June 9, 1893
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Died||December 9, 1936
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
|Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale|
|Other names||Lottie Pickford Forrest|
Alfred Rupp (m. 1915–20)
|Parents||John Charles Smith
|Relatives||Mary Pickford (sister)
Jack Pickford (brother)
One of her best known roles was in The Diamond from the Sky directed by William Desmond Taylor in 1915. Pickford's career is often overshadowed by that of her siblings and though she was a notable figure in the 1920s, her films and role in the Pickford acting family is now largely forgotten.
Pickford was born Charlotte Smith, to John Charles Smith and Charlotte Hennessy. Pickford was named for her mother. She was the middle child, born a year and two months after her sister Mary Pickford and two years before her brother Jack Pickford. She quickly became her father's favorite, much to her sister's annoyance. After mistakenly believing she was a boy when first born her father lovingly gave her the boyish nickname, 'Chuckie'.
Pickford's father left the family while she was young and Mary took over the father figure role. This caused Jack and Lottie to become extremely close, banding together against their sister who they saw as strict. Pickford idolized her brother Jack, and they remained close throughout their lifetimes. Despite her tense relationship with Mary, she was protective of her and once jumped on D.W. Griffith to defend her sister during a heated argument with the director.
In need of extra income the family began to act. On January 8, 1900, Lottie and Mary appeared in The Silver King. Pickford was either offered a lesser sum than her sister or was part of a packaged deal. The family eventually moved to New York City where they all acted in various productions, sometimes together, sometimes not. At one point Lottie and Mary had to travel on their own for one production.
Of the family, Mary was the breakout star. Her family members were usually attached to her as a contractual stipulation. This continued when Mary began in films, eventually getting her siblings on the payroll.
In 1907, Mary adopted the stage name 'Mary Pickford' (her birth name was Gladys Louise Smith). The rest of the family adopted the Pickford name by the time they began appearing in films. Mary signed with D.W. Griffith's Biograph Company in 1909 and also secured work for her siblings. Between 1909 and 1910, Mary made eighty shorts, Jack made twenty eight, and Lottie made twenty five. Of the three Pickfords, Lottie's talents were considered the weakest. Actress Linda Arvidson said Mary had decided her sister was not pretty enough for films, and had done her best to keep her away from Biograph. When the Biograph Company departed for California, Pickford and her mother were left behind. She would eventually join her sister in California.
Away from her sister, Pickford's first starring role came in 1914 in The House of Bondage. It was a vice film, with Pickford playing a prostitute. This greatly contrasted her sister's role as "America's Sweetheart". The film did not receive good reviews, being considered too crude. In 1915, Pickford appeared in Fanchon, the Cricket, opposite both her siblings. It is the only film in which all three Pickford siblings appear, and was thought lost until rediscovered in the British Film Institute.
Pickford then starred in The Diamond from the Sky serial (1915) although, to her humiliation, she was only given the role after Mary turned it down. A Photoplay article from around the time of the release declared her "Pickford The Second!" and compared her to her sister, albeit as a worthy sequel. However, the serial was jeopardized when she became pregnant. This incident put her on the unofficial Hollywood blacklist for a short time. Pickford only performed in five roles between 1915 and 1918, when she took a break from acting.
After her divorce, she appeared in the starring role in 1921's They Shall Pay in which co-starred her future husband Allan Forrest. Pickford again took several years' time off from acting before returning in a minor role in the 1924 film Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall. Her final role was opposite her brother-in-law Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in Don Q Son of Zorro in 1925. During her career, Pickford starred in only eight features while her brother starred in over forty features.
Pickford was a socialite and partying was her first love. Her parties were legendary and lasted until morning; drugs and alcohol were plentiful as was nudity. Pickford's maid recalled that when they heard Mary's car pulling in, Pickford and her friends would "Jump into their knickers!"
Despite her reputation as a party girl, Pickford was considered to be down to earth, friendly, sweet, and unpretentious.
In 1915, before the release of The Diamond from the Sky, Pickford quietly married New York broker Alfred Rupp on an unknown date. The couple had a daughter, Mary Pickford Rupp (who would be later renamed Gwynne Rupp), in 1915. The couple separated in 1919 and divorced the following year. For unknown reasons, Pickford allowed her mother to legally adopt her daughter, who was then renamed Gwynne in 1920. Pickford did not comment to the press on the matter, other than to say she would never marry again. Gwynne remained with her grandmother (also named Charlotte) until Charlotte, Sr.'s death in 1928, at which time Gwynne's aunt Mary Pickford took custody of her. This arrangement lasted until Gwynne married radio announcer Hugh "Bud" Ernst in June 1939.
Pickford married actor Allan Forrest in January 1922. Pickford obtained a divorce from Forrest in Paris in 1927. On July 22, 1929, she married Russel O. Gillard, an undertaker from Los Angeles. They divorced in February 1933. Later that year, Pickford married a Pittsburgh society man named John William Lock. They remained married until her death in 1936.
