). As a PBS American Experience documentary noted, Pickford's relationship with her children was tense. She criticized their physical imperfections, including Ronnie's small stature and Roxanne's crooked teeth. Both children later said their mother was too self-absorbed to provide real maternal love. In 2003, Ronnie recalled that "Things didn't work out that much, you know. But I'll never forget her. I think that she was a good woman." After retiring from the screen, Pickford became an alcoholic, as her father had been. Her mother Charlotte died of breast cancer in March 1928. Her siblings, Lottie and Jack, both died of alcohol-related causes. These deaths, her divorce from Fairbanks, and the end of silent films left Pickford deeply depressed. Her relationship with her children, Roxanne and Ronald, was turbulent at best. Pickford withdrew and gradually became a recluse, remaining almost entirely at Pickfair and allowing visits only from Lillian Gish, her stepson Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and few other people.
  • 1936
    Age 43
    They divorced January 10, 1936.
    More Details Hide Details Fairbanks' son by his first wife, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., claimed his father and Pickford long regretted their inability to reconcile.
  • 1933
    Age 40
    She retired from acting in 1933; her last acting film was released in 1934.
    More Details Hide Details She continued to produce for others, however, including Sleep, My Love (1948; with Claudette Colbert) and Love Happy (1949), with the Marx Brothers). Pickford used her stature in the movie industry to promote a variety of causes. Although her image depicted fragility and innocence, Pickford proved to be a worthy businesswoman who took control of her career in a cutthroat industry. During World War I, she promoted the sale of Liberty Bonds, making an intensive series of fund-raising speeches that kicked off in Washington, D.C., where she sold bonds alongside Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Theda Bara, and Marie Dressler. Five days later she spoke on Wall Street to an estimated 50,000 people. Though Canadian-born, she was a powerful symbol of Americana, kissing the American flag for cameras and auctioning one of her world-famous curls for $15,000. In a single speech in Chicago she sold an estimated five million dollars' worth of bonds. She was christened the U.S. Navy's official "Little Sister"; the Army named two cannons after her and made her an honorary colonel.
    In 1933, Pickford underwent a Technicolor screen test for an animated/live action film version of Alice in Wonderland, but Walt Disney discarded the project when Paramount released its own version of the book.
    More Details Hide Details Only one Technicolor still of her screen test still exists.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1928
    Age 35
    On March 29, 1928, The Dodge Brothers Hour was broadcast from Pickford's bungalow, featuring Fairbanks, Chaplin, Norma Talmadge, Gloria Swanson, John Barrymore, D.W. Griffith, and Dolores del Rio, among others.
    More Details Hide Details They spoke on the radio show to prove that they could meet the challenge of talking movies. But the transition came as Pickford was in her late 30s, no longer able to play the children, teenage spitfires, and feisty young women so adored by her fans, and was not suited for the glamorous and vampish heroines of early sound.
    Pickford had already cut her hair in the wake of her mother's death in 1928.
    More Details Hide Details Fans were shocked at the transformation. Pickford's hair had become a symbol of female virtue, and when she cut it, the act made front-page news in The New York Times and other papers. Coquette was a success and won her an Academy Award for Best Actress, although this was highly controversial. The public failed to respond to her in the more sophisticated roles. Like most movie stars of the silent era, Pickford found her career fading as talkies became more popular among audiences. Her next film, The Taming of The Shrew, made with husband Douglas Fairbanks, was not well received at the box office. Established Hollywood actors were panicked by the impending arrival of the talkies.
  • 1923
    Age 30
    The following year, Pickford's film Little Lord Fauntleroy was also a success, and in 1923, Rosita grossed over $1,000,000 as well.
    More Details Hide Details During this period, she also made Little Annie Rooney (1925), another film in which Pickford played a child, Sparrows (1926), which blended the Dickensian with newly minted German expressionist style, and My Best Girl (1927), a romantic comedy featuring her future husband Buddy Rogers. The arrival of sound was her undoing. Pickford underestimated the value of adding sound to movies, claiming that "adding sound to movies would be like putting lipstick on the Venus de Milo". She played a reckless socialite in Coquette (1929), a role for which her famous ringlets were cut into a 1920s' bob.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1920
    Age 27
    Pickford had become an American citizen upon her marriage to Fairbanks in 1920.
    More Details Hide Details Toward the end of her life, Pickford made arrangements with the Department of Citizenship to regain her Canadian citizenship because she wished to "die as a Canadian". Her request was approved and she became a dual Canadian-American citizen.
