Friday, June 24, 2011

On June 24

On this day in ...
... 1916 (95 years ago today), in the early days of Hollywood, Mary Pickford (right) made a landmark deal with United Artists studio. She became the first woman to sign a $1 million film contract -- that is, a guaranteed $10,000 a week for 2 years -- and also the "first star to become a producer of her own pictures and to win a considerable degree of control over her work." (credit for photo of Pickford on the set of a 1917 film she produced and in which she starred, "The Pride of the Clan") Given the name Gladys Smith upon her 1892 birth in Toronto, Canada, had been a child star on stage. She'd begun her film career in 1909 in Brooklyn. By the time of her death in 1979, "America's Sweetheart," as Pickford was known, had appeared in hundreds of films and won 2 Academy Awards.

(Prior June 24 posts are here, here, and here, and here.)

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