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Mary Pickford, The Woman Behind the Scenes.

Mary Pickford

Mary Pickford

By Adrienne Papp

Mary Pickford has often been referred to as the Muse of the Movies. But, what she is really known for is her  influential role in establishing American Cinema and Hollywood as the capital of the Entertainment Industry. Many of the innovations in film history began with her, including method acting; close up scenes and the sky rocketing wages of movie stars.

Mary Pickford’s story is a rags to riches tale culminating in her real life role, with husband and love of her life Douglas Fairbanks , as part of Hollywood’s first Movie Star Couple.  It was a prototype role that today is occupied most prominently by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.

Much of the private and profound professional life of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks was unknown to many cinemagoers and enthusiasts, and even some industry insiders until the release of a new documentary about Pickford. Much of Hollywood’s mythmaking, and the film industry as we know it today literally started with Pickford’s property that was used as a movie set for her studio 100 years ago.  Although she became Hollywood’s first female mogul, Pickford was also famously known as “America’s Sweetheart” for her movie roles.  Less well known is that behind the scenes, she was a smart, determined businesswoman with an iron will, although had a very delicate and girlish demeanor.

Basing a film on factual events, Nicholas Eliopoulos produced and directed a fantastic and very entertaining documentary titled Mary Pickford, The Muse of the Movies, which premiered on August 28th in Los Angeles at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and I believe is  one the very best documentaries ever made. It details events through an interview with Pickford, and is narrated by Michael York.

Unbeknownst to many people, Pickford, Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin were the first actors and close friends to establish their own studio, called United Artists as a reaction against studio control.

In her later years, the millionairess said that, looking back in retrospective, she would not do anything different in her life, despite the three marriages behind her, except be more spiritual and participate more fully to further the evolution of the soul.

Mary Pickford had the determination to practice the principles so essential in our evolutionary path today: it is really up to us to determine what we do with our lives and what we leave to future generations. “If you have made mistakes . . . and there is always another chance for you. . . . you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.” –  Mary Pickford.


About the Writer:  Adrienne Papp  is a recognized journalist who has written for many publications including Savoir, Beverly Hills 90210, Malibu Beach, Santa Monica Sun, The Beverly Hills Times, Brentwood News, Bel-Air View and Celebrity Society, among many others. She is the President and CEO of Los Angeles/New York-based publicity companies, Atlantic Publicity and Atlantic Publisher. Adrienne writes about world trends, Quantum Physics, entertainment and interviews celebrities and world leaders. 
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    She is right, it is not the falling down, but the staying down. Let’s get up and do our jobs right!

  • Most people do not know about who established United Artists. I like this piece. Very informative.

  • Old Hollywood is so timeless. great work.

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