Friday, February 5, 2010

In History: Mary Pickford

This is the 11th post in a weekly feature here at Spare Candy, called "In History." Some posts might be little more than a photo, others full on features. If you have any suggestions for a person or event that should be featured, or would like to submit a guest post or cross post, e-mail me at rosiered23 (at) sparecandy (dot) com.

On Feb. 5, 1919, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith and Mary Pickford launched the film studio United Artists -- a big moment in Hollywood history. Pickford was a big deal, too.

Mary Pickford was born in 1892 in Toronto, landed her first role on Broadway in 1907 and went on to become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, stars of silent film. Pickford starred in 52 feature films, and according to Wikipedia, "became her own producer within three years of her start in features. According to her Foundation, 'she oversaw every aspect of the making of her films, from hiring talent and crew to overseeing the script, the shooting, the editing, to the final release and promotion of each project.'"

Pickford also helped found what is now the Motion Picture & Television Fund. She was also a founder of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She won a best actress Oscar for Coquette in 1929. Pickford stopped appearing in movies in 1933, and sold her shares of United Artists in 1956. In 1976, she received an Academy Honorary Award for a lifetime of achievements. She died in 1979.

Photo taken in 1920. Source.

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