Great Couples: Douglas Fairbanks & Mary Pickford — HKfamily5
The symbiotic relationship between film studios and fan magazines ensured the cinema-going public was fed a Douglas Fairbanks Snr, Mary Pickford and Theda Bara – the cream Theda Bara offered the perfect test case. There is absolutely no evidence that Douglas Fairbanks conceived of himself as Mary Pickford, with whom he was to contract Hollywood's first royal marriage, his competitors, had a wit and gaiety that has stood the test of time very well. Douglas Fairbanks was an American actor, screenwriter, director, and producer. He was best With his marriage to Mary Pickford in , the couple became Hollywood royalty and Fairbanks was referred to as "The King of Hollywood".
Her husband, however, was not so lucky: Like Mary Pickford, he began acting early, appearing in a theater troupe in his teens. He made his Broadway debut in in Her Lord and Master. The family moved to Los Angeles, where Fairbanks began working in film under the direction of the famous D. Douglas Bairbannks Fairbanks and Pickford first met in November at a party in Tarrytown, New York, at the estate of fellow actress Elsie Janis that both attended with their respective spouses.
With much in common, the two struck up a friendship that turned romantic within the year, though they kept their relationship secret. To elude public scrutiny, they disguised themselves in floppy hats and oversized sunglasses for clandestine meetings.
Secrecy electrified their affair, and the two wrote passionate letters to each other, which Pickford saved until her death, as recounted in the biography The First King of Hollywood: It took another year for Pickford to secure a divorce from Moore, who used the opportunity to extort money out of his much-more-famous wife.
They were issued a same-day divorce in Nevada, and three weeks later Pickford and Fairbanks wed. Ella, born into a wealthy southern Roman Catholic family, was overprotected and knew little of her husband's business. Consequently, she was swindled out of her fortune by her husband's partners. Even the efforts of Charles Ullman, acting on her behalf, failed to regain any of the family fortune for her.
After they had a son, Norris, she divorced Wilcox with Charles acting as her own lawyer in the suit. The pretty southern belle soon became romantically involved with Charles and agreed to move to Denver with him to pursue mining investments. They arrived in Denver in with her son, John. Norris was left in Georgia with relatives and was never sent for by his mother.
They were married and in had a child, Robert and then a second son, Douglas, a year later. Charles purchased several mining interests in the Rocky Mountainsand he re-established his law practice.
Douglas Fairbanks - Wikipedia
Charles Ullman, after hearing of his wife's philandering, abandoned the family when Douglas was five years old. Douglas and his older brother Robert were brought up by their mother, who gave them the family name Fairbanks, after her first husband.
He went with the acting troupe of Frederick Wardebeginning a cross country tour in September He toured with Warde for two seasons, functioning in dual roles, both as actor and as the assistant stage manager in his second year with the group.
He worked in a hardware store and as a clerk in a Wall Street office between acting jobs. Sully, in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. They had one son, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Inthe family moved to Los Angeles. GriffithMary PickfordCharlie Chaplin seated and Douglas Fairbanks at the signing of the contract establishing United Artists motion picture studio in Lawyers Albert Banzhaf left and Dennis F.
O'Brien right stand in the background.Douglas Fairbanks Sr, Mary Pickford, And His Costars
After moving to Los Angeles, Fairbanks signed a contract with Triangle Pictures in and began working under the supervision of D. His first film was titled The Lamb, in which he debuted the athletic abilities that would gain him wide attention among theatre audiences. InFairbanks established his own company, the Douglas Fairbanks Film Corporation,  and would soon get a job at Paramount. Fairbanks met actress Mary Pickford at a party inand the couple soon began an affair. Inthey joined Fairbanks' friend Charlie Chaplin  selling war bonds by train across the United States.
Pickford and Chaplin were the two highest paid film stars in Hollywood at that time.
Great Couples: Douglas Fairbanks & Mary Pickford
Pickford, who had always hoped to conquer the Broadway stage, discovered how deeply she missed film acting. Inshe decided to work exclusively in film.
