Biography of Mary Pickford (1892-1979)

Actress of American cinema although born on April 8, 1892 in Toronto (Canada) and died on May 29, 1979 in Santa Monica (California). His real name was Gladys Louise Smith.

Daughter of director and actor Jack Pickford, from very small his life revolved around the world of the stage, which began at the side of his mother, Charlotte Smith, and his siblings, Jack and Lottie. Alongside these he/she joined various groups interpreting plays. His presence on stage, however, was highlighted soon after starting his career, because he/she took part with just 10 years in works directed by the renowned director and producer theatrical David Belasco. It was precisely Belasco who encouraged him to change the name of Gladys Smith by Mary Pickford. Fame got in recent years for his theatrical work allowed him to be tempted by the film.

He took his first steps in different productions of the Biograph Company, in films that were led by Florence Lawrence and Mack Sennett (The fascinating Mrs. Francis or The deception, 1909) and directed by David w. Griffith, who was raising her artistic range (in the same year) in films such as the violinist of Cremona, phone, or the path of a man, and his first starring role in His wife completo visitor, next to Billy Quirck. It was a time of intense work, in which took part in an average of fifty films a year and was part of the Group of actresses (with Blanche Sweet, Mae Marsh and Lillian and Dorothy Gish) who worked under the orders of Griffith. Mary intervened, among others, in titles such as the girl and the teacher (1909), the son of destiny (1910), three brothers (1911) and the man whom he/she loved (1912). In those years it was known as the "little Mary", and he/she combined his work in the Biograph with other interventions for the Independent Motion Pictures of Carl Laemmle, who was to pay $170 a week; and the Majestic, where reached salary of 270 dollars a week.

Adolph Zukor hired her to work in his production company, the Famous Players Film Company, from 1914, with a floor higher than the $500 a week. Among films that played over four years are A girl of yesterday (1915), Allan Dwan (director that worked on numerous films and with whom he/she later would be her husband, Douglas Fairbanks); Madame Butterfly (1915), by S. Olcott; Wild flower (1916), J. Emerson; A rich poor (1917), of Maurice Tourneur; and Rebecca from the farm of the Sun (1917) and the miracle girl (1918), both directed by Marshall Neilan. These were years in which arrived to sign a contract which allowed him to make a Fortune (a million dollars for two years), and that turned it into one of the best paid stars in the firmament of the dumb Hollywood. This privileged position allowed it to have a signature of production especially controlling their work, Mary Pickford Motion Picture Company.

From 1919 he/she joined the First National, which offered him a contract of $350,000 for three movies, among them Pope met long legs (1919), of Marshall Neilan. Her marriage to Douglas Faribanks, one of the great actors of the time, consolidated it as a myth living, becoming one of the most dazzling and famous around the world.

Since it began to be identified among the many protagonists of the films of the Biograph, the Pickford got that never reached the others: that the public consider it as something own, an actress who belonged to them. It was a girl who became "America's sweetheart", and played for several decades to girls sleepers, rebellious, seemingly naïve, but able to confront social situations marked by inequality from that children and young look.

It controlled the most his career, urging all those who took advantage is its image unimaginable salaries for the vast majority of the actors of the time. Since the Awakening (1909), David W. Griffith, Mary Pickford continued participated as a producer in some films. It will be from Hearts adrift (1914) when consolidated an activity that will take you to participate in the founding of United Artists by Charles Chaplin, David W. Griffith and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks. With the Nightingale of the people (1920), P. Powell, dream and reality (1920); J. F. Dillon; or sign of love (1920), F. Marion, clinched the big Hollywood-driven firm, encouraged the actress to tackle new endeavors, like little Lord Fauntleroy (1921), of Alfred E. Green; or Rosita, the street singer (1923), Ernst Lubitsch.

The first sound film in the career of Mary Pickford was Coquette (1929), which allowed him to get an Oscar, and intervened in the taming of the Shrew (1929), then both Sam Taylor, which would be only film appearance beside her husband, Douglas Fairbanks. Divorced in 1935, he/she married Charles "Buddy" Rogers two years later, an actor who had worked in the small seller (1927), Sam Taylor.

Throughout the 1930s he/she continued to work in radio and as a film production company, activity that remained until the end of the next decade. Occasionally, he/she participated in various film works on the cinema produced in the silent period.

Lived years of retirement at Pickfair, one of the most luxurious mansions in Hollywood in which he/she wrote his autobiography Sunshine and Shadow, published in 1955. The Academy of Arts and Sciences in Hollywood, he/she had helped to found, awarded an honorary Oscar in 1975.

In 1997 Hugh Munro Nelly directed a documentary about the life and career of the actress with the title Mary Pickford: a life on film.


