They say it’s a man’s world and that Hollywood is a boys club. These influential women are the entertainers and icons that forever changed the film industry. Some became influential for the jobs they held, the stories they told, the awards they won or the causes they support. All of them have turned our expectations upside-down. From the silent movies to the Golden Age of cinema, until today.
These women prove that it’s all about what you bring to the table, not your gender, and that with enough determination, talent and skill, anyone can leave their mark on film history.
1. Mary Pickford – Actress, Producer, Studio Founder
Gladys Smith, AKA Mary Pickford, wasn’t just one of the biggest stars of the silent film era and the original “America’s Sweetheart” (about 70 years before Meg Ryan nabbed the title), but also the co-founder of two film studios and the Academy of Motion Pictures (as in The Academy Awards).
Appropriately enough, she won the second ever Academy Award for Best Actress. She wasn’t only one of the first film stars in history, but also an astute businesswoman, patriotic activist during WWI and a meticulous producer, in an era when draconian laws shackled most actresses as passive production pawns.