Destined to become America's first sweetheart, Mary Pickford was born Gladys Marie Smith on April 8, 1892, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Acting would become second nature to little Mary. Her parents were actors and it was only natural that she would follow in their footsteps. Her mother wasted no time in introducing her to the stage, and she appeared in one production at the age of six. After numerous stage plays, Mary entered the film world and immortality. At the age of 16 she starred as Dorothy Nicholson in Mrs. Jones Entertains (1909). The next year was a busy one for her. In the early days of filmmaking it wasn't at all uncommon for performers to churn out several films per year, often working on more than one at a time. In 1909, Mary appeared in 51 films - almost one a week! She had joined the 'American Mutoscope & Biograph [us]' under the direction of D.W. Griffith. Griffith, from Crestwood, Kentucky, and some of his films with Mary reflected his home state such as In Old Kentucky (1909), In the Border States (1910) and A Feud in the Kentucky Hills (1912). If the 1909 season was busy for her, the following year was no less hectic, with Mary putting in work on 49 films. In 1911 she left Biograph to work with Carl Laemmle, but returned to Griffith the next year, in which she put out only 27 films, as opposed to the 48 she did in 1911. By now Mary was 20 and had appeared in 176 films; most performers today couldn't boast that kind of work record for their entire career. By 1913 Mary had cut back her grueling schedule drastically, with only four movies in 1913, but she was by no means idle; she was now writing and producing films. In 1920, she was in only two films - Suds (1920) and Pollyanna (1920) - but, more importantly, she helped to establish United Artists Pictures, a studio that was responsible for many great films for the next 60-plus years before being bought by MGM. Mary was more than an actress; she was a tough, savvy businesswoman with, and was proud of the fact that she knew what worked for her and what didn't. On top of all that, she was one of 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Finally, at 43, Mary made her last film, Star Night at the Cocoanut Grove (1934), and then retired from films for a well-deserved rest. Her career lasted from 1908 to 1935, encompassing 236 films. Without a doubt, Mary Pickford was the most popular star in the silent era, if not of all time. She was awarded an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in 1976, from the very organization she had started years earlier. On May 29, 1979, she died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Santa Monica, California. She was 87 years old.IMDb Mini Biography By: Denny Jackson
Mary Pickford began in the theater at age six. Then known as "Baby Gladys Smith", she toured with her family in a number of theater companies. In 1907, she adopted a family name Pickford and joined the David Belasco troupe, appearing in the long-running The Warrens of Virginia". She began in films in 1909 with the 'American Mutoscope & Biograph [us]', run by D.W. Griffith. For a short time in 1911, to earn more money, she joined the IMP Film Co. under Carl Laemmle. She returned to Biograph in 1912, and, in 1913 joined the Famous Players Film Company/States Rights/Paramount under Adolph Zukor. In 1916 she joined the Artcraft Pictures Corp. She then joined First National Exhibitor's Circuit in 1918. In 1920 she helped to establish United Artists.IMDb Mini Biography By: Ted Hull <firstname.lastname@example.org>
|Charles 'Buddy' Rogers||(26 June 1937 - 29 May 1979) (her death) 2 children|
|Douglas Fairbanks||(28 March 1920 - 10 January 1936) (divorced)|
|Owen Moore||(7 January 1911 - 2 March 1920) (divorced)|
She had intended to have all of her films destroyed after her death, fearing that no one would care about them. She was convinced not to do this.
One of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
Arguably the silent era's most renowned female star. Film historian Ethan Katz goes so far as to call her "the most popular star in screen history".
Sister of actor/director Jack Pickford.
Sister of screen/stage actress Lottie Pickford.
Step-mother to Douglas Fairbanks Jr..
Her mansion Pickfair was sold ten months after her death for $5,362,000; later sold to Pia Zadora in January 1988 for just under $7 million.
Had cousins from Port Dalhousie, Ontario, who owned a hot dog stand on the local beach. She would sometimes help them on her summer visits during World War I by serving customers.
Stage producer David Belasco gave Mary her stage name in 1908. Her real name, Gladys Marie Smith, wasn't right for an actress on his stage. "Gladys" didn't suit the diminutive actress, "Smith" was too common, "Marie" was too foreign. "Marie" became "Mary". "Pickford" was her mother's maiden name. Years later, a fan who traced her family tree found that the name "Mary Pickford" occurred several times in her mother's family going back to the 12th century,
Interred at Forest Lawn, Glendale, California, USA, in the Garden of Memory. (Not accessible to the general public).
Half English, half Irish.
Sister-in-law of Robert Fairbanks.
Turned down the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd. (1950).
Daughter of actress Charlotte Smith.
Became a US citizen on her marriage to Douglas Fairbanks, but later reclaimed her Canadian citizenship and died a dual US/Canadian citizen.
She was the first movie actress to receive a percentage of a film's earnings
Son Ronnie has two children, daughter Jamie (born 1954) and son Tommy (b. 1955). Daughter Roxanne gave birth to a daughter, Katina, in the early 1960s.
She left her children $50,000 and her grandchildren trust funds.
Was the subject of the first cinematic close up shot, in 1912's Friends (1912).
Second cousin of John Mantley.
