Female film actors have been important participants in the movie industry since its inception, and have made significant contributions both on-and offscreen. Silent film icon and “America's Sweetheart” Mary Pickford (1892-1979) was one of the most influential female actors.

She co-founded the United Artists Studio and was one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Pickford's immense popularity changed the very notion of film acting as a specific art, rather than filmed theater. She also used her star power to advocate for causes such as Liberty Bonds. Pickford also created charities for impoverished actors, thus exemplifying the historical, cultural, and political importance as well as the impact of leading female film actors.

Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, female film actors ...

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