"I never liked one of my pictures in its entirety." ~ Mary
Mary Pickford was born Gladys Louise Smith on April 8, 1892, in Toronto, Canada. After her father's death Mary, her brother Jack, and sister Lottie began working on the stage to support the family. D.W. Griffith discovered her and soon she was appearing in silent films. At just five feet tall with long curls she was often cast as a child. She married Owen Moore, an actor, in 1911 but they separated shorty after. Mary starred in a string of hit movies including Stella Maris, Pollyanna, and My Best Girl. She became the highest paid actress in Hollywood and was nicknamed "America's Sweetheart". Mary fell in love with dashing actor Douglas Fairbanks and they were married in 1920. The couple lived in a lavish Beverly Hills mansion called "Pickfair". Mary joined Douglas, Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith to form United Artists Studios. She was also a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In 1929 she starred in Coquette, her first sound film, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress. Tired of making movies she decided to retire from acting. Her sixteen year marriage to Douglas ended in 1936 and a year later she married actor Charles "Buddy" Rogers (who was rumored to be gay). Mary was unable to have children due to a botched abortion so she and Charles adopted a son and a daughter. She was offered the role of Norma Desmond in the 1950 drama Sunset Boulevard but turned it down. Mary devoted most of her time to charity work and published her autobiography, Sunshine And Shadow. As she grew older she developed a drinking problem and became a recluse. She was presented with an honorary Oscar at the 1976 Academy Awards. Mary died on May 29, 1979 from a cerebral hemorrhage. She was cremated and her ashes are buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
~ Original biography by Elizabeth Ann 2013
A signed letter (from my collection)