Mary Pickford


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Mary Pickford
Gladys Marie Smith
Birthday
BirthplaceToronto, Ontario, Canada
Died
Occupation
Actress, producer, screenwriter, mother, wife

Pickford, Mary,

1893–1979, American movie actress, b. Toronto, Ont. In 1909 she began working with D. W. GriffithGriffith, D. W.
(David Llewelyn Wark Griffith), 1875–1948, American movie director and producer, b. La Grange, Ky. Griffith was the first major American film director. He began his film career as an actor and a scenario writer in 1908 with the Biograph Company.
..... Click the link for more information.
. Specializing in playing young girls, she was dubbed "America's Sweetheart." Her films include A Poor Little Rich Girl (1917), Pollyanna (1919), Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921), and Tess of the Storm Country (1922). In 1919 she cofounded the distribution firm United Artists with Griffith, Charlie ChaplinChaplin, Charlie
(Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin), 1889–1977, English film actor, director, producer, writer, and composer, b. London. Chaplin began on the music-hall stage and then joined a pantomime troupe.
..... Click the link for more information.
, and Douglas FairbanksFairbanks, Douglas,
1883–1939, American movie actor, b. Denver. From 1901 to 1914, Fairbanks appeared on stage in light comedies. In 1915 he began making movies, becoming the swashbuckling hero of his day in such films as The Mark of Zorro (1921),
..... Click the link for more information.
, her husband. She produced her own films thereafter. She won an Academy Award for Coquette (1929), her first movie with sound. She retired from acting in 1933, but continued to produce films for United Artists.

Bibliography

See her autobiography (1955); biographies by R. Windeler (1974) and E. Whitfield (1997); K. Brownlow, Mary Pickford Rediscovered (1999).

Enlarge picture
Mary Pickford rose to fame as an actress in silent films. She is pictured shortly before her death in 1979. Central Press/Getty Images.

Pickford, Mary (1892–1979)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Born Gladys Marie Smith, silent movie actress Mary Pickford was the oldest of three children born within four years of each other. Her mother was Charlotte; her sister was Lottie and the youngest brother was Jack. Gladys was born April 8, 1892. She was five when her father was killed in an accident at work. To help bring in money, Charlotte rented out a room in their house. The couple who rented it were producing a play and thought that Gladys would be ideal for a part in it. Eventually the whole family became actors.

When Gladys was thirteen she was cast in a play, The Warrens of Virginia, by Broadway producer David Bedalsco, who changed her name to Mary Pickford. She was taken on a tour of the dressing rooms at the theatre and at the leading lady’s—Frances Starr—she had a premonition that one day she would have that same dressing room, complete with the star on the door. In fact she did; when she headlined in Bedalsco’s A Good Little Devil.

Pickford had a similar premonition one day when standing with her cousin, waiting in the rain for a trolley car. A passing limousine splashed both of them and Pickford had a premonition that one day she would be riding in an even grander vehicle. Six years later she gave the same cousin a ride in her new cream and gray Cadillac.

Once when shooting a picture at sea (Pride of the Clan), the fishing boat in which a scene was being filmed started to sink. There was a lifeboat nearby and everyone was told to evacuate to it. Pickford decided to run below decks and get her makeup kit but just as she started to do so, she heard a clairaudient voice tell her “Don’t you go there!” She turned and immediately got into the lifeboat. It is probable that if she had continued below deck she might well have gone down with the fishing boat.

After her mother died, Mary Pickford regularly saw her in her dreams. She was tempted to try to make contact through a medium but felt that her deeply religious mother might object to that. In her memoirs, Pickford wrote, “It wasn’t long after her passing that I began meeting mother in my dreams … To this day I still see [her] in my dreams … It gives me infinite peace to know that as long as I dream I shall have my mother with me.”

