Date of birth: 04/08/1893 Year
Age: 86 years
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date of death: 29.05.1979 Year
Place of death: Santa Monica, CA, USA
Height: 154 cm
The famous film and stage actress of Canadian origin, co-founder film company United Artists. Legend of silent films. The winner of the award “Oscar” (1930). He became famous in the role of girls urchins and orphans and the poor in the last few years of career moved on “adult” roles. It appeared about 250 films.
The aspiring actress born April 8, 1892 in Toronto, at birth received the name of Gladys. Her father, John Charles Smith was the son of Methodists, who had emigrated to Canada from the UK. He was a laborer, drank heavily, and died in 1898 of a cerebral hemorrhage. His mother, Charlotte Hennessy, came from a family of Irish Catholics and earn a living shitёm. Gladys was the younger brother and sister – Jack and Lottie – who later took the name of her pseudonym, and also became actors. By decision of the mother, who wanted to please the relatives on both sides, Gladys took baptism in two churches – the Methodist and Catholic. Then her middle name was changed to Marie.
After her husband’s death, Charlotte, to provide for his family, has become a guest house hold. On the advice of one of the guests for the additional income, she began to play with the children in the local theater Princess Theatre. Thus, January 8, 1900 Gladys seven-year debuted on the stage in the production of “Silver King”. On presentation was attended by Canadian soldiers, called for South Africa to fight against the Boers.
The Smith family for six years playing in vaudeville and cheap melodrama. In the fall of 1901, they went to Buffalo, and five years on tour in America, working for various theater companies. In 1907, fifteen Gladys has achieved an audience with producer David Belasco and received a minor role in the play “The Warrens of Virginia” with a salary of $ 25 a week. At the insistence of Belasco, she changed her name to quite trivial name – Mary Pickford – and 3 December debuted on Broadway. The author of the play was William DeMille, whose brother Cecil B. DeMille – he later became one of the most famous filmmakers in Hollywood – also played in this performance.
Seventeen Pickford in one of his first films – the drama “The Lonely Villa” (1909) with the timing just 8 minutes
The first years in the movies
“The Warrens of Virginia” disappeared from the scene in October 1908, to withstand 380 hits, and Mary was left without work. She considered less important art cinema than theater, but still at the beginning of 1909 addressed to the studio Biograph Studios. Directed by DW Griffith gave the girl the sample and, as the results have satisfied him, the same day it took off in a short film. Mary, who from the very beginning of his career showed business acumen, insisted on a fee of $ 10 a day, and Griffith agreed (despite the fact that the actors are usually paid half the amount). In 1909, he directed the actress in over 50 films. This was due to the fact that production at the dawn of cinema a little time-consuming – movies, take a reel of film, lasted no more than 12 minutes and often shoot almost without a script.
In January 1910 Griffith perevёz his troupe from New York to Los Angeles. Then, many film companies carried out the winter in the south west coast, as in the north-eastern daylight hours getting shorter and it hampered the process of filming. Mary continued to work actively, and although at the time Biograph Studios did not exist in the credits listing the actors, the audience remembered her, called girl with golden curls.
In December 1910, Mary Griffith left and went to the studio of Thomas H. Ince IMP Company, signed a contract with a salary of $ 175 a week. However, the quality of movies (more than thirty) taken on IMP, disappointed her, and the actress went to court, demanding to terminate the contract. Win the case, she began to work on Majestic Film Corp. with even greater fee of 225 dollars a week. Despite the fact that the film company has taken on the staff as a director of her husband – actor Owen Moore, Pickford of which came at the beginning of the year – their cooperation is not given, and in 1912 the actress returned to Griffith. By the time it became widely known. The press is increasingly mentioned the name of the little Mary and announced the tape with her participation. Pickford won the affection of the public thanks to the fact that her game is different intimacy execution: Actress express emotions eyes rather than expressive gestures, like newspapers, invested in the game the whole heart and soul.
In January 1913 Pickford returned to the stage, playing in the play Belasco called “Pretty dyavolёnok” (a small role in it was assigned Lillian Gish, the rising star of silent movies). Belasco actress agreed to pay $ 250 a week, which is 10 times higher than the fee it six years ago. Then producer Alfred Zukor offered Pickford film play. She agreed and signed a contract with his film company Famous Players, this time leaving Griffith finally. In 1914 he published seven feature films with the participation of Pickford (Griffith, she starred in a short film only), and including melodrama “Tess of the Storm Country.” The role of the squatter’s daughter was a turning point in her career. Since screenings of films Pickford began accompanied by such notices that the newspaper advised the audience to take place early to avoid the crush.
