Mary Pickford mentions on sitcoms

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Harlowgold

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Mary Pickford mentions on sitcoms

PostThu May 24, 2018 2:39 pm

Just watched an old episode of MAUDE this afternoon and Maude and Vivian were on a game show where one of the questions was "Everybody knows Douglas Fairbanks Sr was married to America's sweetheart Mary Pickford but what famous movie star was Douglas Fairbanks Jr once married to?" After wracking her brain a bit Maude correctly stated Joan Crawford Didn't know "everybody" in the 70's knew Doug and Mary were once married but Mary's name recognition was still pretty high even after 40+ years off the screen. THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES repeated referred to her in episodes in the 1960's (as well as many other silent screen stars, Rudolph Valentino, Fairbanks, William S. Hart, Lillian Gish, Nita Naldi, among them - a clip from SON OF THE SHEIK is shown as the Clampetts attend the never-wired-for-sound movie theater back in Bugtussle - and of course Gloria Swanson starred in one episode in which the Clampetts financed a silent-movie comeback for Swanson - PASSION'S PLAYTHING!!) and Mary is also mentioned in an I LOVE LUCY episode in which the Ricardos and Mertzs sit around and watch an old movie on a tv screen with bad reception, first pondering if the "little girl" on the screen is Margaret O'Brien, then Shirley Temple, finally deciding it's Mary.


Are there other mentions of Mary or silent stars in sitcom episodes?
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CoffeeDan

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Re: Mary Pickford mentions on sitcoms

PostFri May 25, 2018 5:42 am

There's an episode of Gilligan's Island where the castaways find some trunks full of old movie equipment and costumes in the lagoon, and they take turns trying on the costumes. I remember Mary Ann (Dawn Wells) dressed up as Mary Pickford, and the Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.) dressed up as Rudolph Valentino. Ginger (Tina Louise) got into the act too, but I can't remember who she impersonated -- Clara Bow, maybe?
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Rick Lanham

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Re: Mary Pickford mentions on sitcoms

PostFri May 25, 2018 7:04 am

CoffeeDan wrote:There's an episode of Gilligan's Island where the castaways find some trunks full of old movie equipment and costumes in the lagoon, and they take turns trying on the costumes. I remember Mary Ann (Dawn Wells) dressed up as Mary Pickford, and the Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.) dressed up as Rudolph Valentino. Ginger (Tina Louise) got into the act too, but I can't remember who she impersonated -- Clara Bow, maybe?


Apparently Ginger as Theda Bara:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0844550/

Rick
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Jim Roots

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Re: Mary Pickford mentions on sitcoms

PostFri May 25, 2018 9:34 am

CoffeeDan wrote:There's an episode of Gilligan's Island where the castaways find some trunks full of old movie equipment and costumes in the lagoon, and they take turns trying on the costumes. I remember Mary Ann (Dawn Wells) dressed up as Mary Pickford, and the Skipper (Alan Hale, Jr.) dressed up as Rudolph Valentino. Ginger (Tina Louise) got into the act too, but I can't remember who she impersonated -- Clara Bow, maybe?


OMG!

Can you find a picture of Hale as Valentino? This I've gotta see!

Jim
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BankofAmericasSweetheart

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Re: Mary Pickford mentions on sitcoms

PostSun May 27, 2018 9:44 pm

Harlowgold wrote:Just watched an old episode of MAUDE this afternoon and Maude and Vivian were on a game show where one of the questions was "Everybody knows Douglas Fairbanks Sr was married to America's sweetheart Mary Pickford but what famous movie star was Douglas Fairbanks Jr once married to?" After wracking her brain a bit Maude correctly stated Joan Crawford Didn't know "everybody" in the 70's knew Doug and Mary were once married but Mary's name recognition was still pretty high even after 40+ years off the screen. THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES repeated referred to her in episodes in the 1960's (as well as many other silent screen stars, Rudolph Valentino, Fairbanks, William S. Hart, Lillian Gish, Nita Naldi, among them - a clip from SON OF THE SHEIK is shown as the Clampetts attend the never-wired-for-sound movie theater back in Bugtussle - and of course Gloria Swanson starred in one episode in which the Clampetts financed a silent-movie comeback for Swanson - PASSION'S PLAYTHING!!) and Mary is also mentioned in an I LOVE LUCY episode in which the Ricardos and Mertzs sit around and watch an old movie on a tv screen with bad reception, first pondering if the "little girl" on the screen is Margaret O'Brien, then Shirley Temple, finally deciding it's Mary.


Are there other mentions of Mary or silent stars in sitcom episodes?


I would venture to guess that silent stars would have been referenced mainly by the 40 + age range adults during the 1950s which included Lucille Ball's show, the Beverly Hillbillies(who were probably not in with the times) and other shows with people that were those generations between 1880s-1920s. If you find anybody born after those years, you're getting people that watched either the silent movie re-releases in the theaters/television or just awesome film buffs and historians. When I talked to my grandmother about silent movies(she was born in 1930) I thought she would be excited to talk about them. Instead, I received a pretty funny response from her that sounded almost like something a modern teenager would say(she was 80 years old at the time). She replied as if slightly insulted, "silent movies were before my time, daddy loved Mary Pickford but these silent stars were old fashioned and nobody my age were interested in those 'old pictures'." Needless to say, she was shocked that her youngest grand daughter ended up a big fan of Mary Pickford and silent films. Anyway, sorry for the digression. When those fresher contemporary sitcoms of the 60s featuring Dyke Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore came out, they were like my grandmother's generation, so their nostalgic memories would be more based on what was popular when they were kids, such as film and radio serials(buck rogers, dick tracy, tarzan,lone ranger, lassie,etc.) and famous film stars of the 1940s and 50s. Not to mention how WWII affected kids that were too young to be drafted and how attitudes shifted during the post WWII era. It's very similar to what William Holden's character in Sunset Blvd. feels when it came to silent movies and the stars. He probably could sit on the couch and watch a silent film in 1950, but after WWII and everything that has happened, it was all so very old fashioned and un-relatable to him even though silent movies were not that old, chronologically speaking. Stars like the top slapstick comics of the silent era had re-released movies since their movies held up longer so those younger generations did get exposed to them for the first time.
"It would have been more logical if silent pictures had grown out of the talkies instead of the other way around." - MP

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