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Mary Pickford Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (51) | Personal Quotes (17) | Salary (12)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 8 April 1892Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date of Death 29 May 1979Santa Monica, California, USA  (cerebral hemorrhage)
Birth NameGladys Marie Smith
Nicknames Baby Gladys
"The Girl with the Golden Hair"
"The Glad Girl"
America's Sweetheart
Little Mary
Height 5' 0½" (1.54 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Mary Pickford began in the theater at age seven. 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]', working with director 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 under Adolph Zukor. She then joined First National Exhibitor's Circuit in 1918. In 1919 she helped to establish United Artists.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ted Hull <theodore.hull@arch2.nara.gov>

Spouse (3)

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)

Trivia (51)

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.
In same stage company as Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish in early 1900s.
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,
Formed United Artists company with Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith, and Charles Chaplin. First artist to have her name in marquee lights. The first international star.
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.
Sister-in-law of Tom Moore and Matt Moore.
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
Sister-in-law of Joe Moore, aunt of Alice Moore.
Son Ronnie has three children, daughter Jamie (born 1954), son Tommy (b. 1955), and son Douglas Pickford (born 1966). 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
Is portrayed by Maria Pitillo in Chaplin (1992)
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 likeness is included as part of the "Canadians in Hollywood" stamp series released by CanadaPost in 2006. The others in the series were Fay Wray, Lorne Greene and John Candy.
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.
Was to have made her big-screen comeback as Vinnie in Life with Father (1947), but the role eventually went to Irene Dunne because of Dunne's box-office appeal.
Her last silent movie was My Best Girl (1927).
Was Joan Crawford's mother-in-law, while Crawford was married to Pickford's son, Douglas Fairbanks Jr..
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).
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".
Fil Daily-West Coast Bureau-Tuesday, May 7, 1935: Mary Pickford)has signed with Henry Duffy, theatrical manager, to appear in "Coquette." She will tour in the play along the coast.

Personal Quotes (17)

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.
[upon initially hearing her recorded voice on film in "Coquette"] That's not me. That's a pip squeak voice. It's impossible. I sound like I'm 12 or 13.

Salary (12)

A Gold Necklace (1910) $175/week
The Courting of Mary (1911) $275/week
Caprice (1913) $500/week
Rags (1915) $4,000/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
Daddy-Long-Legs (1919) $350,000
The Hoodlum (1919) $350,000
Heart o' the Hills (1919) $350,000

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