When only fourteen, Pickford was touring New Haven, Connecticut, with a play, and went to a park near Yale University. As she walked along, she had a strong feeling that she might see the face of the man she would eventually marry. She said, “Always in my heart I carried a picture of what he would look like. I knew everything about him, his complexion, his eyes, his voice.” Many years later, after two marriages (one long and happy one to Douglas Fairbanks), she finally met the man. It was Charles Edward Rogers, better known as Buddy Rogers. Rogers, who was eleven years younger than Pickford, had been in love with her for many years. They met in 1927. She finally divorced Fairbanks in 1936, and she and Rogers married the following year. She remained married to Rogers for the rest of her life. She died of cerebral hemorrhage on May 29, 1979.

Sources:

Accurso, Lina: Mary Pickford: Superstitious Superstar. Lakeville: Fate Magazine, October, 2004
Pickford, Mary: Sunshine and Shadows. New York: Doubleday, 1955

Pickford, Mary

 

(stage name of Gladys Mary Smith). Born Apr. 8, 1893, in Toronto. American film actress.

Pickford, who began performing in the theater in 1898, made her film debut in 1909. Her best roles were directed by the producer D. W. Griffith. The image of the ingenue, the American Cinderella, created in Pickford’s roles became internationally famous. Pickford was especially popular for her performances in the films The New York Hat (1912), The Poor Little Rich Girl (1916), The Little Princess (1917), Pollyanna (1920), and My Best Girl (1927). She was the founder and owner of many film companies, including United Artists, a joint venture with Griffith, Chaplin and D. Fairbanks. She made her last film in 1933, resumed her career in the theater, and became a producer. Pickford has written an autobiography.

WORKS

Sunshine and Shadow. New York, 1955.

REFERENCES

Bronnikov, M. Etiudy o tvorchestve Meri Pikford. Leningrad, 1927.
Lee, R. The Films of Mary Pickford. New York-London, 1970.

Pickford, Mary (b. Gladys Mary Smith)

(1893–1979) film actress; born in Toronto, Canada, (wife of Douglas Fairbanks Sr.). Her stage debut was made at age five, and her film debut was in 1909. Her childlike charm, her golden curls, and her feminine wiles turned her into "America's Sweetheart." She played Cinderella parts until her retirement in 1933. A cofounder of United Artists, she won an Academy Award for Coquette (1929).
References in periodicals archive ?
AS a brand-new artistic field, film was open to people with talent and ideas, including many Canadians like Nell Shipman and Mary Pickford. The first permanent movie studio in Hollywood--Nestor Film Company, founded in 1911--was managed by Canadian-born Alfred Christie (1881-1951).
New York-based Angela also spoke of her delight at being involved in the Mary Pickford movie - and the chance to team up with Sophie as her mother Charlotte.
Before that, movie studios didn't want actors to become household names because they'd demand more money, said Pickford scholar Christel Schmidt, editor of "Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies.''
The non-profit organisation was founded in 1921 by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, among others.
, Mary Pickford's hats and Charlie Chaplin's black bowler are among the most outstanding exhibits that are also being put up for auction.
Griffith was also instrumental in establishing the star system after co-founding the United Artists film studio in 1919 with Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks.
Douglas Fairbanks Charles Chaplin and Mary Pickford were among Hollywood's first superstars.
Hollywood caught on to the scenic area early; Mary Pickford, Judy Garland, Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, and Mickey Rooney all had homes here, and in 1920 showbiz types founded the Laguna Playhouse, the oldest continuously operating theater company on the West Coast.
From the superstars like Mary Pickford, Theda Bara, and Francis Marion, to the anonymous and largely forgotten who moved the fledgling cinema from the silent era into the age of sound, this is a seminal work of remarkable scholarship that also includes appendices of female child stars.
During his time with the company, Griffith developed a stock company of players that at one time or another included all the major female stars of the silent screen: Dorothy and Lillian Gish, Blanche Sweet, Mabel Normand, Mac Marsh, and his Canadian contingent, Florence Lawrence, Mary Pickford and Florence LaBadie.