It was later known as Famous Players-Lasky and then Paramount Picturesone of the first American feature film companies. Mary Pickford, Pickford left the stage to join Zukor's roster of stars. Zukor believed film's potential lay in recording theatrical players in replicas of their most famous stage roles and productions. The film, produced inshowed the play's Broadway actors reciting every line of dialogue, resulting in a stiff film that Pickford later called "one of the worst [features] I ever made Pickford's work in material written for the camera by that time had attracted a strong following.
Comedy-dramas, such as In the Bishop's CarriageCapriceand especially Hearts Adriftmade her irresistible to moviegoers. Hearts Adrift was so popular that Pickford asked for the first of her many publicized pay raises based on the profits and reviews.
Biographer Kevin Brownlow observed that the film "sent her career into orbit and made her the most popular actress in America, if not the world". Each enjoyed a level of fame far exceeding that of other actors. Throughout the s and s, Pickford was believed to be the most famous woman in the world, or, as a silent-film journalist described her, "the best known woman who has ever lived, the woman who was known to more people and loved by more people than any other woman that has been in all history".
Pickford's fans were devoted to these "little girl" roles, but they were not typical of her career. Given how small she was at under five feet, and her naturalistic acting abilities, she was very successful in these roles. She declined, and went to First National Pictureswhich agreed to her terms. Through United Artists, Pickford continued to produce and perform in her own movies; she could also distribute them as she chose.
A lobby card for Little Lord Fauntleroy The arrival of sound was her undoing. Pickford underestimated the value of adding sound to movies, claiming that "adding sound to movies would be like putting lipstick on the Venus de Milo ". Pickford had already cut her hair in the wake of her mother's death in Fans were shocked at the transformation. Coquette was a success and won her an Academy Award for Best Actress although this was highly controversial.
Like most movie stars of the silent era, Pickford found her career fading as talkies became more popular among audiences. Griffithand Dolores del Rioamong others. They spoke on the radio show to prove that they could meet the challenge of talking movies. Only one Technicolor still of her screen test still exists.
She retired from acting in ; her last acting film was released in Although her image depicted fragility and innocence, Pickford proved to be a worthy businesswoman who took control of her career in a cutthroat industry.
Five days later she spoke on Wall Street to an estimated 50, people. In a single speech in Chicago she sold an estimated five million dollars' worth of bonds. She was christened the U.
Navy's official "Little Sister"; the Army named two cannons after her and made her an honorary colonel. Leftover funds from her work selling Liberty Bonds were put toward its creation, and inthe Motion Picture Relief Fund MPRF was officially incorporated, with Joseph Schenck voted its first president and Pickford its vice president.
InPickford spearheaded the "Payroll Pledge Program", a payroll-deduction plan for studio workers who gave one half of one percent of their earnings to the MPRF. According to her Foundation, "she oversaw every aspect of the making of her films, from hiring talent and crew to overseeing the script, the shooting, the editing, to the final release and promotion of each project".
Zukor acquiesced to her refusal to participate in block-booking, the widespread practice of forcing an exhibitor to show a bad film of the studio's choosing to also be able to show a Pickford film. InPickford's films were distributed, singly, through a special distribution unit called Artcraft.
The Mary Pickford Corporation was briefly Pickford's motion-picture production company. Griffith, and her soon-to-be husband, Douglas Fairbanks. Before UA's creation, Hollywood studios were vertically integrated, not only producing films but forming chains of theaters.
Photoplay magazine: the birth of celebrity culture | Film | The Guardian
Distributors also part of the studios arranged for company productions to be shown in the company's movie venues. Filmmakers relied on the studios for bookings; in return they put up with what many considered creative interference. It was solely a distribution company, offering independent film producers access to its own screens as well as the rental of temporarily unbooked cinemas owned by other companies. Pickford and Fairbanks produced and shot their films after at the jointly owned Pickford-Fairbanks studio on Santa Monica Boulevard.