Mary Pickford Profile

Who Is Mary Pickford?

Gladys Louise Smith, who goes by the screenname Mary Pickford, is a Hollywood actress. She is a very popular American celebrity during the silent film era. During her later years, she left acting and became a businesswoman instead, turning into the very first Hollywood movie mogul. During her famous years, Pickford was nicknamed ‘America’s sweetheart’ and ‘The girl with the curls’. Her other famous nickname was ‘The Queen of the Movies’. She is often considered to be one of the greatest actresses in classic Hollywood.

Career Focus: Acting

Popular Works: Two Memories (1909, DW Griffith), Coquette (1927, Sam Taylor), My Best Girl (1927, Sam Taylor), The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917, Maurice Tourneur), Little Annie Rooney (1925, William Beaudine), Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm (1917, Marshall Neilan), The Taming Of The Shrew (1929, Sam Taylor), Stella Maris (1918, Marshall Neilan), Rosita (1923, Ernst Lubitsch), Pollyanna (1920, Paul Powell), Daddy-Long-Legs (1919, Marshall Neilan), The Little Princess (1917, Marshall Neilan), Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921, Alfred E. Green & John Pickford), Ben-Hur: A Tale Of The Christ (1925, Fred Niblo), Little Iodine (1946, Reginald Le Borg), Love Happy (1949, David Miller), Sleep My Love (1948, Douglas Sirk), One Rainy Afternoon (1936, Rowland V. Lee)

Date of Birth: 08-04-1892 (Died: 29-05-1979)

Current State & Country: Santa Monica, California

Nationality: Canadian-American

Home State & Country: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Height: 5’0”

Weight: 100 lbs.

Net Worth Income: $40,000,000

Educational Credentials: None. Her mother homeschooled her and her siblings.

Mary Pickford

Apart from her acting, Pickford, along with friend and frequent collaborator DW Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille, her former husband Douglas Fairbanks, Sid Grauman, and a host of other notable individuals, founded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). The AMPAS, also known as The Academy, is an organization that aims to advance sciences and arts in cinema. They are also responsible for holding the annual Oscar awards. Pickford herself is the owner of two Oscars. The first one was in 1929 for her talkies film, Coquette, directed by Sam Taylor. She won for Best Actress in a Leading Role – The second ever to do so. In 1976, Pickford received an honorary Oscar.

Career History Of Mary Pickford

Pickford’s career began when a friend of her mother’s suggested that she and her sister take up theater. She acts in plenty of melodramatic theater productions along with the Toronto Valentine Stock Company. Her first theater appearance was in an adaptation of the 1852 novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Soon enough, Pickford and her family were travelling all over Canada, starring in different plays. She features in several Broadway productions such as The Warrens of Virginia, and Edmund Burke.

Pickford’s life changed after meeting the famous director, DW Griffith. Griffith was taken by Pickford, and wants her to star in his movies. Meanwhile, Pickford realized that it was so much easier to do acting roles in movies, instead of theater. The payment was much larger too. Pickford appeared in over 51 of Griffith’s films.

Pickford’s acting drew in a legion of fans who admired her. It got to the point where she was the second most recognizable actress during the silent film era, right behind Charlie Chaplin. A journalist has also described her as the most famous woman in the world during that time. However, her career seemed to fade after the arrival of sound and talkies in cinema. Pickford retired from acting in 1933.

Mary Pickford spouse

Personal Life of Mary Pickford

Pickford’s real name is Gladys Louise Smith. Her birthday is on April 8, 1892. Her birthplace is in Ontario, Canada. Her mother, Charlotte Hennessey, was an Irish Catholic seamstress, while her father, John Charles Smith, earns a living by taking on several odd jobs left and right. Pickford has two siblings – A younger sister also named Charlotte (nicknamed Lottie), and a younger brother, also named John Charles (nicknamed Jack). Jack and Lottie became actors too. Pickford and her siblings were raised as Methodists. Pickford’s father was an alcoholic. After his accidental death from a blood clot, Charlotte converted her children to Catholicism.

Pickford met her first husband, Owen Moore, on January 7, 1911. Like Pickford, Moore worked as a silent film actor. He originally hails from County Meath, Ireland. Pickford became pregnant with Moore’s baby in the 1910s, but unfortunately, she ended up losing it – Either through an abortion, or a miscarriage. The loss of her child must have affected her body so much because she could no longer have any kids after that. Moore is also an alcoholic, and his drinking problems often led to spats with Pickford. He is also jealous of his wife’s fame. During this time, Pickford had a secret affair with actor Douglas Fairbanks. The two of them met while promoting the sale of liberty bonds for World War I. After divorcing Moore, Pickford married Fairbanks in 1920. People took an interest in their relationship, and were often described as ‘Hollywood royalty’. They even purchased a mansion in Beverly Hills, which they named ‘Pickfair’.

The publicity of Pickford and Fairbanks’ marriage took a strain on their relationship. They were also busy with their respective acting careers, so they don’t have time for each other. On top of that, Fairbanks also had an affair with English model and socialite Sylvia Ashley. He and Pickford ended their marriage in the 1930s.

Pickford’s last marriage is to Charles “Buddy” Rogers, an actor and band leader. Instead of having kids, they adopted two of them – Ronald Charles (born 1937) and Roxanne (born 1944).
Similar to her father, Pickford struggled with alcoholism during the later years of her life. She also spiraled into depression, caused by the death of her family, her two divorces, and the ending of her career as a silent film star. She also had a horrible relationship with her two adopted kids. Pickford became a recluse, choosing to talk to her guests through telephone calls. She died on May 29, 1979, from a cerebral hemorrhage.

Also See: Rachel McAdams Bio: Net Worth, Age, Movies & Facts

Net Worth of Mary Pickford

Pickford’s life is perhaps a great example of the rags-to-riches story. In June 24 1916, she holds the distinction of becoming the very first actress to earn one million from her movies. A million bucks might seem very small especially compared to today’s Hollywood standards, but back in the day, this was a huge deal. Pickford became America’s highest-paid actress during the silent movie era, earning a total of $1,000 per week. This gives her an annual income of $1,040,000. She also received fifty percent of the profits from her films, obtaining a small salary of $10,000. Nowadays, this would equal to earning over $200,000 per week, and a total of $23M in two years.

Controversial News About The Life & Career Of Mary Pickford

There is some drama revolving around the sale of Pickford’s Oscar award, which she won in 1929 for her performance in Coquette. Its three owners – Namely the heirs of Pickford’s husband, Charles Rogers, want to sell the golden statuette to a high bidder. A messy auction would ruin the reputation of Pickford’s Oscar, so The Academy is doing whatever they can to stop the sale from happening.

Rumors and Frequently Asked Questions About Mary Pickford

In keeping up with her ‘America’s sweetheart’ title, Pickford’s life is pretty much scandal-free.

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