Mary Pickford was a veteran of more than 200 films, and a co-founder of United Artists Corp. and of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was the first star to be identified by name in movie credits.
Her first leading role was in D.W. Griffith's "The Violin Maker of Cremona" (1909). Her first really big hit was "Hearts Adrift," made in 1914 for Adolph Zukor, who had founded the Famous Players Co. in 1912.
In 1918, when her career was at a high point, she left Zukor to become an independent producer. In 1919 she joined with other stars and Griffith to form United Artists, a production company that handled her films for the remainder of her career.
In 1927 she joined then-husband Douglas Fairbanks, along with Cecil B. DeMille, Irving Thalberg, Jesse Lasky and others to form the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences. The following year she made her first film with sound, "Coquette" (1929), for which she won an Oscar.
Her career continued. She made "Kiki" in 1932, which she followed with a hiatus while she wrote two books: "Why Not Try God" and "My Rendezvous With Life."
In 1978 she won another Academy Award for "her unique contribution to the motion picture industry."
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