American Experience (1988– )
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Through interviews with film historians and biographers, and through archival footage, the rise and fall of the professional life of actress and businessperson ad feedback

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Title: Mary Pickford (04 Apr 2005)

Mary Pickford (04 Apr 2005) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jeanine Basinger Jeanine Basinger ... Herself - Film Historian
Scott Eyman Scott Eyman ... Himself - Biographer
Robert Cushman Robert Cushman ... Himself - Film Historian
Kevin Brownlow Kevin Brownlow ... Himself - Film Historian
Tino Balio Tino Balio ... Himself - Film Historian
Malcolm Boyd Malcolm Boyd ... Himself - Friend of Mary Pickford
Eileen Whitfield Eileen Whitfield ... Herself - Biographer
Laura Linney ... Herself - Narrator (voice)
Victoria Flexner Victoria Flexner ... Dramatization Actor
Glenn Stockton Glenn Stockton ... Dramatization Actor
Jeannette Stockton Jeannette Stockton ... Dramatization Actor
Sarah Hutt Sarah Hutt ... Dramatization Actor
Jesse Sweet Jesse Sweet ... Dramatization Actor
Mary Pickford ... Herself (archive footage)
Douglas Fairbanks ... Himself (archive footage)


Through interviews with film historians and biographers, and through archival footage, the rise and fall of the professional life of actress and businessperson Mary Pickford (1892-1979) - born Gladys Smith - and the associated ebbs and flows in her personal life, are presented. At the height of her fame, she was dubbed "America's Sweetheart" despite being born in Canada. Mary's widowed mother, Charlotte Smith, got herself, Mary and Mary's two siblings into the somewhat disreputable profession of acting - first on the stage, then into the emerging form of moving pictures - as a means of economic survival, but it soon became clear of Mary's star quality compared to her other family members. Mary and Charlotte's foray into the business side of show business was in a means to take control of Mary's own career, against the actions of impresarios and studio executives who may not have had Mary's best interests at heart. Arguably the biggest maneuver in Mary's business life was the formation... Written by Huggo

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Official Sites:

PBS [United States]





Release Date:

4 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ambrica Productions, WGBH See more »
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Edited from Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921) See more »

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User Reviews

The life of Mary Pickford
6 June 2007 | by Petey-10See all my reviews

Mary Pickford (1892-1979) was a star in the silent era.She was friends with Charlie Chaplin and married to Douglas Fairbanks.The American Experience: Mary Pickford (2005) tells the story of this American Sweetheart.Laura Linney is the narrator of this biography.This is a truly fascinating documentary.And how couldn't it be? Mary Pickford had a fascinating life.There were moments of joy and moments of sorrow.In 1976 Mary was awarded with an Honorary Academy Award.It's really touching to watch the older and fragile looking Mary speaking those words.She was a star once.But even the brightest stars don't shine forever.

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