Douglas Fairbanks in Wild and Woolly (top) and Don Q. Son of Zorro (bottom). Below right, Fairbanks can be seen in The Matrimaniac.
The exhibition “Douglas Fairbanks: The First King of Hollywood” will premiere on Saturday, January 24, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills. Admission is free.
As per the Academy's press release, the exhibition will focus on superstar Douglas Fairbanks' “multifaceted life as a movie star, studio [co-]founder [that's United Artists], philanthropist and civic leader through film clips, movie posters, props, costumes, original documents and stunning photographic imagery. 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.” (By the way, the other UA founders were Pickford, Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith.)
Here's hoping that the exhibit will feature some interesting information on Fairbanks' behind-the-scenes life, considering that his fairy-tale marriage to Pickford ended in a bitter divorce involving a third party (Sylvia Ashley), and that Fairbanks had a troubled relationship with son Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (from a previous marriage).
Among Fairbanks' most successful films are his adventure epics of the 1920s, including The Mark of Zorro, The Three Musketeers, Robin Hood, The Thief of Bagdad, Don Q Son of Zorro, The Black Pirate, The Gaucho, and The Iron Mask.
Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood
“Douglas Fairbanks: The First King of Hollywood” has been organized in conjunction with the publication of the Academy's new book Douglas Fairbanks. Written by Jeffrey Vance with Tony Maietta, and with Robert Cushman as photographic editor, the book “examines Fairbankss' art and ventures behind his public persona, showcasing more than 200 photographs, some unseen for more than 75 years.”
Douglas Fairbanks in The Gaucho
“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 www.oscars.org.
Photos: Courtesy of AMPAS