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Mary Pickford: The World's First Major Movie Star 


Interested in romance and nostalgia, early Hollywood and the Oscars, swashbuckling heroes and plucky heroines, and rags to riches triumph? Well then, get ready to follow the fascinating career of the world's first movie star — one whose impact on Hollywood a century ago is still felt until this very day.

Michelle explores the life of Mary Pickford, the world’s first major movie star and co-founder of early movie studio United Artists.

This digital showcase of America's first cinematic superstar — and her complex relationships with Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith — will include:

  • An overview of the humble beginnings of the film industry in the woods of New Jersey

  • The story of Mary's rise to fame from a penniless pioneer in a new medium to an astute businesswoman and actress (who by 1916, was earning $10,000 a WEEK!)

  • The profound impact Mary had on Hollywood, and how her decisions made over a century ago still influence today's business and celebrity machine

  • A discussion around Mary’s personal exploration and struggles with her family, heady achievements, and romantic intrigues

  • Historic video clips and photos showcasing her onscreen and behind-the-screen success

As an actress, her work defined film acting. For many years, she remained the nation’s biggest box office draw. As a producer, she set standards for quality that placed her films among the best of the era. As a pioneer of the film industry she helped shape the trade through precedent-setting contracts, foundation of the Academy, as well as a little known event now called the Oscars. 

Mary’s personal and business decisions made over a century ago still influence Hollywood’s business and celebrity machine today. And all this before women had the right to vote.



"Speaker deeply knowledgeable and excited about her project. Lovely illustrations (still pictures, quotations, and film clips) and an openness to questions from the audience." -Martha

"Insightful and informative. The presenter was enthusiastic, friendly and very easy to understand! Excellent, excellent!" -Elaine

"I thought I knew a lot about Mary Pickford, but I learned so much more." -Eileen

"I liked the passion and prep by the host. I knew nothing about Mary Pickford before the class and almost didn't sign up. The host has left me super-enthusiastic on the subject" -Sanford

"I loved all of it, but having those clips really enhanced the presentation. Michelle did an extremely super job!" -Brenda

"Really informative, made me care a lot about Mary Pickford and very organized presentation" -Liz

"Michelle Cohen was fabulous. So enthusiastic and bubbly. I loved her 21st century way of explaining Mary Pickford’s thoughts." -Susan

"The speaker was very passionate and knowledgeable about Ms. Pickford's professional and personal life." -Robert

"The enthusiasm of the speaker. She obviously loves her subject. Great photos." -Ana

"I learned about someone who I didn't know much about before, even though i love movies. The presenter's passion for her subject definitely enhanced the presentation." -Susan

"Michelle was so knowledgeable and you just wanted her to keep going!" -Jenifer

"The very knowledgeable lecturer, and her excellent photos!" -Harold

"She is an excellent speaker. Well planned and delivered presentation. So much better than any other speaker I've seen so far." -Jonathan

"Very informative, good use of images, enthusiastic presenter." -Taunja

"Host was knowledgeable and passionate about her subject. I know a lot about silents and learned things!" -Kathy

"Well presented, great research, fun and multimedia. Just LOVED it!" -Jan

for more information and to schedule this workshop: 

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