Mary Pickford – photos and quotes

Mary Pickford

“We were pioneers in a brand-new medium. Everything’s fun when you’re young.”Mary Pickford

“In the Valentine Stock Company when she was five years old, the man who owned the company asked to have her for a part he had in mind. He said, ‘I think you could do it, Mary,’ and Mary said, ‘I’m sure I could.’ So she did and has played every stock child part since then.” — Charlotte Hennessey Smith (Pickford‘s mother)

Mary Pickford

“It was while I was playing in The Silver King in Toronto, years ago, that I first met the girl referred to in the company at that time as ‘that little Smith girl.’ For years, I carried about in my trunk with me a photograph of her in the ragged costume she wore in the play. She had a shawl, her toes poked out of her shoes and she carried a bundle of papers. The autograph in round childish letters said ‘Yours truly, Gladys Smith.’ It was not until several years later, when, looking at a Biograph picture, that I realized that ‘that little Smith girl’ was Mary Pickford. During the run of ‘The Silver King,’ ‘the little Smith girl’ annexed a whole family of kittens which she kept in her dressing room during performances. She often caused consternation to the stage director by bringing them out during rehearsals, and in a tragic moment, would precipitate them upon the keys of the piano where they would scramble up and down until corralled by a property hand and taken back to the Smith dressing room. It was also at this time that ‘the little Smith girl’, seeking to avenge herself upon her mother for some necessary chiding she had received from this thoughtful parent, took her best ring and buried it out in one of the Toronto gardens, announcing the fact of its disappearance to her mother, thereby securing, as she thought, a sufficient revenge.”Edward Earle

Source: John Dolber (1918)

“While I was playing in his ‘Good Little Devil,’ Mr. Belasco used to read interviews in which I’d say I liked pictures better than the stage. But I do like them better – though I’m going back with Mr. Belasco’s company in the fall; meanwhile, I’m doing the work I like best.”Mary Pickford

Source: Mabel Condon (1913)


Mary Pickford on the cover of Motion Pictures Magazine, c. 1913. (Bizarre Los Angeles)

“We have a house at Beachhurst, Long Island, and I stay in my bathing suit all day; that is, the one day of the week that I’m there. It’s glorious out there in the evening, too – only for the mosquitoes! I don’t believe they eat a bite until I arrive and then they all pick on me. And it’s so dreadfully quiet there nights that it’s spooky. Last night, I was sure somebody had broken into the house…Oh for – I don’t know what for, but, anyway, I was sure somebody had broken in; I could even hear him walking around downstairs and I wanted a drink so badly, but I was afraid to get up and get it, so I just waited until it was daylight and then I got two.”Mary Pickford

Source: Mabel Condon (1913)

Mary Pickford“I wouldn’t be ‘Little Mary’ anymore if I got fat. I try not to look any littler than I can help – though I like that title the people gave me, ‘little Mary,’ because I feel they call me it though liking, and I love to please the people.”Mary Pickford 

Source: Mabel Condon (1913)


Mary Pickford sketch (Bizarre Los Angeles)“Sometimes I stop and think of all the motion picture people who are working at that very minute, and I wonder just what Alice Joyce is doing and what parts are being played by people of the Western companies. I think it’s wonderful, the bigness of it all.”Mary Pickford

Source: Mabel Condon (1913)


Mary Pickford (Bizarre Los Angeles)

“I am studying music now, and expect to start French very soon. I have always been anxious to speak French, and a little hard study will soon enable me to master it.”Mary Pickford

Source: Edna Wright (1913)

“Why, they laugh at me if I play the ‘bad’ girl. They won’t take me serious.”Mary Pickford

Source: Edna Wright (1913)

The New York Hat (1912)

Motion Picture Magazine 1913 Mary Pickford

From 1913.

