WGBH Openvault

Witness to Yesterday; Mary Pickford

Mary Pickford

License Clip

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Undigitized item: Request Digitization

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Witness to Yesterday
Mary Pickford
Program Number


Series Description

Series release date: 2000

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: “Witness to Yesterday; Mary Pickford,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 21, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_D1C5724433614AEBB293F742C2990712.
MLA: “Witness to Yesterday; Mary Pickford.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 21, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_D1C5724433614AEBB293F742C2990712>.
APA: Witness to Yesterday; Mary Pickford. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_D1C5724433614AEBB293F742C2990712
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.