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January 1, 1873|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Died||March 22, 1928
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||John Charles Smith (m. 1892-1898; his death); 3 children|
Early life and marriage
Born in Toronto, Canada to Irish Catholic parents from County Kerry, Charlotte Hennessey supported herself as a seamstress. She married John Charles Smith, son of English Methodist immigrants. She agreed to rear their children in his Methodist faith. The couple had three children: Gladys Louise, later actress Mary Pickford, Charlotte, later actress Lottie Pickford, and John Charles, later actor Jack Pickford.
Her husband John Charles Smith died in 1898 from a fatal blood clot caused by a workplace accident when he was a purser with the Niagara Steamship Lines. Charlotte Smith struggled to make a living. After her daughter, Gladys, known as actress Mary Pickford, started getting film roles, Charlotte Smith acted in minor parts in three silent films in 1910 and 1911, with her daughter. All three children: Mary, Lottie, and Jack Pickford, all became actors, although only Mary Pickford achieved great fame and fortune.
Charlotte Smith played a large role in managing her children's careers. She negotiated her daughter Mary Pickford's landmark contracts in the United States as a child star (including her $1 million a year contract, the first of its kind). Smith took a role in United Artists and the Mary Pickford Film Company, founded by her daughter, until her death.[page needed]
Charlotte Hennessey Smith died of breast cancer after refusing surgery. She had already had several major operations.
- Menefee, David. Sweet Memories, (Menefee Publishing Inc., 2012), ISBN 1469966956
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