Mary Pickford reveals in her autobiography, Sunshine and Shadow, that as a young girl living in Toronto she would buy a single rose and eat the petals, believing the beauty, color and perfume would somehow get inside her.
In 1938 she launched “Mary Pickford Cosmetics Inc.” Every preparation had to measure up to her fastidious standards. She insisted on keeping the prices low, so that all women might use and enjoy her beauty aids. The line of cosmetics marketed as “Beauty on a Budget”, included face cream, soap, lipstick, dry rouge, and powder.
Pickford had previously appeared (1917) in Pompeian Beauty Products advertisements. They felt the using a “movie star” would help to legitimize and explain the use of cosmetics to a world who was still fearful of them.
Born in Toronto, Canada in 1892, Pickford rose through the ranks of theater, and then the silent screen, acting in more than 175 movies in her career, from 1909 to 1933. She was known as “America’s Sweetheart”. At the height of her popularity, between 1919 and 1927, she was one of the highest paid people in Hollywood (second probably only to good friend Charlie Chaplin) and very possibly, aside from royalty, the highest paid women in the world.
Pickford and second husband Douglas Fairbanks, along with Charlie Chaplin, were not only the biggest stars of their day, but their fame is what created the entire lore of Hollywood. There was really no Hollywood before them. Before Mary and Doug and Charlie, there was no celebrity in Hollywood. These were the first movie stars.
In May 1934, Pickford made a triumphant return to her hometown of Toronto where she was given an official civic reception, Crowds of fans jammed the downtown streets. More people came to see her than Prince Edward, the future king of England! Pickford was presented with a gold Centennial medal, and in her speech, in which she paid homage to her parents, she said, “I am proud to be a Canadian.”
Although she had became a United States citizen on her marriage to Douglas Fairbanks, she later reclaimed her Canadian citizenship and died an American and Canadian citizen.
Miss Pickford was:
one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
along with Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith and Charles Chaplin, the creator of United Artists Company.
named #24 on The American Film Institute 50 Greatest Screen Legends list
was the first artist to have her name in marquee lights.
the first movie actress to receive a percentage of a film’s earning
the subject of the first cinematic close up shot, in Friends (1912).
the first star (along with husband Douglas Fairbanks) to officially place hand and footprints in the cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (April 30, 1927).
the 2nd actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Actress Oscar for Coquette (1929) at The 2nd Academy Awards on April 3, 1930.
awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960.
awarded a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto, Ontario in 1999.
quoted as saying:
“This thing that we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.”