First star (along with husband Douglas Fairbanks) to officially place hand and footprints in the cement at Grauman's Chinese Theatre (April 30, 1927). Hollywood legend has it that the very first star to do so, unofficially, thus inspiring the ensuing tradition, was Norma Talmadge when she accidentally walked onto the wet cement prior to the official opening of the Theatre
Was named #24 on The American Film Institute 50 Greatest Screen Legends
The house in which she lived in Hollywood for most of her life was nicknamed "Pickfair".
Ernst Lubitsch came to America at Mary's invitation to direct Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (1924), but when he arrived he had changed his mind and wouldn't do it (it was eventually directed by Marshall Neilan). Instead, he and Mary made Rosita (1923) together.
Coquette (1929) was her first talkie.
Her first starring appearance in a film was in Her First Biscuits (1909) for Biograph.
She was first hired for the movies by director D.W. Griffith.
Her last silent movie was My Best Girl (1927).
In October 1911, a court voided her contract with IMP because she was a minor when she signed it. As a result, she left IMP for the Majestic Company for $275/week.
In December 1910 she left the Biograph Company to work for Carl Laemmle at Independent Moving Picture Company for $175 a week.
She and husband Douglas Fairbanks were friends of Edsel Ford (son of Henry Ford) and his wife. In the Edsel & Eleanor Ford home at 1100 Lake Shore Rd., Grosse Point Shores, MI there hangs in the study an autographed photo of her signed "Mary Pick-A-Ford", c. 1932.
When she presented producer Cecil B. DeMille with the Best Picture Oscar for The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) (March 19, 1953), not only was it the first time the Academy Awards ceremonies had ever been televised, it was also her very first television appearance.
She became estranged from daughter Roxanne for a time when she, at age eighteen, ran off to marry a man her parents did not approve of.
She paid for her grandchildren to go to school, provided that they showed proof that they were registered.
She started her film career at Biograph Company (American Mutoscope & Biograph) in 1909, when Biograph's director D.W. Griffith hired her. Her first film was Biograph's Pippa Passes; or, The Song of Conscience (1909), though she only was a face in the crowd. However, this launched her long and illustrious film career.
Inducted to Canada's Walk of Fame in 1999.
Founder/President of Mary Pickford Co., a production company formed in 1919, and the Mary Pickford Film Corp., formed in 1916. The former produced films only for Pickford, the latter company produced non-Pickford films.
Had two adopted children with her 3rd husband Charles 'Buddy' Rogers - a son named Ronald Charles Rogers (b.1937) and a daughter named Roxanne Rogers (b.1944-d.2007 from osteoporosis).
The character Edna Strickland changes her name to Mary Pickford in Back to the Future: The Game - Episode 5, Outatime (2011) (VG).
Was a founding member of The Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers (SIMPP).
She was a conservative Republican.
Singer Katie Melua wrote a song in homage to Pickford, with her name as the title, which was featured on her 2007 album "Pictures".
We were pioneers in a brand-new medium. Everything's fun when you're young.
I'm sick of Cinderella parts, of wearing rags and tatters. I want to wear smart clothes and play the lover.
We maniacs had fun and made good pictures and a lot of money. In the early years United Artists was a private golf club for the four of us.
If you have made mistakes . . . and there is always another chance for you. . . . you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down but the staying down.
I never liked one of my pictures in its entirety.
[at her retirement] I'm not exactly satisfied, but I'm grateful.
Make them laugh, make them cry, and back to laughter. What do people want to go to the theatre for? An emotional exercise . . . I am a servant of the people. I have never forgotten that.
Adding sound to movies would be like putting lipstick on the Venus de Milo.
[on Douglas Fairbanks] A little boy who never grew up.
[on Charles Chaplin] That obstinate, suspicious, egocentric, maddening and lovable genius of a problem child.
[on Douglas Fairbanks] In his private life Douglas always faced a situation in the only way he knew, by running away from it.
[on Ernst Lubitsch] I parted company with him as soon as I could. I thought him a very uninspired director. He was a director of doors.
[on success] This thing that we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down.
I will not allow one picture to be shown: Rosita (1923). Oh, I detested that picture! i disliked the director, Ernst Lubitsch, as much as he disliked me. We didn't show it, of course, but it was a very unhappy and very costly experience.
[In her old age] I saw Hollywood born and I've seen it die . . .
I left the screen because I didn't want what happened to Chaplin [Charles Chaplin] to happen to me ... The little girl made me. I wasn't waiting for the little girl to kill me. I'd already been pigeonholed. I know I'm an artist, and that's not being arrogant, because talent comes from God ... My career was planned, there was never anything accidental about it. It was planned, it was painful, it was purposeful. I'm not exactly satisfied, but I'm grateful.
|A Gold Necklace (1910)||$175/week|
|The Courting of Mary (1911)||$275/week|
|Less Than the Dust (1916)||$10,000/week + 50% of profits|
|The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917)||$10,000/week|
|A Romance of the Redwoods (1917)||$96,667|
|The Little American (1917)||$68,666.66|
|Stella Maris (1918)||$250,000|
|The Hoodlum (1919)||$350,000|
|Heart o' the Hills (1919)||$350,000|
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