8 April: Remembering Mary Pickford on Birthday

OV Digital Desk
5 Min Read
Mary Pickford

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Mary Pickford 8 April 1892 – 29 May 1979) was a Canadian American stage and screen actress and producer with a career that spanned five decades. A pioneer in the US film industry, she co-founded Pickford–Fairbanks Studios and United Artists, and was one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Life and Career

She was born on 8 April 1892, in Toronto, Canada. Pickford began her acting career in vaudeville at the age of seven, and by the time she was a teenager, she had become a successful stage actress. In 1909, she made her film debut in “The Violin Maker of Cremona” and quickly became a popular performer in the burgeoning film industry.

Pickford’s breakthrough role came in 1913 when she starred in “Tess of the Storm Country,” which was a huge box-office success. She went on to become one of the most beloved and recognized actresses of her time, starring in over 200 films during her career.

Pickford was known for her naturalistic acting style and her ability to convey emotion on screen. She was also one of the first actors to negotiate a percentage of a film’s profits, making her one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Hollywood.

In addition to her acting career, Pickford was also a successful producer and co-founder of United Artists, a film studio that gave artists more creative control over their work. She produced many of her own films and worked with some of the most talented filmmakers of her time, including D.W. Griffith and Ernst Lubitsch.

Pickford was also a philanthropist and advocate for children’s rights. She helped establish the Motion Picture Relief Fund, which provided financial assistance to members of the film industry who had fallen on hard times, and she was a founding member of the Society of Independent Motion Picture Producers.

Pickford retired from acting in 1933, but she continued to be involved in the film industry and remained a respected figure in Hollywood until her death on 29 May 1979.

Award and Legacy

Mary Pickford’s contributions to the film industry and her impact on the development of the movie star system have left an enduring legacy. Her talent, charisma, and business savvy helped pave the way for future generations of actresses and filmmakers.

Pickford was one of the earliest recipients of an Academy Award, receiving the second-ever Best Actress Oscar for her performance in “Coquette” in 1930. She also received an Honorary Award in 1976 for her lifetime achievements in the film industry.

Pickford’s impact on Hollywood and the film industry was so significant that she was often referred to as “America’s Sweetheart.” She was also known for her philanthropic work and was a vocal advocate for women’s rights and the representation of women in the film industry.

In addition to her acting and producing career, Pickford was also a pioneer in film preservation. She donated her personal collection of films and papers to the Library of Congress, helping to ensure that the history of early cinema would be preserved for future generations.

Today, Pickford’s legacy is celebrated through the Mary Pickford Foundation, which supports film preservation, education, and scholarship. Her name is also immortalized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where she was honored with a star in 1960.

Mary Pickford remains an iconic figure in the history of Hollywood and the film industry, a testament to the power of talent, hard work, and determination.

On 8 April 2017, Google celebrated Mary Pickford’s 125th birthday with a doodle.

Share This Article