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Mary Pickford Biography

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Mary Pickford

Birthdate:   8 Apr 1892
Website: http://www.marypickford.com/home.html
Category: Movies

Mary Pickford was born Gladys Louise Smith on April 8th 1892 in Toronto Canada. She was the eldest of three children with a sister "Lottie" and a brother Jack, she was devoted to her mother Charlotte who was left alone to raise the children when Mary's father died as the result of an accident. When the family moved to the USA Mary supported her family by working as a child actress in the theatre, where she introduced herself to the famous producer David Belasco, he was impressed with the precocious Gladys enough to put her to work and change her name to Mary Pickford.

The popularity of moving pictures was growing rapidly and in 1909 Mary's film career began when she joined the Biograph Company in New York under the direction of D W Griffith. Over the next two years Mary appeared in seventy nine films for Biograph, also she met and married for the first time an actor called Owen Moore, who worked at Biograph too. The fame that she achieved during this period meant that Mary was much sought after by rival film companys, including the IMP Company, which was run by director Thomas Ince. Mary joined IMP in 1911 but her stay was short, she missed the quality of production that she had enjoyed at Biograph, after a short stay at Majestic Mary decided to rejoin Biograph in 1912. It was during 1912 that Mary introduced her childhood friends Lillian and Dorothy Gish to D W Griffith who set them to work at Biograph. Mary joined Famous Players later Paramount Pictures in 1913 and started to make feature length films. During the next few years Mary's fame and fortune grew and she also aquired her nickname "America's Sweetheart" by 1917 she was famous enough to go on tour alongside Douglas Fairbanks and Charles Chaplin, selling liberty bonds in aid of the war effort.

By now she was at the peak of her career on the screen making such films as "The Poor Little Rich Girl" (1917) "Stella Maris" (1918) "Daddy Long Legs" (1919) and "Heart O' the Hills" (1919) Mary had been married in name only to Owen Moore for years and around the time of the bond tour began an affair with Douglas Fairbanks, both thought that this might damage their career's, they married in 1920 and rather than damage them,they became even more popular as a couple. in 1919, together with Chaplin and Griffith, Mary and Doug formed United Artists which gave the four most important people in the movie industry complete licence over their own productions. Mary and Doug were now treated like Hollywood royalty and drew famous names from home and abroad to their house named "pickfair"by the press.

Throughout the twenties Mary slowed down her film production to one quality
big budget production per year. Films like "Tess of the Storm Country"(1922)
"Sparrows"(1926) and "My Best Girl" (1927) maintained her success but by the end of the decade Mary's screen persona was starting to look dated in the wake of the flapper culture.

Armed with a microphone and a new short haircut Mary embarked on her talkie debut in 1929 called "Coquette" and she won the Academy Award for best actress. However Mary became another casualty of talking pictures, together with the public failing to accept her in adult roles, her movie career was over by 1933. By 1936 Mary's marriage to Doug was also over, probably due to the loss of his film career and his constant globetrotting. In 1937 Mary married her "My Best Girl" co-star Charles"Buddy" Rogers , a marriage that was to last forty three years. Over the next years she engaged herself in some film production work and promoted several charities.
In 1976 Mary received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Academy Awards. Later in her life she became dependent on alcohol and a virtual recluse behind the walls of "Pickfair"
On 29th May 1979 Mary died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Santa Monica, California.

from CKA famous canadian quotes

Quotes by Mary Pickford

  • If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.

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Last updated: 14-09-07      Hits: 11368