    She married Fairbanks just days later on March 28, 1920.
    More Details Hide Details They went to Europe for their honeymoon; fans in London and in Paris caused riots trying to get to the famous couple. The couple's triumphant return to Hollywood was witnessed by vast crowds who turned out to hail them at railway stations across the United States. The Mark of Zorro (1920) and a series of other swashbucklers gave the popular Fairbanks a more romantic, heroic image. Pickford continued to epitomize the virtuous but fiery girl next door. Even at private parties, people instinctively stood up when Pickford entered a room; she and her husband were often referred to as "Hollywood royalty". Their international reputations were broad. Foreign heads of state and dignitaries who visited the White House often asked if they could also visit Pickfair, the couple's mansion in Beverly Hills. Dinners at Pickfair included a number of notable guests. Charlie Chaplin, Fairbanks' best friend, was often present. Other guests included George Bernard Shaw, Albert Einstein, Elinor Glyn, Helen Keller, H. G. Wells, Lord Mountbatten, Fritz Kreisler, Amelia Earhart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Noël Coward, Max Reinhardt, Baron Nishi, Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Austen Chamberlain, Sir Harry Lauder, and Meher Baba, among others. The public nature of Pickford's second marriage strained it to the breaking point. Both she and Fairbanks had little time off from producing and acting in their films. They were also constantly on display as America's unofficial ambassadors to the world, leading parades, cutting ribbons, and making speeches.
    Pickford divorced Moore on March 2, 1920, after she agreed to his $100,000 demand for a settlement.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1920, Pickford's film Pollyanna grossed around $1,100,000.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1919
    Age 26
    In 1919, Pickford, along with D.W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks, formed the independent film production company United Artists.
    More Details Hide Details Through United Artists, Pickford continued to produce and perform in her own movies; she could also distribute them as she chose.
  • 1918
    Age 25
    In August 1918, Pickford's contract expired and, when refusing Zukor's terms for a renewal, she was offered $250,000 to leave the motion picture business.
    More Details Hide Details She declined, and went to First National Pictures, which agreed to her terms.
  • 1916
    Age 23
    On June 24 1916, Pickford signed a new contract with Zukor that granted her full authority over production of the films in which she starred, and a record-breaking salary of $10,000 a week.
    More Details Hide Details In addition, Pickford's compensation was half of a film's profits, with a guarantee of $1,040,000 (US$ SENT_ in). Occasionally, she played a child, in films such as The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917), Daddy-Long-Legs (1919) and Pollyanna (1920). Pickford's fans were devoted to these "Little Girl" roles, but they were not typical of her career.
    Only Charlie Chaplin, who reportedly slightly surpassed Pickford's popularity in 1916, had a similarly spellbinding pull with critics and the audience.
    More Details Hide Details Each enjoyed a level of fame far exceeding that of other actors. Throughout the 1910s and 1920s, Pickford was believed to be the most famous woman in the world, or, as a silent-film journalist described her, "the best known woman who has ever lived, the woman who was known to more people and loved by more people than any other woman that has been in all history." Pickford starred in 52 features throughout her career.
    Her appeal was summed up two years later by the February 1916 issue of Photoplay as "luminous tenderness in a steel band of gutter ferocity".
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1913
    Age 20
    The film, produced in 1913, showed the play's Broadway actors reciting every line of dialogue, resulting in a stiff film that Pickford later called "one of the worst features I ever made... it was deadly".
    More Details Hide Details Zukor agreed; he held the film back from distribution for a year. Pickford's work in material written for the camera by that time had attracted a strong following. Comedy-dramas, such as In the Bishop's Carriage (1913), Caprice (1913), and especially Hearts Adrift (1914), made her irresistible to moviegoers. Hearts Adrift was so popular that Pickford asked for the first of her many publicized pay raises based on the profits and reviews. The film marked the first time Pickford’s name was featured above the title on movie marquees. Tess of the Storm Country was released five weeks later. Biographer Kevin Brownlow observed that the film "sent her career into orbit and made her the most popular actress in America, if not the world".
    In 1913, she decided to work exclusively in film.
    More Details Hide Details The previous year, Adolph Zukor had formed Famous Players in Famous Plays. It was later known as Famous Players-Lasky and then Paramount Pictures, one of the first American feature film companies. Pickford left the stage to join Zukor's roster of stars. Zukor believed film's potential lay in recording theatrical players in replicas of their most famous stage roles and productions. Zukor first filmed Pickford in a silent version of A Good Little Devil.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1912
    Age 19
    Pickford made her last Biograph picture, The New York Hat, in late 1912.
