Here is a wonderful picture of the Queen of Silent Movies- MARY PICKFORD, personally directed and signed 1931. Mary was fast coming to the end of her career- she could not make the change to "Talkies", a problem that affected many silent screen stars. This photo is from a collection of autographed photos of silent and early sound film stars that turned up in a Florida estate auction in very old frames. This is one of them.
Mary was born Gladys Louise Smith in 1892 and died in 1979 more or less in seclusion. She was immensely famous in the early days of silent films, churning out 51 movies in 1909- almost one per WEEK. In her early days she was paid $10 per day -DOUBLE what the other actors were paid- and with a 4-day a week guarantee! Later she married Douglas Fairbanks, and was a founder of United artists film studio.
This photo is dedicated to Harriet Hutchinson. I accidentally found Harriett's connection to Mary and the movie industry. The earliest photo I have from this collection is addressed to Harriet Spigelmeyer. She obviously married a Hutchinson shortly after this. And a Samuel Hutchinson was co-founder and president of American Film Company, also known as the Flying A Movie Company because of their logo- a letter "A" with wings. Flying A was a major producer of short silent films between 1912 and 1920; they were based in Santa Barbara, CA, a time when Mary was at her height. Several of my photos have the Flying A logo embossed on them. My deduction- Harriet was either married to Samuel Hutchinson or perhaps his son. However, I cannot find any info to firmly prove this.who must have had something to do with the film industry,
The photo is 9" x 7", borderless, printed on matte double weight paper. Photographer was John Miehle, a noted film star photographer of the 1930s and 40s- his name is embossed at the bottom of the photo. Excellent condition- photo removed from circa 1940 frame, slight fold at very top and very narrow strip around edge showing where frame glass pressed on paper. Sharp signature: To Harriet Hutchinson/ Thanks and best wishes/ Mary Pickford/1931". She also wrote "as Kiki" in lower left corner of photo.