Jack Pickford

Jack Pickford (August 18, 1896 - January 3, 1933) was a Canadian-born American actor, brother of early filmstar Mary Pickford. After their father deserted the family, all three Pickford children had to take work as child actors. When Mary broke into films, Jack went to Hollywood with her, but was never in her league. When she signed her first $1 million contract, he was mostly playing the boy-next-door in B-films. Some claimed that he had great talent, but suffered from living in her shadow. At any rate, his life of drink, drugs, syphilis and scandal ruled out any career success, and his three marriages to showgirls all ended in failure. Pickford died in Paris of progressive multiple neuritis, aged thirty-six. Born John Charles Smith in Toronto, Ontario, Canada to John Charles Smith and Charlotte Hennessy Smith in 1896. His alcoholic father left the family while Pickford was a young child. This incident left the family impoverished. In desperation Charlotte Hennessy allowed Pickford and his two sisters Gladys and Lottie to appear onstage. This proved a good source of income and by 1900 the family was based in New York City acting in plays across the United States.


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