1908: Mrs. Jones Entertains. 1909: The Fascinanting Mrs. Francis; The Deception; Two memories; The drive for life; His duty; The violinist of Cremona; What drink did; The phone; The son's return; Her first biscuits; The faded lilies; Mexican Idyll; The peachbasket hat; The path of a man; The country doctor; The necklace; Tender hearts; The cardinal's conspiracy; The renunciation; Sweet and twenty; The Salève; A strange meeting; They would elope; The indian runner's romance; His wife's visitor; The seventh day; Oh, uncle!; The little girl; The sealed room; The Renegades of Hessia; The children's friend; Getting Even; The broken locket; In old Kentucky; The Awakening (and screenwriter); The teacher (and screenwriter); Wanted, a child; His lost love; Lines of white on a sullen sea; What's your hurry?; The Gibson goddess; The restoration; The light that came; To midnight adventure; Sweet revenge; The mountaineer's honor; In the watches of the night; The test; The trick that failed; To save her soul; The heart of an outlaw. 1910: The call; All on account of the milk; The woman from mellon completo girl; The englishman and the girl; The newlyweds; The son of destiny; The smoker; The twisted trail; His last dollar; As it is in life; A rich revenge; The romance of the Western hills; The unchanging sea; The two brothers; Love between races; Ramona; An affair of hearts; In the season of buds (and screenwriter); In the border states; A victim of jealousy; The face at the window; Never again; May and december (and screenwriter); A child's impulse; Muggsy's first sweetheart; What he/she said Daisy; Flash of light; Serious sixteen; War without quarter; Arcadia girl; The usurer; When we were in our teens; The rocks of the infidel; Willful Peggy; Muggsy becomes a hero; Little angels of luck; A summer tragedy; Examination day at school; The iconoclast; Gold necklace; That chink at Golden Gulch; Shunsine Sue; Simple Charity; The song of the wildqwood flute; A plain song; A Child's stratagem; White roses; The masher; To lucky toothache. 1911: When a man loves; Their first misunderstanding; The Italian Barber; The dream; Tre sisters; Consciencie; A decree of destiny; Second sight; The aggressor; The courting of Mary; While the cat's away; ' Tween two loves; Th etoss of a coin; Sweet memories; The stampede; The skating bug; The sentinel asleep; Science; The Rose's story; The mirror; The message in the bottle; The master and the man; A manly man; Maid or man; Love heeds not have showers; Little red riding hood; Little Nell's tobacco; The lighthouse keeper; In the sultan's garden; In old Madrid; The house that Jack built; Honor thy father; His dress shirt; Her darkest Hour; To gasoline engagement; From the bottom of the sea; For the queen's honor; For her brother's sake; The fisher-maid; The fair dentist; A dog's tale; The daddy's dream; The call of the song; The better way; Back to the soil; At the duke's command; At a quarter of two; Arful Kate. 1912: Honor the father; The mender of nets; A siren of impulse; The promise of india; Fate completo interception; The female of the species; Just like a woman; Won by fish; The old actor; A lodging for the night; A beast at bay; Home folks; Lena and the Geese (and screenwriter); The school teacher and the waif; An indian summer; The narrow road; A child's remorse; The inner circle; With the enemy's help; Romance people; A pueblo legend; Friends; So near, yet so far; Stronghold in the hills of Kentucky; The man whom he/she loved; My baby; The informer; The New York Hat; Grannie. 1913: The unwelcome guest; Fate; In the bishop's carriage; Caprice. 1914: The good little devil; Hearts adrift (and screenwriter); Tess of the storm country; The eagle's mate; Such a little queen; Doubloons and wigs; Cinderella. 1915: Mistress nell; Fanchon; The dawn of a tomorrow; Little Pal; Rags; Emerald; A girl of yesterday (and screenwriter); Madame Butterflay; Broken hearts. 1916: La huerfanita (and producer); Poor little Peppina; The eternal grind; Hilda, Holland flower; Wild flower. 1917: The pride of the clan; A rich poor; A romance of the redwoods; Small heroin; Rebecca of the farm of the Sun; The little princess. 1918: Stella Maris; Amarilly of clothes-line alley; The miracle girl; How could you, Jean?; Shoes (and producer); One hundred percent american. 1919: Captain kidd, jr; Pope long legs (and producer); The hoodlum; Soul of the peaks (and producer). 1920: The Nightingale of the village (and producer); Dream and reality (and producer); Sign of love (and producer). 1921: The nut; Through the door of service (and producer); Little lord Fauntleroy (and producer). 1922: Tess in the country of the storms (and producer). 1923: Rosita, the street singer (and producer). 1924: Dorothy Vernon (and producer). 1925: The little Anita (and producer). 1926: Sparrows (and producer). 1927: the small seller (and producer). 1929: Coquette (and producer); The Taming of the Shrew (and producer). 1930: Forever yours. 1931: Kiki (and producer). 1933: Secret (and producer).

Other films as a producer

1936: The gay desperado; One rainy afternoon. 1946: Little Iodine; Suit steps out; Whtie cradle inn. 1947: Adventures of don Coyote; Stork bites man. 1948: Sleep, my love.

Other works

1911: Madame Rex (scriptwriter). 1913: When fate decrees (and screenwriter). 1923: Garrison completo finish (titles).