Pioneers: Mary Pickford


And welcome. From wonder media network. I'm Jenny Kaplan. And this is encyclopedia will Manica. When you think Hollywood, I con you may think Audrey Hepburn Marilyn Monroe or Meryl Streep, and yet, they're popularity impact and legacy HALE in comparison with today's pioneer. Today. We're talking about the g Hollywood icon Mary Pickford. Mary Pickford is born Gladys Smith in eighteen ninety two in Toronto Canada. After her father was killed began performing in Toronto theaters to put her family. She was nearly as ambitious as she was talented. And in nineteen o seven Gladys meet her way to New York City. There. She changed her name to Mary Pickford and began her Broadway. Career. Nineteen nine Mary was between sage engagements, and she introduced herself to a young DWI Griffith a well known director in the burgeoning motion picture industry. She asked if he had anywhere. The time movies were still a bit of a Nizhny acting on screen didn't carry the prestige of acting on Broadway. And Mary had no intention of working in the new medium permanently, but her skepticism didn't last Mary continued working for DWI Griffiths, New York based company as with an actress and writer from nineteen nine to nineteen eleven. In nineteen thirteen. She decided to leave Broadway all together and signed her first feature motion picture contract with Adolf sucker and the famous players film company. It was the darn feature motion picture industry as we know it, Mary Pickford whether she knew it or not had just signed up to become its biggest star. Mary's name grew in stature, along with the growth in popularity of movies themselves. She earned the nickname moving picture Mary and in eighteen eleven she appeared on the cover of the New York dramatic mirror in nineteen fourteen. She started her first feature film tests of the storm country and almost overnight should became a household name. Mary, success gave her a huge amount of bargaining power, which she used to great effect in nineteen sixteen. She signed a contract. She negotiated herself. They gave her a ten thousand dollar weekly salary fifty percent for film profits and her own production company. She had complete creative control for films and had to sign off on nearly every aspect, including the script and the director she was often also involved in the editing process in nineteen nineteen at just twenty seven years old. Mary, co-founded United Artists with Charlie. Chaplin DWI Griffith, and Douglas Fairbanks United Artists was the very first independent film distribution company, and it's still in business today. Mary and Douglas Fairbanks one of the other top movie actors at the day decided to enter into another kind of partnership to, they got married. Nineteen twenty marriage of Mary Pickford to equally famous. Douglas Fairbanks now America's sweetheart and Hollywood's. Most dashing hero are dust Marian, Doug world's most wonderful man, and white initially. There was concerned that the marriage would face backlash as booth actors were married to other people when they met, but after going public, Marion Douglas found that their story fed into the romantic fantasies fueled fan interest in Hollywood ended stars. They were mobbed by crowds of fans everywhere. They went we're known as the king and Queen of Hollywood. Mary continued to hit film after hit films throughout the nineteen twenties in nineteen twenty nine the industry, faced radical change silent movies for swiftly replaced by talking pictures. Mary made to talk that year and won and Academy Award. I them off. I'm saving a man from drowning, but her success waned in the early nineteen thirties, and by nineteen thirty three after making films for twenty three years. Mary retired from acting. In case you haven't gotten enough here. Some final fun facts about film pioneer and legend Mary Pickford. Mary was one of the original thirty six founders, the kademi of Motion Picture Arts and sciences. The organization behind the Oscars. She was one of the earliest stars to get billing under her own name and is credited as having created and popularized. The Jeju archetype in film, and finally Mary's considered one of the greatest, Canadian film stars of all time, one of the earliest, Canadian pioneers, in feature film. Tune in tomorrow for the story of another incredible pioneer, we'll be talking about a lady who invented grits and received the first ever English patent in the thirteen colonies, the became the United States as always special. Thanks to my sister was Kaplan, whose genius researcher behind this collection of women. Talk to you tomorrow.

Coming up next