The United Artists Corporation is a well-known American studio for films. It was founded on February 5, 1919, with actress Mary Pickford playing a major role in its creation. Her part in bringing the prestigious United Artists studio to life is why she is a woman who inspires.
Who was Mary Pickford?
Mary was an actress who starred in several Canadian and American films. She was born on April 8, 1892 in Toronto and passed away May 29, 1979. Major films she starred in include Sparrows, Coquette and Poor Little Rich Girl. In addition to acting in movies, she also produced some projects and wrote screenplays. Her reputation was as “America’s Sweetheart.”
Over the course of her acting career, she moved from silent films to sound ones; it was a time of major change in the film industry. The last movie she acted in was Secrets, which released in 1933. In 1976, she won an honorary Oscar for her amazing contributions to motion pictures.
How Mary Pickford Founded United Artists
What I admire about Mary Pickford is that she was savvy and bold in business at a time when few women were doing so. Also, while she was successful in acting, she desired to branch out with roles behind the scenes, such as producing films and also helping create United Artists. That is not only commendable now but even more so when you realize the period in which she was alive.
Mary Pickford and director D.W. Griffith decided to create a company to protect their films, giving themselves full control over their projects. This company, called United Artists, was the one they then created, along with famous British actor Charlie Chaplin and Pickford’s husband Douglas Fairbanks, who was also an actor. They all joined likely to enjoy similar artistic freedoms over their works. United Artists quickly became popular, largely due to its famous founders starring in its films. By 1960, Mary and all of the other original partners had sold their shares in the company.
Since its origins, United Artists has become legendary in Hollywood. Its films have been nominated and won for many Academy Awards. For example, the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest won Best Picture in 1975, and Rain Man took Best Picture prize in 1988. It has transferred hands quite a bit, being bought by MGM in the 1980s and then by the bank Credit Lyonnaise in 1992. Today, United Artists has been reorganized under MGM ownership and is known for creating artsy films, such as Capote in 2006.
I am pleased that the founding of such a renowned company as United Artists had a pivotal role by female Mary Pickford. I admire how she continued to break the mold of what is expected by women, as well as reach for her dreams!
Who is a woman in the film industry that you admire, and why?
Related read: How Michelle C. Smith is advocating for Stunt Performers to gain more recognition in the film industry.