Mary Pickford Foundation is the official website of the foundation established by Mary Pickford. Here you can find the Mary Pickford Foundation's online research center featuring original videos and writings, an extensive photo gallery, a searchable database of films, rare movie clips, current events, classic film screenings, historical material and much more, as well as details of the Foundation’s new partnership with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Wed, 18 Mar 2015 00:15:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tess 1914 at Cinefest Tue, 17 Mar 2015 03:11:42 +0000

On Saturday, March 21st, the annual classic film event Cinefest will screen Tess of the Storm Country (1914), the earliest surviving feature starring Mary Pickford. Recently preserved by the Paramount Archives and including some elements provided by the Mary Pickford Foundation, Tess was the breakout role for a young Pickford, who shot to international stardom due to the film’s success. Cinefest is held in Syracuse, New York and is presented by the Syracuse Cinephile Society. Visit the Cinefest site for more details.

]]> 0
The Mary Pickford Foundation and the Academy Film Museum Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:30:13 +0000 Mary Pickford was an original founder of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, an early leader in the film preservation movement and an ardent supporter of creating a museum devoted to the art of moviemaking.  Now the Mary Pickford Foundation has joined Paramount, Warner Bros., MGM and Sony Pictures in being a founding supporter of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.


The Academy is promising it will be the world’s premier museum devoted to exploring and curating the history and future of the moving image. Located next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus in the landmarked Wilshire May Company building, plans call for a 2017 opening. Just as Mary Pickford was there at the beginning of the Academy, the Mary Pickford Foundation is proud to help promote her dream of a museum showcasing the history of filmmaking.

]]> 0
Malcolm Boyd 1923-2015 Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:35:39 +0000 Malcolm-B-and-MaryFebruary 28th, 2015

The Mary Pickford Foundation wishes to acknowledge the passing of Mary Pickford’s friend and former business partner Malcolm Boyd. P.R.B. (which stood for Pickford-Rogers-Boyd) was the name of their radio and television production company.

Read more about Boyd’s life and legacy here.

]]> 0
My Best Girl at UCLA Festival Wed, 11 Feb 2015 17:30:31 +0000

The Mary Pickford Foundation is pleased to announce a screening of the restored print of My Best Girl (1927), Mary’s final silent film, at the 2015 UCLA Festival of Preservation on Sunday, March 15th at 7 pm. This charming romantic comedy directed by Sam Taylor and co-starring Charles “Buddy” Rogers is often considered Pickford’s finest film and is not to be missed on the big screen.

Also showing are two rarely-screened early Pickford shorts, the Biograph The Son’s Return (1909) directed by D.W. Griffith, and the IMP A Manly Man (1911), directed by Thomas Ince. Jere Guldin, Senior Film Preservationist at UCLA Film & Television Archive, will be on hand to discuss the films and live musical accompaniment will be provided by Cliff Retallick.

Click here for tickets and more details.

]]> 0
Little Annie Rooney Restoration Premiere Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:14:56 +0000 November 3, 2014

The third Annual Mary Pickford Celebration of Silent Film, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in partnership with the Mary Pickford Foundation, will host the world premiere of the Academy Film Archive’s restoration of Little Annie Rooney (1925) from Mary Pickford’s own 35mm nitrate print held in the Mary Pickford Collection at the Library of Congress.

Read more about the restoration »

]]> 0
1916 Mary Pickford Scrapbook Tue, 02 Dec 2014 07:32:27 +0000 ]]> 0 Mary Pickford’s Role in the History of the Motion Picture & Television Fund Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:12:26 +0000 by Cari Beauchamp 

mptf 7

Mary Pickford never forgot the poverty of her childhood and how being poor had affected not only her family, but so many other actors. As early as 1916 she was a generous supporter of the Actor’s Fund, but it was when she was traveling the country selling millions of dollars in war bonds in 1918 that she saw for herself how her popularity inspired others to give. In 1921 she turned her power and philanthropic intentions to those she called “our own” and became one of the founders and the first Vice President of the Motion Picture Relief Fund (MPRF). She, along with friends such as Joe Schenck, Jesse Lasky and Harold Lloyd, rotated leadership roles and in the late twenties, Mary was elected President of MPRF.i

mptf 4From the beginning, Mary was a hands-on fundraiser. She spearheaded the efforts to get the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers (WAMPAS) to support MPRF. Throughout the twenties, WAMPAS picked thirteen ingénues to promote as being on the edge of stardom and over the years their choices included Clara Bow, Ginger Rogers, Jean Arthur and Mary Astor. Pickford convinced the association to have their annual WAMPAS Frolic, held at the Shrine Auditorium or the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel, to be a fundraiser for the MPRF. In addition, Mary invited the honorees (and the press) to Pickfair to promote the event. She wrangled Will Hays as a special guest and he too sang the praises of the organization. When Will Hays spoke, the studios listened and bought blocks of tickets to the event. And according to the Los Angeles Times, the new Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with Mary’s husband Douglas Fairbanks as president, urged “all of its members to cooperate in every way” with the Motion Picture Relief Fund.ii

mptf 5Over those first years, fundraisers such as benefit galas, polo matches and film premieres were held. Other examples of Pickford’s efforts include her soliciting donations of clothes, gowns and assorted other personal items from friends and then being there in person to open a thrift shop on Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood, with all the profits going to MPRF. She also encouraged her industry colleagues to support the organization through a then novel method; a “legacy plan,” leaving a percentage of their estate to the MPRF in their wills. Personalities such as Mack Sennett, John Barrymore, Samuel Goldwyn and Cecil B. DeMille all endorsed the idea and when Doug Fairbanks died in 1939, he indeed left the MPRF $10,000.iii

mptf 2One of Mary’s frustrations was that supporters had to be solicited individually. It was estimated that over 20,000 people were working in the film business, yet the number of enrolled supporters of MPRFwas only 400. Mary looked for a way to reach out en masse to the industry and in 1932, before the creation of the Screen Actors Guild, she organized the Payroll Pledge Program which financed MPRF by deducting one half of one percent from the salaries of those making over two hundred dollars a week. Workers had to agree annually to have their contribution deducted, but the result was to increase both the amount of money coming into the organization as well as the number of supporters. This would have been an incredible accomplishment at any time, but particularly when the Depression had circled the globe and was hitting Hollywood hard.iv

