Mary Pickford

Actor, Producer, Screenwriter
Long before Charlie Chaplin ever met Mack Sennett, silent film actress Mary Pickford had become the first superstar of a burgeoning movie business with her collaboration with director D. W. Griffith. Having broken into ... Read more »
Born: 04/08/1892 in Toronto, Ontario, CA


Actor (9)

Behind the Scenes 2014 (Movie)


Mary Pickford, The Muse of the Movies 2008 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Secrets 1932 (Movie)

Mary Marlowe / Mary Carlton (Actor)

Coquette 1928 (Movie)

Norma Besant (Actor)

Sparrows 1925 (Movie)

Mollie (Actor)

The Love Light 1920 (Movie)


The Informer 1911 (Movie)


The Old Actor 1911 (Movie)


The Dream 1910 (Movie)

Producer (2)

The Gay Desperado 1935 (Movie)


Coquette 1928 (Movie)



Long before Charlie Chaplin ever met Mack Sennett, silent film actress Mary Pickford had become the first superstar of a burgeoning movie business with her collaboration with director D. W. Griffith. Having broken into movies in 1909, Pickford became such as a fast-rising star, that by 1916 she was making an unprecedented $10,000 a week and a percentage of the profits. She rode the wave to stardom as the curly blonde, elfin moppet in "Tess of the Storm Country" (1914), "Madame Butterfly" (1915), "The Poor Little Rich Girl" (1917) and "The Little American" (1917). She had big hits with "Stella Maris" (1918), "Daddy Long Legs" (1919) and "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (1921). In 1919, Pickford - along with Charlie Chapin, D.W. Griffith and future husband Douglas Fairbanks - formed their own studio, United Artists, in an effort to secure more artistic control over their films. Meanwhile, she developed a more mature persona with director Ernst Lubitsch and eventually segued into talkies, winning an Oscar for Best Actress - and kicking up a bit of controversy - for her performance in "Coquette" (1929). But she soon left acting altogether, making her last film, "Secrets" (1933), before settling into a strictly producer role. Living in Pickfair, her famous Beverly Hills estate, in near seclusion for the rest of her life, Pickford nonetheless basked in her legacy as a pioneering actress whose girl-next-door charm made her Hollywood's first true movie star.


Douglas Fairbanks

married in 1920 divorced in 1936 died on December 12, 1939 of heart attack co-founded United Artist with Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and D W Griffith

Catherine Hennessey

firebrand Catholic, called by Mary "the warrior in the family" Pickford wrote scenario for "Little Annie Rooney" (1925) under pseudonym Catherine Hennessey

Owen Moore Actor


Owen Moore

married in 1911 divorced in 1920

Jack Pickford

born on August 18, 1896 died on January 3, 1933 married to actresses Olive Thomas and Marilyn Miller

Lottie Pickford

born on June 9, 1895 died from heart attack on December 9, 1936

Charles "Buddy" Rogers Actor

Co-starred in "My Best Girl" (1927) Married June 26, 1937 until her death May 29, 1979; he was 11 years her junior

Roxanne Rogers

adopted as a baby in 1944 married three times became estranged from adoptive parents

Ronald Rogers

adopted at age 6 in 1943 married c. 1955 and had two children became estranged from adoptive parents

John Smith

alcoholic died of cerebral hemorrhage in 1898

Charlotte Smith

born in 1873 died on March 22, 1928 from breast cancer


Pickford claimed "she attended school for only three months and learned to read off billboards on the road"



Presented with honorary Academy Award


With Chaplin, sold share of United Artists, having previously bought-out (and out-lived) both Fairbanks and Griffith; according to Chaplin, an earlier and better opportunity was lost when Pickford balked at having to wait two years for $7 million


Last producing credit, Douglas Sirk's "Sleep, My Love"


Produced Rouben Mamoulian's "The Gay Desperado"


Made last film, "Secrets", directed by Frank Borzage who replaced a dismissed Neilan


Starred opposite Fairbanks in the disastrous "The Taming of the Shrew", containing the infamous credit, "By William Shakespeare, with additional dialogue by Sam Taylor"


Acted in first talking film, "Coquette", winning her "tainted" Best Actress Oscar; since she was married to the Academy's president (Fairbanks), Pickford had campaigned hard for the statuette, at one point inviting the members of the Central Board of Judg


Made cameo appearance as 'Our Lady of the Shrine' in "The Gaucho", starring Fairbanks


With Fairbanks, became the first stars to press their footprints into concrete at Grauman's Chinese


On a visit to the Soviet Union, director Sergei Komorov persuaded her to kiss a local actor, captured the event on celluloid and built an entire film around it ("A Kiss From Mary Pickford")


Last film with Neilan, "Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall"


Acted in Ernst Lubitsch's first American film, "Rosita"; Pickford had brought Lubitsch to America in an effort to adopt a more mature screen attitude


Starred in Marion's directing debut, "The Love Light"


Directed by brother Jack (and Alfred E Green) in "Through the Back Door"


Co-founded United Artists with Fairbanks, Griffith and Chaplin


Left Zukor, signing with First National for $675,000 a year, plus fifty percent of the gross


Starred in Neilan's "Daddy Long Legs"


Acted in three films directed by William Desmond Taylor and three by Neilan


Acted in two Cecil B DeMille films, "The Little American" and "A Romance of the Redwoods"


First film with director Marshall 'Mickey' Neilan, "A Little Princess", playing a 12-year old at age 24


Screenwriter Frances Marion wrote scenarios for nine of the eleven films in which Pickford starred; Marion would write 17 in all


Earned $10,000 a week, plus a percentage of the profit from her films


Produced and starred in Allan Dwan's "The Foundling", one of a dozen Pickford features released that year


Returned to films with Adolph Zukor's Famous Players (Edwin S Porter, director-general) at $500 per week; first film, an adaptation of her Broadway success for Belasco, "A Good Little Devil" (1914), directed by Porter


Briefly returned to Biograph; left to resume stage career


While at Independent, scripted 11-minute "The Dream", directed by Thomas H Ince; acted in it along with then-husband Owen Moore


Briefly left Griffith for Independent


Entered the movies, engaged by D W Griffith at Biograph; first film, "The Lonely Villa"; Griffith offered her five dollars a day "when he needed her" but she held out for a guarantee of $25 a week and "extra when I work extra"


Wheedled an interview with New York stage impressario David Belasco who christened her Mary Pickford (one of Gladys' family names); NYC debut for Belasco, "The Warrens of Virginia"

Did five films for the Majestic company

Along with Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, attracted the largest crowds for WWI Liberty Bond drives

Acted in touring stage melodramas from the age of six

Achieved star status in the wake of people inquiring about the 'Little Mary' they'd seen in so many movies

Served as vice-president of United Artists

Bonus Trivia


Pickford charmed producer David Belasco on thier first meeting. When he asked, "So you want to be an actress, little girl?", she cagily replied, "No, sir. I have been an actress. I want to be a good actress."


Mabel Normand, before her career was ruined by scandal, reputedly responded to an interviewer who asked her hobby as follows: "Don't say 'work'. That's like Mary Pickford, that prissy bitch." Although the interviewer dropped the last three words.