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|Also Known As:||Gladys Smith,Catherine Hennessey||Died:||May 29, 1979|
|Born:||April 8, 1893||Cause of Death:||cerebral hemorrhage|
|Birth Place:||Toronto, Ontario, CA||Profession:||Cast ... actor producer screenwriter|
Long before Charlie Chaplin ever met Mack Sennett, silent film actress Mary Pickford had become the first superstar of a burgeoning movie business with her collaboration with director D.W. Griffith. Having broken into movies in 1909, Pickford became such as a fast-rising star, that by 1916 she was making an unprecedented $10,000 a week and a percentage of the profits. She rode the wave to stardom as the curly blonde, elfin moppet in "Tess of the Storm Country" (1914), "Madame Butterfly" (1915), "The Poor Little Rich Girl" (1917) and "The Little American" (1917). She had big hits with "Stella Maris" (1918), "Daddy Long Legs" (1919) and "Little Lord Fauntleroy" (1921). In 1919, Pickford - along with Charlie Chapin, D.W. Griffith and future husband Douglas Fairbanks - formed their own studio, United Artists, in an effort to secure more artistic control over their films. Meanwhile, she developed a more mature persona with director Ernst Lubitsch and eventually segued into talkies, winning an Oscar for Best Actress - and kicking up a bit of controversy - for her performance in "Coquette" (1929). But she soon left acting altogether, making her last film, "Secrets" (1933), before settling into a strictly producer role. Living in Pickfair, her famous Beverly Hills estate, in near seclusion for the rest of her life, Pickford nonetheless basked in her legacy as a pioneering actress whose girl-next-door charm made her Hollywood's first true movie star.
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