On December 6, 1936, Pickford suffered a heart attack. She died three days later at her home in Beverly Hills. Her funeral was held on December 13 at Wee Kirk o' the Heather Church in Glendale, California. She is buried in the Pickford family plot in Forest Lawn Cemetery.
|1909||Two Memories||Short film|
|1909||The Faded Lilies||Short film|
|1909||The Necklace||Short film|
|1909||The Cardinal's Conspiracy||The Princess' Servant (unconfirmed)||Short film|
|1909||Tender Hearts||Nellie's Friend||Short film|
|1909||The Slave||A Dancer||Short film|
|1909||A Strange Meeting||At Party||Short film|
|1909||The Better Way||Puritan||Short film|
|1909||The Indian Runner's Romance||Indian (unconfirmed)||Short film|
|1909||The Little Darling||Short film|
|1909||The Hessian Renegades||Short film|
|1909||Getting Even||Short film|
|1909||The Broken Locket||Short film|
|1909||His Lost Love||Short film|
|1909||What's Your Hurry?||Short film|
|1909||The Light That Came||Short film|
|1909||In the Window Recess||Short film|
|1909||Through the Breakers||At the Ball||Short film|
|1909||The Red Man's View||Minnewanna||Short film|
|1909||The Test||A Maid (unconfirmed)||Short film|
|1909||To Save Her Soul||Short film|
|1910||The Woman from Mellon's||Young Woman (unconfirmed)||Short film|
|1910||The Newlyweds||Short film|
|1910||The Smoker||Short film|
|1910||The Tenderfoot's Triumph||Short film|
|1910||A Knot in the Plot||Short film|
|1910||A Victim of Jealousy||Short film|
|1910||Serious Sixteen||Short film|
|1910||The Call to Arms||Short film|
|1910||Unexpected Help||Short film|
|1910||The Affair of an Egg||Short film|
|1910||A Summer Idyll||Short film|
|1910||The Oath and the Man||Short film|
|1910||Examination Day at School||Short film|
|1910||A Gold Necklace||Nellie||Short film|
|1910||The Broken Doll||Townswoman||Short film|
|1910||Two Little Waifs||Short film|
|1910||Simple Charity||In hallway||Short film|
|1910||A Plain Song||Storemate||Short film|
|1910||A Child's Stratagem||Short film|
|1910||Happy Jack, a Hero||A hero||Short film|
|1910||The Golden Supper||Flower girl||Short film|
|1910||His Sister-In-Law||Eva||Short film|
|1910||White Roses||At party||Short film|
|1911||The Two Paths||At party||Short film|
|1911||The Italian Barber||At ball||Short film|
|1911||The Midnight Marauder||Mrs. Henry Blowhard||Short film|
|1911||Help Wanted||In Corridor||Short film|
|1911||His Trust||Woman at farewell||Short film|
|1911||The Dream||Short film
|1911||Fate's Turning||Short film|
|1911||A Wreath of Orange Blossoms||Short film|
|1911||Three Sisters||At Dancing Academy||Short film|
|1911||Sweet Memories||Young Lettie Terrell||Short film|
|1911||The Lighthouse Keeper||Wedding Guest||Short film
|1911||The Toss of a Coin||Short film|
|1911||Who's Who||Georgia||Short film|
|1911||The Courting of Mary||Short film|
|1911||Love at Gloucester Port||Alice Newall||Short film|
|1911||Little Red Riding Hood||Short film|
|1912||Love Finds the Way||Margaret Durand - Jack's Sweetheart||Short film|
|1912||The Belle of New Orleans||Short film|
|1912||A Mardi Gras Mix-Up||Paul's wife||Short film|
|1912||The Pilgrimage||Gretchen||Short film|
|1912||A Beast at Bay||Unconfirmed role||Short film|
|1912||Into the Jungle||Mary||Short film|
|1912||The Girl Strikers||Short film|
|1912||Lena and the Geese||Short film|
|1912||Love's Diary||Kate Morgan - the Stenographer||Short film|
|1912||A Child's Remorse||Short film|
|1913||When a Girl Loves||Betty||Short film|
|1913||For Old Time's Sake||Short film|
|1914||The House of Bondage||Mary Denbigh|
|1915||The Diamond from the Sky||Esther Stanley, the Gypsy Heroine||Lost film|
|1915||Fanchon, the Cricket||Madelon|
|1916||The Reward of Patience||Edith Penfield|
|1917||On the Level||Eleanore Duke|
|1918||Mile-a-Minute Kendall||Rosalynde d'Aubre|
|1918||The Man from Funeral Range||Dixie|
|1921||They Shall Pay||Margaret Seldon|
|1924||Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall||Jennie Faxton||Credited as Lottie Pickford Forrest|
|1925||Don Q, Son of Zorro||Lola||Credited as Lottie Pickford Forrest|
- Menefee, David W. (2012). Sweet Memories. Menefee Publishing Inc. ISBN 1-469-96695-6
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 8)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 14)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 18)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 42)
- (Whitfield 1997, pp. 95–96)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 22)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 62)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 82)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 89)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 110)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 171)
- Cade, Mary Ann. "The Lost Film Files". silentsaregolden.com. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 172)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 240)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 305)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 222)
- (Whitfield 1997, p. 188)
- "Niece of Mary Pickford Weds Radio Announcer". Ottawa Citizen. June 1, 1939. p. 23. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- "Lottie Pickford To Wed For Second Time Tonight". The Baltimore Sun. January 7, 1922. p. 2.
- "Lottie Pickford Divorced". Reading Eagle. February 16, 1928. p. 4. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- "Lottie Pickford on Third Honeymoon". Berkeley Daily Gazette. July 24, 1929. p. 7. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- "Lottie Pickford Obtains Divorce". The New York Times. February 17, 1933.
- "Lottie Pickford Dies After Lengthy Illness". The Evening Independent. December 10, 1936. p. 1. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
- "ASSOCIATES AT RITES FOR LOTTIE PICKFORD; More Than 150 Friends Gather at Wee Kirk o' the Heather for Funeral in Hollywood". The New York Times. December 13, 1936.
- (Whitfield 1997, pp. 305–307)
- Whitfield, Eileen. (1997). Pickford, The Woman Who Made Hollywood. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-813-12045-4
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