As an actress, Mary Pickford had many personas. Ranging from the winsomely beautiful to the almost unrecognizable, even grotesquely plain, and playing the parts of child, adolescent, mother and everything in between, she emerged from the other actors at Biograph to become the first real star and the begetter of what would become the star system. More than just an incredibly versatile actress, Pickford was a leader in the solidification of the Hollywood film industry, co-founding both her own distribution company, United Artists in 1919, and acting as a founding member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1927.
In this charming and candid video that captures the “between takes” of the historic formation of United Artists in 1919 with Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffiths, we get to see Mary Pickford in her other role: that of businesswoman. Already a star and producer, her co-founding of United Artists marked her transition to distributor, a move that continued to show her public and the men in Hollywood that she was a both a formidable businesswoman as well an incredible acting talent.
Enjoy this special clip that shows us the lighthearted comradery of the silent film giants who were part of an incredibly important moment in film history!
P.S. Don’t forget to enter this week’s cinema-themed giveaway, Mary Pickford: Queen of the Movies by Christel Schmidt. Enter by Friday at 1PM for your chance to win!