Pictured above: English: Aerial view of Pickfair, 1920. Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library’s Photo Collection
Hollywood’s Pickfair was a 42-room estate of two early silent film stars, America’s Sweetheart…Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks…everyone’s swashbuckling larger than life hero. The home was situated on a 56-acre estate in the city of Beverly Hills, California.
Pictured above: Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford
A Hollywood hotspot during the 1920s and 1930s, the wildly popular estate was designed by architect Wallace Neff and coined “Pickfair” by members of the media. It was once described by Life Magazine as “a gathering place only slightly less important than the White House, and much more fun.”
Receipt of an invitation to any Pickfair event was a coveted honor for anyone and most assuredly a certain sign of acceptance into the elite Hollywood niche!
Pickfair feted the who’s who guests of the day including next door neighbor, Charlie Chaplin, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Greta Garbo, George Bernard Shaw, Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, H.G. Wells, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Amelia Earhart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joan Crawford, Noël Coward, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, Pearl S. Buck, Charles Lindbergh, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Thomas Edison, Lillian Gish, Gloria Swanson, and the King and Queen of Siam.
The golden couple, Fairbanks and Pickford were divorced in January 1936, and Fairbanks moved out while Mary Pickford remained to live in the mansion with her third husband, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, until her passing in 1979.
Pickfair remained vacant for years after Mary’s death, but it was eventually sold to Los Angeles Lakers owner, Dr. Jerry Buss who maintained and preserved the estate.
In 1988, the estate was purchased by actress Pia Zadora and her husband Meshulam Riklis who, in 1990 demolished Pickfair to make way for a “Venetian style palazzo” built in its stead.