Mary Pickford Research Paper

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Mary Pickford: America’s Sweetheart By: Kristen Knipfing May 14th, 1929 Gladys Marie Smith was born on April 8, 1892, in Toronto. On February 11, 1898 John Smith died of a cerebral hemorrhage after being injured in an accident on the job, to make some extra money Gladys and her sister Charlotte, Lottie for short, begin to do shows. “Tired of life on the road, Pickford, still known as Gladys Smith, auditions for David Belasco on Broadway. The producer changes her name to Mary Pickford and gives her a salary of $25 a week,” (PBS.org). “At the suggestion of theatrical producer David Belasco, Gladys Smith becomes ‘Mary Pickford.’ The new moniker is inspired by her middle name, Marie, and her maternal grandfather’s name, John Pickford Hennessey,” (marypickford.org). Mary Pickford began in the theater at age seven. Then known as "Baby Gladys Smith", she toured with her family in a number of theater companies. Pickford is one of the most accomplished women of the time period. She has co-founded two film companies, United Artists (1919) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (1927). Both companies are interested in the advancement of both the artist and the art of filmmaking. In 1920, Pickford's film Pollyanna made around $1,100,000. The next year, Pickford's next movie Little Lord Fauntleroy would also be a success, and in 1923, Rosita grossed over $1,000,000. In this era, the average middle class family makes about $1,407 per year, so a film making over $1 million for just one silent film shows just how successful Mary Pickford is. Her curls are a symbol of female virtue of this age and when she cut them into a bob about a year ago it made headlines. This one small act of cutting her hair is one reason that proves that Pickford is truly America’s Sweetheart. Recently, Mary starred in her first talkie. Coquette is a talkie about Norma Besant

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