Actress. Born Gladys Louise Smith, in Toronto Canada, she was the eldest of three children. She was devoted to her mother, who was left alone to raise the children when Mary's father died in a work related accident. When the family moved to America, Mary helped support the family by working as a child actress in the theatre. She then introduced herself to the movie producer David Belasco who put her to work and changed her name to Mary Pickford. In 1909, her film career began when she joined the Biograph company in New York under the direction of D.W. Griffith. Over the next 2 years, she starred in over 79 films at Biograph and met and married her first husband Owen Moore, a fellow actor. Mary joined the IMP Company in 1911 which was run by Thomas Ince, a director. Her stay was short, and she rejoined Biograph in 1912. She later joined Famous Players(later Paramount Pictures) in 1913 and started making feature films. Her fame and fortune grew and Mary was nicknamed America's Sweetheart. By 1917, she was so famous that she set off on a war bonds tour with Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.. She began her affair with Fairbanks during the tour and after divorcing Owen Moore, they were married in 1920 and became even more popular as a couple. They were treated like Hollywood royalty and drew famous names to their home named Pickfair. Throughout the 20's Mary slowed down her film production to one quality picture per year, but by the end of the decade her screen persona was looking dated and Mary decided to change it. With a new shorter haircut and in her first talking picture, Coquette, in 1929, she won the Oscar for Best Actress. Unfortunately, she became another casualty of talking pictures and her career was over by 1933. By 1936 her marriage to Fairbanks was over. In 1937 she married Buddy Rogers, a marriage that lasted over 43 years. She then busied herself with film production work and charity work. In 1976, she received the Lifetime Acheivement Award at the Academy Awards ceremony. She died on May 29, 1979 of a cerebral hemorrhage.
Bio by: Marta Monk