The First “King of Hollywood” to Resume Reign in Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills, CA (January 15, 2009) — 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.

The exhibition will illuminate Fairbanks’s multifaceted life as a movie star, studio founder, 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.

In the 1920s, Fairbanks’s success in such films as “The Mask of Zorro,” “The Thief of Bagdad,” “The Black Pirate” and “Douglas Fairbanks as The Gaucho” sealed his action-hero status around the world.
In addition to being regarded as one of silent Hollywood’s greatest stars, Fairbanks also was one of its most respected citizens.  He served as the Academy’s first president, was a 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.  Fairbanks’s enormous popularity and far-reaching success cemented his status as the first “King of Hollywood.”

“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 with 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.  Douglas Fairbanks is available for purchase wherever books are sold.

The exhibition is presented in association with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, whose collection includes a number of the 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 www.oscars.org.

Contact Information

For more information, contact

Teni Melidonian
(310) 247-3090
tmelidonian@oscars.org

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