Cooperation Pickford and Zukor had the incredibly successful. Appearing in four years two dozen feature films, the actress turned into an object of fanatical adoration of the public and the real movie star – a doll divine praises in verse fans. Following the popularity grew and fees: in 1916 Mary received 2000 dollars a week, and half of the profits from the rental.
At the same time it finally got the actor’s role, in which she stayed for many years. Pretty appearance Pickford – miniature addition and delicate face framed by curly locks – ideally suited to the facial features of her heroines. Mostly they were destitute orphans, adolescent girls of poor origin, unjustly offended by the girl’s life. These characters are found in the hearts of the audience, causing the sympathy and location.
On the crest of the wave
Outside shooting area Pickford was not as helpless as her character, and different outstanding professional qualities. In 1916, she founded her own production company, Mary Pickford Company, which operated for several years under the auspices of Famous Players, and was almost the exclusive rights to their films. She could choose for themselves the role, to choose to directors and actors of the second plan, approve its advertising campaigns and films to express an opinion regarding the installation. This arrangement allowed the film crew to gather Pickford, with which she was comfortable working with. In particular, it has hired director Marshall Nile and operator Charles Roscher, who were employed respectively in eight and eighteen pictures of the actress. The amount of the fee it has risen to 10 thousand dollars a week, plus Pickford reserves the right to half of the profits from the rental.
Every year, the actress continued to grow in popularity. Her best-grossing pictures of 1917 and 1918 were “Pride Clan” (one of the sessions was such pandemonium that spectators kicked the door in the theater), “A Little Princess,” “Star of the Seas”, “Rebecca Sunnybrook Farm” and “Poor little rich girl. ” The author of the script of the last two tapes was Francis Marion – open Pickford, she later wrote about a half dozen scenarios to pictures of the actress and in 1921 staged the drama with its participation under the name “Light of Love”. Heroines Mary continued to be teenage girls, but in some scenes – for example, in an anti-war film “Little American” and the comedy “The recruitment of Joanna” – she played quite adult girls.
In 1918, the actress signed a contract with First National, pledging to star in three films with a fixed fee of 675 thousand dollars – about $ 10 million in terms of modern courses. These films whose production on the stage of the scenario to the final assembly, it still has the right to control, become “long-legged daddy”, “Hooligan” and “Heart of the hills” (were released in 1919).
In early 1919, Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and DW Griffith, together, have created their own production company, United Artists, which dealt exclusively rental movies. The decision to establish its own distribution companies was motivated by the desire to break existed at that time in Hollywood, vertical scheme of work – not only the major studios controlled film production, but also distribution, giving them to hire its own network of cinemas.
The poster of the film “Little Lord Fauntleroy” (1921, was created for the Soviet hire artists brothers George and Vladimir Stenberg)
As a co-founder of United Artists and producer of his films, Pickford became one of the most powerful women ever worked in the film industry. Initially, under the terms of the contract actress, as well as the rest of the co-founders, has pledged to release five films a year. Soon, however, from this arrangement had to be abandoned: the production became more expensive and time-consuming process. In 1920 came just two tapes with Pickford in 1921 – three, and then it finally lowered the tempo and began to produce one film a year.
The first film of Mary under a contract with United Artists was the tragicomedy “Pollyanna,” based on the novel of Eleanor Porter. This story is about a meek and virtuous orphan girl enjoyed a roaring success with the public and has collected in world hire more than a million dollars. It is noteworthy that the exceptional mellowness oppressed Pickford Pollyanna, which at that time was beginning to tire of the light, but rather repetitive nature of their heroines. The Company, however, had just welcomed edifying stories in film, advertising and “Pollyanna” openly reported that the heroine Pickford teach anyone how to illumine our lives and the lives of others.
Further, after the tragicomedy “lather”, where Mary played dreamy washerwoman-ugly duckling, followed by drama “Light of Love”, the comedy “the back door” and the film adaptation of the novel by Francis Barnett “Little Lord Fauntleroy.” Recent movies (his second director was the brother of actress Jack Pickford) accompanied by large collections at the box office, more than that – a picture reached and post-revolutionary Russia, which was released under the title “Two of the applicant.” In “Little Lord Fauntleroy” Pickford performed two roles – a young heir Cedric Errol and his mother.
In 1922, she starred in the hit remake of his own eight-year-old melodrama “Tess of the Storm Country.” Then she decided to take a risk and to realize their long-held desire to break free from the children’s role – Pickford has reached the age of thirty and tired of playing Victorian adolescent girls, besides the image gradually began to go out of fashion. In 1923 she was invited to cooperate German director Ernst Lubitsch and starred in his first American film, the melodrama “Rosita”. Her character, a street singer Rosita, experienced the brunt of the love of the King of Spain, was a really adult woman, but unfortunately – despite the magnificent scenery and excellent press, which proclaimed the triumph of painting another actress – the film enjoyed less success than its previous operation.