Mary Pickford writing

“There’s something about a typewriter that upsets me. It looks as if it is going to bite me – I don’t know – I really detest it.” – Mary Pickford

Source: Kevin Brownlow’s Mary Pickford Rediscovered


Photography Prints

Bizarre Los Angeles Store: Mary Pickford Eco Tote Bag

Pickford Bungalow Western

Once the movie industry began to take root in Southern California, Mary Pickford moved to Los Angeles with her family. One of her first homes was a bungalow at 1403 N. Western Avenue, near Sunset Blvd. They lived there in 1915.

Mary Pickford bungalow

The front of the bungalow featured stained Oregon pine. The front doors opened into a large living room finished with Mission oak. The fireplace was made of brick and set diagonally near the entrance to a dining room that opened off the sun porch. The dining room was small with a large cabinet. The second floor had three bedrooms with Mary’s room being decorated in white and pink. The kitchen, decorated in white tile, was located in back of the house. A separate garage was located behind the house.


Mary Pickford, 1915. (Bizarre Los Angeles)

“One must work early and late, and love the work so much that it seems a part of one – that one feels without it one could not live. “Mary Pickford

Source: 1915

Photo: 1915


Mary Pickford knitting“I don’t go into an office unless I have to. I want to make pictures, not sell them.”Mary Pickford

Source: Robert F. Moore (1917)



Mary Pickford Maurice Tourneur“You see, when an actress is successful, everybody thinks she wants to do everything from directing to running a corporation. Now, I don’t want my friends to get that idea. Things are going much the same as usual, except that I get no salary, but share in the profits….Mr. Maurice Tourneur and Mr. DeMille are now my directors. Mr. Zukor, Mr. Lasky and myself are in partnership, and Mr. Zukor is still the papa of the concern, as he always has been. Of course I have the choice of the stories and have a say in the studio work, but I am a player and wish to remain one. One person cannot make a picture, much less a corporation.”Mary Pickford

Source: Robert F. Moore (1917)

Photo: The Pride of the Clan (1917) With director Maurice Tourneur

Mary Pickford with camera“I don’t know that it [forming a company] has helped me, but it was my dream for a long while. Every actress looks forward to it, I guess. Everything is going well, and we are all working very, very hard. But my real reason for wanting the change was in order to be independent of any definite program. While I was with the Famous Players, I received many letters from exhibitors, complaining that they could not afford my pictures because they had to lease the whole program. I began to feel that I wasn’t reaching my friends outside as I should, and if they really wanted my pictures, money shouldn’t stand in the way, so we talked it over, and decided that this was the best way. That’s all.”Mary Pickford

Source: Robert F. Moore (1917)

Mary Pickford

Mary had her hand in everything, writing scripts, arguing with directors, making suggestions to other players…and her ideas were helpful. I am convinced that Mary could have risen to the top in United States Steel if she had decided to be a Carnegie instead of a movie star.”Adolph Zukor


Newspapers boasted that Douglas Fairbanks and Charles Chaplin earned $1,000,000 apiece in 1917. In this graphic, Photoplay Magazine lists Mary Pickford as earning $500,000. Other sources, however, claimed that she, too, earned $1,000,000 that year.

1918 Nelson Evans Mary Pickford

Photo: Nelson Evans (1918)


Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Chaplin about to embark on a hugely successful Liberty Loan Drive tour in 1918.


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"The little girl made me. I wasn't waiting for the little girl to kill me." -- Mary Pickford. Photo taken by Melbourne Spurr. (Bizarre Los Angeles)

“The little girl made me. I wasn’t waiting for the little girl to kill me.”Mary Pickford

Photo taken by Melbourne Spurr.



