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American Experience; Mary Pickford


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American Experience
Mary Pickford
Program Number


Series Description

Premiered October 1988 As television's longest-running, most-watched history series, American Experience brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that helped form this nation. Now in its eighteenth season, the series has produced over 180 programs and garnered every major broadcast award. Series release date: 10/1988

Program Description

Late in her life, actor Mary Pickford described a recurring nightmare in which she walked out on stage to perform only to find there was no one in the audience to watch her. For most of her career, Pickford had played to full houses and adoring fans. But she wasn't just a talented performer, she was also a creative producer and shrewd businessperson who played a pivotal role in shaping the first new media of the 20th century. She was the first star to have her own production company and the first woman to take control of her career in a tough business run by tough men. For nearly two decades Pickford skillfully navigated her way through the industry. But by the end of her life, her nightmare became her reality. She discovered that fame was fleeting, the crowds fickle. This powerful and moving documentary uses archival footage, stills, original audio interviews with Pickford and clips from her movies to tell a story that is full of joy and power, of loneliness and despair.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “American Experience; Mary Pickford,” 02/05/2005, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed March 23, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_47C188C76AB2445E824671BD4B7B21AC.
MLA: “American Experience; Mary Pickford.” 02/05/2005. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. March 23, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_47C188C76AB2445E824671BD4B7B21AC>.
APA: American Experience; Mary Pickford. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_47C188C76AB2445E824671BD4B7B21AC
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