VIDEO: Mary Pickford, Early cinema's savvy star
Forget J.Lo, Sarah Jessica Parker or Elizabeth Taylor: a new Toronto exhibit says that the original queen of endorsements and personal branding was Mary Pickford, the Toronto-born, silent film superstar.
Mary Pickford and the Invention of the Movie Star, a free show running at Toronto's TIFF Lightbox through July 3, chronicles the life and career of the early Hollywood siren.
Drawn from approximately 1,900 Pickford artifacts amassed over three decades by private collector Rob Brooks and donated to TIFF's Film Reference Library, the exhibit charts Pickford's metamorphosis from Canadian kid to America's Sweetheart to savvy celebrity businesswoman.
Shane Smith, Lightbox's director of public programs, talked to Radio-Canada's Marjolaine Lacroix about Pickford's childhood in Toronto, her rise to international stardom and how she progressed from actor to filmmaker, studio head and celebrity branding pioneer.