AMPAS PAYS TRIBUTE TO FOUNDING FATHER FAIRBANKS
The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences announced on January 15th, 2009 the premiere of its new exhibit dedicated to movie idol Douglas Fairbanks. Fairbanks lived a multitalented, multifaceted life. His career as a silent film star who made the transition successfully to talkies is only one aspect of his life.
His accomplishments including life as a movie star, studio founder, philanthropist, and civic leader are illuminated through film clips, movie posters, props, costumes, original documents, and lovely photographic imagery.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said, “The exhibition spans from his earliest days in silent films through his transition into talkies, delves into his famous marriage to Mary Pickford and spotlights his friendships with such fellow Hollywood legends as Charlie Chaplin.”
Born in Denver, Colorado, Douglas Thomas Elton Ullman took the last name of his mother’s deceased first husband, John Fairbanks, as his stage name. His acting career began on a Denver stage at an early age, doing amateur theatre.
The 1920’s saw Fairbank’s success in many films. Such favorites as “The Mask of Zorro,” “The Thief of Bagdad,” “The Black Pirate,” and “Douglas Fairbanks as The Gaucho,” created an action-hero status that colored his career around the world.
His other accomplishments include; serving as the Academy’s first president, founder of United Artists, and along with his wife Mary Pickford, was the first to be immortalized in the Grauman’s Chinese Theater footprint ceremony. His popularity was enormous and that along with his international success cemented his status as the first “King of Hollywood.”
In celebration of the life and career of one of Hollywood’s earliest movie stars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will premiere its new exhibition, “Douglas Fairbanks: The First King of Hollywood,” on Saturday, January 24, at the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills. Admission is free.
“Douglas Fairbanks: The First King of Hollywood” has been organized in conjunction with the publication of the Academy’s new book, “Douglas Fairbanks.” Authored by Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta, with Robert Cushman as photographic editor, the book examines Fairbanks’s art and ventures behind his public persona, showcasing more than 200 photographs, some unseen for more than 75 years.
The exhibition is presented in association with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, whose collection includes a number of artifacts that will be on display.
“Douglas Fairbanks: The First King of Hollywood” will be open to the public through Sunday, April 19, in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery, located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. Admission is free.
(For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit http://www.oscars.org)