I have a soft spot for strong ladies that were ahead of their times. Although the song goes “It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”, Mary Pickford fought for her place in a male-dominated field that went far beyond her acting and held her spot for a long time.
Unfortunately, like many entertainers before and after her time, she fell victim to audience’s fickle taste. The end of the silent films, tragic deaths of her parents and siblings, her divorce from Fairbanks…all those events left her deeply depressed and pushed her to succumb to alcoholism, the very same disease that plagued her father and her siblings.
But we should not forget that her most profound influence was to help reshape the film industry itself. She became her own producer within three years of her start in features, 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. As the co-founder of United Artists, as well as the producer and star of her own films, Pickford became the most powerful woman who has ever worked in Hollywood.
I found a lovely piece on “One Room With a View” that I couldn’t help and had to reblog.
She was the first star of the silver screen, the undisputed Queen of Hollywood and one half of its ultimate power couple, a pioneer of screen acting and a savvy businesswoman. Known as ‘America’s Sweetheart’, a nod to her talent for playing little-girl roles, which she did until well into her thirties, Mary Pickford was, nonetheless, a woman who knew her own mind and took charge of her own career. She may have looked young and innocent with her flowing hair and a diminutive stature, but Pickford, ‘The Girl with the Golden Curls’ and ‘Little Mary’, was tough.
Having endured hardship during the early years of her childhood in Canada, Pickford started earning money at seven years old when she made her stage debut at Toronto’s Princess Theatre in 1899, under her real name of Gladys Smith. The family then began a spate of six years touring around America with…
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