On this Day in Movie History, June 7, 1909: Mary Pickford Makes Motion Picture Debut.

It was on this day, June 7, 1909, actress Mary Pickford made her motion picture debut in “The Violin Maker of Cremona”.

Born April 8, 1892, Gladys Marie Smith in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Pickford was a Canadian-American motion picture actress, co-founder of the film studio United Artists and one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Known as “America’s Sweetheart,” “Little Mary” and “The girl with the curls,” she was one of the Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood and a significant figure in the development of film acting.

Because her international fame was triggered by moving images, she is a watershed figure in the history of modern celebrity and, as one of silent film’s most important performers and producers, her contract demands were central to shaping the Hollywood industry.

In consideration of her contributions to American cinema, the American Film Institute named Pickford 24th among the greatest female stars of all time.

1909 – Jessica Tandy (Academy Award-winning actress: Driving Miss Daisy [1989]; Cocoon, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Birds, Forever Amber, Used People, Camilla; performed on Broadway with husband, Hume Cronyn; died Sep 11, 1994)

1924 – Dolores Gray (actress: The Buick Circus Hour, The Opposite Sex, Kismet, Designing Woman; died June 26, 2002)

1928 – James Ivory (director: Jefferson in Paris, The Remains of the Day, Howard’s End, A Room with a View, The Bostonians, Roseland, Wild Party, The Householder)

1931 – Virginia McKenna (actress: Duel of Hearts, Born Free, The Chosen, Simba)

1943 – Ken Osmond (actor: Leave It to Beaver, High School U.S.A.)

1952 – Liam Neeson (actor: Excalibur, The Dead Pool, Ethan Frome, Schindler’s List, Rob Roy, Les Mis’rables, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace)

1972 – Chris Martin (actor: Madison, Amazon, The Girls’ Room)

1976 – Cassidy Rae (actress: Melrose Place, Just Shoot Me, Days of Our Lives, Favorite Deadly Sins, Journey of the Heart)

1981 – Larisa Oleynik (actress: 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Secret World of Alex Mack, Ten Things I Hate About You)


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