Mary Pickford tends to be best remembered for being one of the most famous actresses of the silent film era. However, it is important to note that she was also a very capable businesswoman, which was particularly notable because she operated in what has been described as a very “ruthless” industry at a time when women faced an even greater disadvantage in business. compared to their male counterparts. Combined, these two roles ensured that Pickford would have a lasting impact on the entertainment world, which is so vast that it can be overlooked by those who see it as nothing more than the way things are. Something that is far from the case.
How was Mary Pickford’s career?
For those unfamiliar, Pickford came from an impoverished background, mostly because his father, John Charles Smith, had abandoned his mother Charlotte Hennessey and the rest of his family. Finally, one of the family’s inmates suggested that Pickford, who was still named Gladys Louise Smith at the time, and her sister Lotti play a couple of small roles on stage. Something that led the whole family to hit the road for the sake of making a living playing for third-rate companies in third-rate roles.
Eventually, Pickford decided to spend one more season pursuing a leading role on Broadway before retiring from acting to do something else if he failed. As it turned out, Pickford didn’t land the lead role she wanted, but she did land a supporting role in a Broadway production, which is where she took the stage name Mary Pickford. After the Broadway production, he went on to audition for a role in a silent movie, where he was unable to secure the role but nonetheless managed to capture the interest of director DW Griffith. Griffith was so impressed with Pickford’s performance that he agreed to pay him $ 10 a day plus a guarantee of $ 40 a week versus the $ 5 a day that was standard for most actors and actresses in that particular studio.
From that point on, Pickford’s career began to gather momentum. This was helped by his conscious decision to appear in as many roles in as many films as he could, which Pickford intended to raise his profile. That strategy worked, which is why Pickford became one of the first actors and actresses to get his name out there in movie marketing. In addition, Pickford’s productivity allowed her to become one of the most famous women in the world in the 1910s and 1920s, which not only brought a towering salary by the standards of the time, but also a considerable voice in how they would be made. His movies. .
Eventually, Pickford’s acting career came to a halt due to the introduction of movies with sound. The success of the “talkies” came with a shift in prevailing tastes from naïve to more vampire heroines, which combined with Pickford’s advanced age to produce a decline in consumer interest. However, Pickford’s influence did not end there because she was one of the co-founders of Pickford-Fairbanks Studio, as well as one of the co-founders of United Artists, which still operates today, albeit under very different circumstances. .
How did Mary Pickford change the world of entertainment?
Pickford was a highly successful figure at a time when the movie industry was still in its infancy. As a result, he was able to have a profound impact on the film industry as a whole, so much so that his influence can still be seen in various places. For example, while Pickford was far from limited to witty roles, she is credited with being the actress who defined the archetype. Additionally, Pickford was one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which should be better known to most people for being the organization that awards the Oscars annually. Never mind the fact that she was the winner of the second Best Actress Oscar ever awarded. Ultimately, Pickford played an important role in transforming movie actors and actresses into the celebrities they are today, although in this sense at least, she was far from alone.