Mary Pickford – divine nymph
Mary Pickford was a famous film and theater actress, the first star of American cinema. She became one of the most influential women in the history of world cinema, founded several production companies and was among the founders of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts. Mary was the legend of silent films. She appeared in about 250 films.
Mary was born Gladys Louise Smith on April 8, 1893 in Toronto, Canada. Her father, John Charles Smith, was an alcoholic laborer who abandoned his family. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1898 after an accident at work. Her mother, Charlotte, took in borders and sewing to support her family. Mary had younger brother Jack and younger sister Lottie.
Pickford began acting at the age of six to support her family. She worked primarily in stock company melodramas in Toronto and tours across Canada.
In 1907, at the age of 14 Pickford traveled to New York City to seek work. She managed an audition with a famous stage producer David Belasco. He cast Mary in his Broadway production of The Warrens of Virginia.
Pickford debuted in the film The Lonely Villa. It was a silent film and she had a rare ability to silently express emotion.
In 1911, Pickford secretly married an alcoholic Biograph actor named Owen Moore. They divorced after a shaky marriage in 1920.
Between 1917 and 1919, Pickford was at the peak of her career and popularity.
She founded United Artists together with famous actors Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin, as well as director D.W. Griffiths.
On March 28, 1920, Pickford married famous actors Douglas Fairbanks. They were considered the first couple of Hollywood. Pickford and Fairbanks were the first stars to imprint their footprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles.
In 1926 Pickford and Fairbanks came to the Soviet Union. It was the event of national importance. In honor of the stars of silent films cards with their image were produced. Famous Soviet director Sergei Komarov even filmed a movie Kiss of Mary Pickford.
Pickford appeared in her first and most successful, sound picture in 1929.
In 1930 she was awarded Oscar.
Mary retired from acting in 1933, after an appearance in Secrets, her last film.
In the 1930s, Pickford served as a vice president at United Artists, produced films, wrote books and was also active in charity work.
In 1937 she married her third and last husband, Charles ‘‘Buddy’’ Rogers, an actor and bandleader. They adopted two children, Ronald and Roxanne, in the mid-1940s.
Mary Pickford died of a cerebral hemorrhage on May 29, 1979 in Santa Monica, California.
– She appeared in over 100 Biograph films.
– Pickford wrote about 30 scripts over her career.
– In 1917, Pickford played a 12-year-old in The Little Princess though she was 24 years of age.
– Mary was short (1 m 54 cm).
– In 1918, Pickford advertised cosmetics brand Pompeian, and in 1938 founded her own cosmetic company called Mary Pickford Cosmetics.
– Pickford was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
– According to legend, shortly before her death, Pickford sent a letter to Hollywood, which consisted of only four words – “Show must go on”, and her signature.