Mary Pickford

Mary Pickford

Highest Rated: 86% Stella Maris (1918)

Lowest Rated: 29% Coquette (1929)

Birthday: Apr 8, 1892

Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Mary Pickford was Hollywood's first superstar. As "America's Sweetheart," she was the greatest screen icon of the silent era, virtually defining the role and influence of celebrity within the context of contemporary society. Born Gladys Smith on April 8, 1892, in Toronto, Ontario, she was thrust into show business while still a child following the death of her father, and she toured in a series of road companies under the billing "Baby Gladys." Upon winning a role in Broadway's The Warrens of Virginia, the 14-year-old was rechristened Mary Pickford by producer David Belasco, and a year later she flirted her way into extra work on D.W. Griffith's 1909 film The Lonely Villa. After earning five dollars for her day of work, Pickford met Griffith's request that she return the following morning with a demand to earn ten dollars daily; the next day she was back on the set, and swiftly emerged as one of the key players in the legendary director's stock company. Pickford soon arranged for an audition for her friend, Lillian Gish, and within months the two young women were among the most popular talents in the burgeoning film industry. Known to the public as "Little Mary" or "the Girl With Golden Hair," she starred in dozens of Biograph Studios films annually under Griffith's supervision, and ultimately left the theater completely behind to focus on movie work. As her stature and fame grew, Pickford began to take increasing control over her career; she often dictated the terms of her productions, and not even the likes of the prestigious Edwin S. Porter could override her decisions on how best to approach her performances. Her popularity extended well beyond North America; early films like 1909's The Little Darling were systematically copied in Russia and distributed throughout the European underground market, and although the loss of income suffered by Biograph was staggering, the piracy of her work made Pickford an international superstar.Pickford's massive popularity made her the motion picture industry's first real icon, and she parlayed her success into more and more lucrative financial rewards. At the insistence of her manager, mother Charlotte, she demanded frequent raises from her employers, and by 1913 she was also the first of the Biograph players to receive almost total creative control. However, believing herself overshadowed by the powerful messages of Griffith's work, in 1916 Pickford signed with Adolph Zukor's Famous Players Company, which in turn charged theaters a premium to screen her movies. Her deal with Zukor was unprecedented: Not only did she sign for an astounding 10,000 dollars a week, but she also netted a 30,000-dollar signing bonus, as well as a significant share of all profits from her films. Pickford honored the deal for less than a year before moving on to an even bigger payday -- a staggering agreement of 350,000 dollars per movie -- and by the age of 24, she was Hollywood's first millionaire. Ultimately, Pickford's fame grew to such unprecedented proportions that no studio in town could hope to afford her salary and accommodate her demands; when Charlie Chaplin, the only other star of a similar magnitude, found himself in the same situation they decided to join forces and form their own studio. United Artists was born in 1919, and also included among its founders swashbuckling actor Douglas Fairbanks, Pickford's husband. Together they were a virtual royal couple, with their lives at the massive Beverly Hills estate Pickfair achieving a kind of fairy-tale quality. At the peak of Pickford's success, however, she began to grow restless. Her standing as "America's Sweetheart" -- a winsome image perpetuated by films like 1914's Tess of the Storm Country, 1917's Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and 1917's Poor Little Rich Girl -- began to straitjacket her creative ambitions, and after 1920's Pollyanna, which cast the 27-year-old as a girl 15 years her junior, she defiantly chopped off her long, angelic curls into a

Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Why Be Good? Sexuality and Censorship in Early Cinema Actor 2008
No Score Yet The Rose Parade: Through the Years Actor 1988
No Score Yet 30 Years of Fun Actor 1963
No Score Yet Love Happy Producer 1950
No Score Yet Sleep, My Love Producer 1947
No Score Yet The Gay Desperado Producer 1936
No Score Yet One Rainy Afternoon Producer 1936
No Score Yet Secrets Mary Marlow/Mary Carlton Producer 1933
No Score Yet The Taming of the Shrew Katherine Producer 1929
29% Coquette Norma Producer 1929
No Score Yet The Gaucho Our Lady of the Shrine 1927
No Score Yet My Best Girl Maggie Johnson Producer 1927
No Score Yet Potseluy Meri Pikford (The Kiss of Mary Pickford) Actor 1927
No Score Yet Sparrows Producer Mama Mollie 1926
No Score Yet Little Annie Rooney Producer Annabelle 'Little Annie' 1925
No Score Yet Dorothy Vernon Of Haddon Hall Producer Actor 1924
No Score Yet Rosita Producer Rosita 1923
No Score Yet Tess of the Storm Country Tessibel Skinner Producer 1922
No Score Yet Through the Back Door Jeanne Producer 1921
No Score Yet Little Lord Fauntleroy Dearest, Cedric's Mother Dearest Cedric's Mother Cedric Producer 1921
No Score Yet Through The Backdoor Jeanne Bodamere Producer 1921
No Score Yet The Love Light Producer Angela 1921
No Score Yet Suds Amanda Afflick Producer 1920
No Score Yet Pollyanna Producer Pollyanna 1920
No Score Yet Daddy Long Legs Producer Judy Abbott 1919
No Score Yet The Hoodlum (The Ragamuffin) Producer Amy Burke 1919
No Score Yet Heart O' the Hills Actor 1919
No Score Yet Amarilly of Clothes-line Alley Amarilly Jenkins 1918
86% Stella Maris Stella Maris/Unity Blake 1918
No Score Yet The Little Princess Actor 1917
No Score Yet The Little American Angela Producer 1917
No Score Yet A Romance of the Redwoods Jenny Lawrence 1917
No Score Yet The Poor Little Rich Girl Gwendolyn 1917
No Score Yet Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm Rebecca Randall 1917
No Score Yet The Pride of the Clan Merger MacTavish, the Pride of the Clan Producer 1917
No Score Yet Cinderella Cinderella 1914
No Score Yet Behind the Scenes Actor 1914
No Score Yet What the Daisy Said Martha 1910
No Score Yet The Renunciation Kittie Ryan 1909


No quotes approved yet.