Mary Pickford: ‘America’s Sweetheart’
Sid Grauman, owner of the famed Grauman's Chinese Theater, looked over the shoulders of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks Sr., as they pressed their palms into the wet concrete and memorialized their status as Hollywood legends. Mary Pickford, known as "America's Sweetheart," starred in many films, often with the persona of an innocent waif. She was not. She had brains, vision and a work ethic that made her the first female Hollywood mogul. In 1976, Gene Kelley presented her with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' Lifetime Achievement Award. "For more than three generations of moviegoers," he said, "this was the face of the most popular woman in the world." Then her image appeared on the screen. It was but a mere shadow of a fragile and uncertain woman whose steep decline was shocking, yet foreseeable.