Dec. 4, 1923: Los Angeles celebrates Mary Pickford Day with an appearance by the silent screen star, her mother, Charlotte, and her husband, Douglas Fairbanks, before a crowd of fans (mostly women, The Times noted) at Pershing Square.
Speaking to the crowd without amplification, Pickford could hardly be heard by the crowd, but The Times reported that she devoted her address to the problem of the throngs of aspiring actors and actresses hoping to storm the gates of the movie studios.
The Times said: “It seems that the Chamber of Commerce statistics show that some 10,000 young men and women, less than legal age, come to this city every month to seek jobs in pictures, and of course only a small part of them have any talents or, if so, have the good fortune in the struggle to find places, for the directors are deluged with applications.”
Pickford didn’t discourage young people from seeking stardom, but she warned that they should expect to work for five years before attaining stardom and if they failed, be prepared for another line of work.
“The girls should be accompanied by their mothers,” Pickford warned, a strong rebuttal to the notion that at some point Hollywood “lost its innocence.” Hollywood never had any innocence to lose.
ps: Build a home in Inglewood, which boasted that it kept out people of color!