Mary Pickford Suds

“I think Oscar Wilde wrote a poem about a robin who loved a white rose. He loved it so much that he pierced his breast and let his heart’s blood turn the white rose red. Maybe this sounds very sentimental, but for anybody who has loved a career as much as I’ve loved mine, there can be no short cuts.”Mary Pickford

Mildred Harris, Mary Pickford, Lillian, Mary, Dorothy Gish

Mary is such a darling; she certainly deserves all the love and admiration bestowed upon her. There will never be any other Mary Pickford.” — Dorothy Gish

Source: Edna Wright (1917)

Photo: Mildred HarrisMary PickfordLillian GishMary GishDorothy Gish



Mary Pickford Through the Backdoor 1921

Through the Back Door (1921)


Mary Pickford camera

“There was always something sacred to me about that camera.”Mary Pickford

Source: Kevin Brownlow (1963)
Photo: Little Annie Rooney (1925)

Little Annie Rooney 1925

Little Annie Rooney (1925)


Mary Pickford“Adding sound to movies would be like putting lipstick on the Venus de Milo.”Mary Pickford



A lock of Mary Pickford's hair. (Bizarre Los Angeles)

A lock of Mary Pickford’s hair that went on the auction block several years ago.


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Opening night, August 29, 1930, at Mary Pickford's Wilshire Links with Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks on hand. (Bizarre Los Angeles)

Opening night, August 29, 1930, at Mary Pickford‘s Wilshire Links with Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks on hand.

Mary Pickford's Wilshire Links was a miniature golf course once located on the corner of Wilshire Blvd and La Cienega in the 1930s. Bizarre Los Angeles

The Wilshire Links was a miniature golf course once located on the corner of Wilshire Blvd and La Cienega.

It is believed that Pickford might have built it out of rebellion. In the late 1920s and well into the 1930s, studio bosses (like Louis B. Mayer) refused to allow their contract stars to play or be seen at a miniature golf.


Mary Pickford's Wilshire Links was a miniature golf course once located on the corner of Wilshire Blvd and La Cienega in the 1930s. Bizarre Los AngelesAccording to Maria Reidelbach, co-author of the book Miniature Golf, “The movie studios feared the soaring popularity of mini-golf would diminish theater ticket sales. That’s why in movies of that era, you rarely see someone playing mini-golf, despite the fact the courses were everywhere in Hollywood.”

So who is going to punish her for building one for celebrities and mini-golf fans to enjoy?

In Los Angeles alone, there were over 300 miniature golf courses, some of them staying open until 4:00 AM.



Mary Pickford

“But I’ll never let it grow very long again. It isn’t comfortable and it makes my head look too large.”Mary Pickford

Photographer: Charles Sheldon

Mary Pickford Charles Sheldon

“I am not living my life for the public and they have no reason to expect me to do so. All I can do is work my very hardest to entertain them and I believe that is all they expect.” — Mary Pickford

Source: Hank Arnold (1932)

Photographer: Charles Sheldon

Mary Pickford

Photographer: Charles Sheldon

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Mary Pickford

“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford

Mary Pickford“If you’re the type who discourages easily, there’s small place in Hollywood for you.”Mary Pickford in 1935.

Source: Whitney Williams
Photographer: George Hurrell

Mary Pickford 1935

“Your job comes first, remember, as long you’re making it a career…so spend as much time as you can in perfecting yourself along the lines that will benefit you in your quest for fame. Develop yourself in every phase of your career…don’t neglect anything that might be of use to you.”Mary Pickford

Source: Whitney Williams (1935)
Photo: George Hurrell (1935)

Buster Keaton Mary Pickford baseball

Buster Keaton watches as Pickford throws the first pitch to Jim Thorpe at the annual motion picture charity baseball game at Wrigley Field in South Los Angeles. Date: July 30, 1938.


Mary Pickford from the defunct Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park. The sign says that Pickford donated the costume for the exhibit in 1962, which depicts her in a scene from Taming of the Shrew. (Bizarre Los Angeles)

Mary Pickford from the defunct Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park. The sign says that Pickford donated the costume for the exhibit in 1962, which depicts her in a scene from Taming of the Shrew.



Mary Pickford and Charles “Buddy” Rogers attend Jeanette MacDonald’s funeral. MacDonald’s service was held at the Wee Kirk O’ the Heather Church at Forest Lawn’s Memorial Park in Glendale, California. Photo dated January 19, 1965. (LAPL 00106846)


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