In January of 1933 alone, MPRF bought groceries for over 2,500 film folks and prevented 75 families from being evicted. Hundreds of others were assisted with their medical and legal bills.v

From the beginning, there had been talk of building their own retirement home and hospital. In 1924, while serving as Vice President, Mary was named the chairman of a new building fund to create a “home for worthy indigent and incapacitated members of the motion picture profession.” The dream had to be postponed when more immediate needs were so great, but it was always on Pickford’s

mptf 1Finally, in September of 1942, Mary was there with shovel in hand, alongside the then-President of MPRF, Jean Hersholt, to break ground for what would be the Motion Picture Country House and Hospital. Reportedly it was Mary who insisted on calling it a “house” instead of a “home” because actors, no matter what their age, always considered themselves “between engagements.”

For decades, hundreds of thousands of members of the entertainment community have been able to count on the Motion Picture & Television Fund for social services, financial assistance, healthcare services and retirement living.

mary-pickford-portrait-mptfSince Mary’s passing, the Mary Pickford Foundation has donated over $2 million to MPTF, creating an endowment that provides financial assistance to those living on the Wasserman Campus who need help with room and board and other expenses. This support is a critical part of the residential subsidies program and is a continuing testament to Mary Pickford’s innovative philanthropy.



i The MPRF was the successor of the motion picture branch of the Actor’s fund. LAT 1/29/26; Pickford’s election and other officers, LAT 8/28/25 and 7/16/29

ii WAMPAS/Fund, Shrine, LAT 1/29/26; WAMPAS folic and tea; 1/30/28; “all of its”, LAT 2/12/28

iii galas, LAT, 11/30/31; polo, LAT, 3/31/40; film premiere LAT 10/19/31; thrift shop, LAT 1/24/30; “novel method” LAT 1/2/28; Fairbanks bequeath, LAT 8/17/41

iv 20,000 figure, LAT 12/26/25

v LAT 4/16/33

vi “home for worthy” LAT 12/26/25.

]]> 0
The Mary Pickford Foundation and the Academy Launch Partnership to Promote the Silent Film Era Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:00:16 +0000 mary_pickford_foundation_academy_partnership

In 1979, Pickford made an important contribution to film history when she placed her photographs and other memorabilia at the Academy to establish the Mary Pickford Collection. Her widower Buddy Rogers and the Mary Pickford Foundation expanded the Collection to include correspondence, personal and professional papers, financial records and scrapbooks. Housed at the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library, the invaluable Mary Pickford Collection makes the Academy an important destination for students and scholars who wish to study and document the life and work of Mary Pickford.

In the summer of 2012, the Mary Pickford Foundation and the Academy joined together to create a multi-year initiative to promote the legacy of Mary Pickford and the silent film era. The partnership includes the Academy and the Foundation co-sponsoring an annual Mary Pickford Celebration of Silent Film, film preservation initiatives and the digitization of components of the library’s Mary Pickford Collection.

As Dawn Hudson, the Academy’s CEO, said when announcing the partnership, “We are thrilled that together with the Mary Pickford Foundation we will bring the groundbreaking work of Mary Pickford and the pioneers of the silent film era to the attention of a new generation.”

]]> 0
Little Annie Rooney Restoration Premiere Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:01:45 +0000 On November 3rd, the third Annual Mary Pickford Celebration of Silent Film, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in partnership with the Mary Pickford Foundation, will host the world premiere of the Academy Film Archive’s restoration of Little Annie Rooney (1925) from Mary Pickford’s own 35mm nitrate print held in the Mary Pickford Collection at the Library of Congress.

Pickford’s fans loved to see her play young girls, and she obliged by conceiving this comedy-tearjerker about a spunky policeman’s daughter in the New York tenements. Directed by William Beaudine and co-starring matinee idol William “Billy” Haines, Little Annie Rooney was a smash hit for writer, producer and star Pickford.

Author and film historian Jeffrey Vance will speak before the film and discuss the legacy of Pickford as a trailblazing actress, writer, producer and preservation advocate. Michael Pogorzelski, director of the Academy Film Archive, will discuss the restoration of the film. Live piano accompaniment will be provided by Andy Gladbach.

Little Annie Rooney is presented in conjunction with the Academy’s Hollywood Costume Exhibit, where Pickford’s dress from the film will be on display through March 2nd, 2015. Little Annie Rooney will screen at the Bing Theater on the LACMA campus at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 3. Click here for tickets.

]]> 0
Sparrows in New York Wed, 24 Sep 2014 02:07:54 +0000 October 11th, 2014

Mary Pickford’s Sparrows (1926) will be screened on Saturday, October 11th at 2:30 p.m. at the Bruno Walter Auditorium inside the New York Public Library for Performing Arts in New York City. The Sparrows matinee, utilizing a restored 35mm print from the Library of Congress, is part of “The Silent Clowns” film series and will be introduced by Jeffrey Vance, with piano accompaniment by Ben Model. Click here for tickets and details.

]]> 0