Realizing that the audience refuses to accept it in the adult form, Pickford returned to the former role. In issued in 1924 historical film “Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall,” she played a young girl in the tragicomedy “Little Annie Rooney” (1925) – a twelve year old girl, a tomboy, in the drama “Sparrows” (1926) – a teenage orphan. Nevertheless, the next in 1927 the actress was 35 years old, and she played the role of the adult in the melodrama “My beloved.”
In March of 1928 her mother died of breast cancer Pickford, and actress grieved her death. In the same year she decided to break with the image of children and shorn his famous golden tresses. This event was attended by journalists, and photos of the hairdressing salon Pickford hit the headlines.
In 1929, his rights began to enter the era of sound film, and Pickford, of course, could not ignore this fact. It acquired the film rights to the play in 1927 titled “Coquette” – it was a tragic story of a beautiful girl Norma Besant and her lover, who was shot and killed her father. The operator of the movie was supposed to be an old friend of the actress Charles Roscher, but Pickford fired him when he interrupted her in the middle of the stage. Rauscher has decided to intervene in the process due to the fact that on the face of the actress shadow fell, but nevertheless Pickford appointed operator of another person. The audience eventually enthusiastically adopted the “Coquette” and Pickford won for her role norms and their first single “Oscar”. Critics, however, reacted to the film cooler.
In 1929, Pickford released another movie – comedy “The Taming of the Shrew” by Shakespeare’s eponymous product, which appeared in a pair of her second husband, Douglas Fairbanks. Then, in 1930, began production of the painting “Your forever”, but because of the addiction to alcohol director Marshall Neelan froze the project and destroyed the footage. Next picture Pickford, the musical “Kiki” based on the play by Belasco, was published in 1931 and failed at the box office will reimburse only spent half the budget.
Her next picture – Western 1933 “Secrets” – also did not have a box-office success. Therefore, Pickford decided to finish his career and since then no longer starred.
Social and business activities
Due to the unlimited confidence which Pickford enjoyed the public, she has repeatedly taken part in various charity events. In 1918, when there was the First World War, an actress, together with Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and Marie Dressler visited with public performances several cities, urging citizens to buy war bonds – the income from them went to finance the war effort.
When Pickford appeared on Wall Street, it was the audience of about 50 thousand people – in spite of his Canadian origins, it has become one of the main symbols of America in those years, and due to its efforts in support of the army has been collected a significant amount. In addition, together with Monty Blue and Joan Marsh, she released a propaganda short film “One hundred percent American.” While Pickford was very popular in the army in her honor it was named two guns, the 143rd Artillery Regiment wore the informal name “Lambs Mary,” and she in 1918 was elevated to the rank of honorary colonel and attended a military parade.
In 1921, together with the Fairbanks Pickford, Chaplin and Griffith Foundation organized the needy film actor (still functioning) and became its vice-president. To raise funds, the organizers held charity balls and film screenings, sporting events, fashion shows and others. In 1932, at the initiative of Pickford Foundation appealed to the workers of the film industry whose earnings are above $ 200 per week, with a request to transfer half a percent or one percent of its fees in benefit of their less fortunate colleagues.
In 1927, Pickford was part of Hollywood’s most influential people, founded the American Film Academy. Its co-founders were the actors Douglas Fairbanks and Harold Lloyd, the director Fred Niblo and Raoul Walsh, producer Jack Warner and Irving Thalberg, as well as other figures, the constituent colors of the American cinema of those years.
Then, in 1941, have ceased to act in films, Pickford made a second attempt to weaken the influence of the major studios (at that time a monopoly on the production and distribution of films almost entirely owned by MGM, Paramount Pictures, RKO, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox), and in conjunction with Walt Disney, Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin and others founded the Association of Independent Film Producers (operated until 1958).
In 1944, Mary became chairman of the women’s section of Roosevelt founded the National Foundation polio and visited the hospitals where the patients were children. In 1949, together with her third husband, Charles Rogers and friend Malcolm Boyd broadcasting company she founded Pickford-Rogers-Boyd.
The actress was married three times. January 7, 1911 eighteen married Pickford Owen Moore, an actor of Irish descent, in a duet with whom often filmed. Her mother, who for many years had a great influence on Mary, the daughter did not share a liking to Moore, so for a while the couple hid it from their relationship. Their marriage was unsuccessful due to alcoholism Moore and his wife’s rejection of popularity.
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