Mary Pickford and the Invention of the Movie Star


Mary Pickford
Mary Pickford and the Invention of the Movie Star
Photograph: Tom Arban


Mary Pickford and the Invention of the Movie Star chronicles the life and career of a great Canadian who became one of the first and brightest stars of silent cinema. Though famously dubbed "America's Sweetheart," Mary Pickford was born in Toronto and remained a proud Canadian all her life, never claiming American citizenship.

Already a seasoned theatrical veteran since making her professional debut at the age of six, Pickford was at first apprehensive about working in the then disreputable "flickers," but soon became enamoured of the fledgling art form. More than a movie star, Pickford was also an industry pioneer – as her own producer and a co-founder of United Artists, she was one of the most powerful women in a Hollywood ruled by men – and one of the first "celebrities" as we understand the term today, endorsing products, influencing fashion, and inspiring global adoration.

This exhibition was made possible through an extraordinary donation to the TIFF Film Reference Library by Rob Brooks, whose outstanding 1,900-piece Pickford collection includes photographs, posters, lobby cards, memorabilia, postcards, heralds, glass slides, products endorsed by Pickford, and hundreds of other rare and never-before-seen items.

Tour Venues:
McCord Museum, Montreal, QC
May 3 to October 14, 2012