The U.S. Postal Service has honored many Hollywood luminaries with their own postage stamps, but the first actress to be immortalized on a U.S. postage stamp was the pioneering actress Mary Pickford. Pickford was a trailblazer in the early days of the film industry, and her stamp was released in 1979 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of her birth.
The First Hollywood Actress to Appear on a U.S. Postage Stamp
Mary Pickford was the first Hollywood actress to be featured on a U.S. postage stamp. The stamp was issued in 1979 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Pickford’s birth. It featured a portrait of the actress on one side, and a scene from her film "Little Annie Rooney" on the other.
Pickford was one of the first major stars of the silent film era. She was also one of the first women to become a successful producer and businesswoman in Hollywood. Pickford was a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and she was the first actress to receive an honorary Oscar.
The Pioneering Actress Who Broke the Stamp Barrier
Pickford’s stamp was a fitting tribute to her pioneering work in the film industry. She was one of the first actors to make a successful transition from silent films to talkies, and she was one of the first female producers in Hollywood. Pickford also helped to form one of the first major film studios, United Artists, with her husband Douglas Fairbanks and their close friends Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith.
In addition to her pioneering work in the film industry, Pickford was also a philanthropist and activist. She was a founding member of the Motion Picture Relief Fund, which helped to provide financial assistance to struggling actors and actresses. Pickford also worked to promote the rights of women in the film industry.
Mary Pickford was a pioneering actress who helped to shape the film industry as we know it today. Her stamp was a fitting tribute to her many accomplishments, and it remains a reminder of her lasting legacy.
On July 29, 2019, the United States Postal Service issued a commemorative postage stamp to honor one of the earliest movie stars, the legendary Hollywood actress Anna May Wong. The ongoing “Legendary Hollywood Actresses” series of stamps also features iconic stars such as Mae West, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe.
Anna May Wong was born in Los Angeles, California to second-generation Chinese-American parents in 1905. From the very start, she had a dream of becoming an actress and energy to spare in pursuing this goal. She started appearing in minor roles as a longshoreman, a maid, and other stereotypical parts, as these were the only roles available to an Asian actress at the time. Still, her talent and ambition pushed her on, and by the 1930s she had become a star, appearing in many silent and early sound films, such as the classic 1920s “Thief of Bagdad”, which she starred in alongside Douglas Fairbanks.
Aside from being a talented actress and ambitious woman, Wong was also an activist and vocal advocate for her community. She is remembered for actively pushing to break many of Hollywood’s stereotypes and expectations of Chinese-Americans, particularly during the period of anti-Chinese sentiment in the 1930s. In speaking out against such discrimination, Wong also called attention to the lack of opportunities for Asian-American actors.
In being the first Hollywood actress to appear on a U.S. postage stamp, Wong’s legacy lives on, and her place in cinema history is forever cemented. The U.S. Post hopes that this stamp serves as an inspiration to people of all backgrounds, and serves to remind us of the importance of breaking down barriers and creating equal opportunities.