Today Blue Thread goes to the movies. Or, rather, goes back to the movies. If you had visited the cinema in 1912, chances are you would have seen film star Mary Pickford. Pickford was in about thirty films in that year alone! And she had so many fans that she was dubbed “America’s sweetheart.” No wonder, when Lillian Josefsohn is thinking of a Halloween costume in Blue Thread, she considers dressing as Mary Pickford.
Born Gladys Smith in Toronto, Canada in 1892, Pickford played her first role in theater at age seven. She struggled, with her mother and sisters, to make ends meet in the theater until she landed an important role in a Broadway play in 1907. Stardom came only a couple of years later.
When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Pickford starred in propaganda films, helped the American Red Cross, and became the honorary colonel of the 143rd California Field Artillery Battalion. She sold liberty bonds and auctioned off a curl of her hair for $15,000 to support the war effort. Judging from this 1914 picture, that would have been quite a curl!