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Lyon, Ben (06 February 1901–22 March 1979), entertainer and film executive, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Benjamin Lyon, a furniture salesman, and Alvina (maiden name unknown). Raised in a family devoted to amateur music and theatrics, Lyon abandoned thoughts of a physician’s career when he received $5 for a film bit part. At seventeen he played juvenile leads on Broadway. In 1923 he went to Hollywood to perform in films produced by ...


Mary Pickford Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-93380).


Pickford, Mary (08 April 1892–29 May 1979), silent film star and founding member of United Artists film corporation, was born Gladys Louise Smith in Toronto, Ontario, the daughter of John Charles Smith, a ship’s steward, and Charlotte Hennessey. The family faced destitution when John Smith was killed aboard ship in 1897. Pickford’s mother held the family together by agreeing to allow her children to appear on the stage. Pickford, sometimes billed as “Baby Gladys Smith,” proved a popular performer in cheap melodramas. From 1898 until 1907 the Smiths toured with various theatrical companies, earning barely enough money to survive from season to season....