    More Details Hide Details She returned to Broadway in the David Belasco production of A Good Little Devil (1912). This was a major turning point in her career. Pickford, who had always hoped to conquer the Broadway stage, discovered how deeply she missed film acting.
    Unhappy with their creative standards, Pickford returned to work with Griffith in 1912.
    More Details Hide Details Some of her best performances were in his films, such as Friends, The Mender of Nets, Just Like a Woman, and The Female of the Species. That year Pickford also introduced Dorothy and Lillian Gish (both friends from her days in touring melodrama) to Griffith. Both became major silent stars, in comedy and tragedy, respectively.
  • 1911
    Age 18
    Pickford was married three times. She married Owen Moore, an Irish-born silent film actor, on January 7, 1911.
    More Details Hide Details It is rumored she became pregnant by Moore in the early 1910s and had a miscarriage or an abortion. Some accounts suggest this resulted in her later inability to have children. The couple had numerous marital problems, notably Moore's alcoholism, insecurity about living in the shadow of Pickford's fame, and bouts of domestic violence. The couple lived together on-and-off for several years. Pickford became secretly involved in a relationship with Douglas Fairbanks. They toured the US together in 1918 to promote Liberty Bond sales for the World War I effort. Around this time, Pickford also suffered from the flu during the 1918 flu pandemic, but survived.
  • 1910
    Age 17
    Pickford left Biograph in December 1910.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, she starred in films at Carl Laemmle's Independent Moving Pictures Company (IMP). IMP was absorbed into Universal Pictures in 1912, along with Majestic.
  • 1909
    Age 16
    Pickford added to her 1909 Biographs (Sweet and Twenty, They Would Elope, and To Save Her Soul, to name a few) with films made in California.
    More Details Hide Details Actors were not listed in the credits in Griffith's company. Audiences noticed and identified Pickford within weeks of her first film appearance. Exhibitors in turn capitalized on her popularity by advertising on sandwich boards that a film featuring "The Girl with the Golden Curls", "Blondilocks", or "The Biograph Girl" was inside.
    She appeared in 51 films in 1909 – almost one a week.
    More Details Hide Details She also introduced her friend Florence La Badie to D. W. Griffith, who launched La Badie's career. In January 1910, Pickford traveled with a Biograph crew to Los Angeles. Many other film companies wintered on the West Coast, escaping the weak light and short days that hampered winter shooting in the East.
    On April 19, 1909, the Biograph Company director D. W. Griffith screen-tested her at the company's New York studio for a role in the nickelodeon film, Pippa Passes.
    More Details Hide Details The role went to someone else but Griffith was immediately taken with Pickford. She quickly grasped that movie acting was simpler than the stylized stage acting of the day. Most Biograph actors earned $5 a day but, after Pickford's single day in the studio, Griffith agreed to pay her $10 a day against a guarantee of $40 a week. Pickford, like all actors at Biograph, played both bit parts and leading roles, including mothers, ingenues, charwomen, spitfires, slaves, Native Americans, spurned women, and a prostitute. As Pickford said of her success at Biograph: "I played scrubwomen and secretaries and women of all nationalities... I decided that if I could get into as many pictures as possible, I'd become known, and there would be a demand for my work."
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1892
    Born
    Mary Pickford was born Gladys Louise Smith in 1892 (although she would later claim 1893 or 1894 as her year of birth) at 211 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    More Details Hide Details Her father, John Charles Smith, was the son of English Methodist immigrants, and worked a variety of odd jobs. Her mother, Charlotte Hennessey, was of Irish Catholic descent and worked for a time as a seamstress. She had two younger siblings, Charlotte, called "Lottie" (born 1893), and John Charles, called "Jack" (born 1896), who also became actors. To please her husband's relatives, Pickford's mother baptized her children as Methodists, the faith of their father. John Charles Smith was an alcoholic; he abandoned the family and died on February 11, 1898, from a fatal blood clot caused by a workplace accident when he was a purser with Niagara Steamship. When Gladys was age four, her household was under infectious quarantine, a public health measure. Their devoutly Catholic maternal grandmother (Catherine Faeley Hennessey) asked a visiting Roman Catholic priest to baptize the children. Pickford was at this time baptized as Gladys Marie Smith.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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