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The Time Mary Pickford Started a Film Studio

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Mary Pickford was an actress who is synonymous with silent film and early Hollywood. In 1919, she formed the film studio United Artists alongside other screen legends of the day; Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D. W. Griffith. Chaplin had become famous playing the Tramp in comedies and was known internationally. Fairbanks was one of the most sought after male leads of his era and known for doing his own, dangerous stunts. At the time, he was also married to Pickford. Griffith was one of the first great directors. He popularised many common camera techniques and angles that, as a modern audience, we take for granted today. One of the first close-up shots in a Hollywood film featured Pickford in Friends (1912).
Pickford had been acting in plays since an early age to support her family. Her mother, sister and brother – Charlotte, Lottie and Jack – were all vaudeville actors too. Pickford’s father died when she was young. The family never stayed in the same place for long as they we…