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Catering to the interests of international quality arthouse cinema and all aspects relating to distribution, promotion and networking at www.digitfilms.com. Catch up on pictoral reports of events in exotic places and neorealistic works on www.cinepobre.netfirms.com. Contact Helen at helentheresa@gmail.com
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Ron and Roxanne Rogers

PICKFAIR Heirs lose KEY to Fabulous ESTATE

During her busy lifetime, silent screen diva Mary Pickford  Pickfair
collected opulent furnishings, decorative art, jewelry and fittings to adorn PICKFAIR, the Beverly Hills Georgian manor she and Douglas Fairbanks Sr. constructed in Beverly Hills when they married.

The glamourous mansion is now up for sale at $60 million. Designed
by California architect Wallace Neff in 1919 and named after its
original residents -- silent film actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary
Pickford --
the house was originally a hunting lodge. It was later transformed into
a 22-room mansion and is believed to be the first private property in
Los Angeles to have its own swimming pool. In the 1920s, visitors to the
home included everybody who was anybody -- George Bernard Shaw,
AlbertEinstein, H.G. Wells, Amelia Earhart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joan
Crawford and Noel Coward.

Located at 1143 Summit Drive, in the San Ysidro Canyon near Los
Angeles, California, the property was a hunting lodge when purchased by
Fairbanks and Pickford in 1919. They renovated extensively to transform
the lodge into a 22 room mansion luxuriously decorated with ceiling
frescos and the highest quality art and furnishings available. The
property was said to have been the first private property in the Los
Angeles area to include a swimming pool (set in a large formal garden).

During the 1920s the house became the focal point for social
activities, and the couple became famous for entertaining there. An
invitation to Pickfair was a sign of social acceptance into the closed
Hollywood community, and European royalty was also accommodated and
entertained at the mansion. Dinners at Pickfair were legendary.
Fairbanks and Pickford were divorced in January 1936, and Pickford resided in the mansion with her third husband, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, until her death in 1979. A recluse in her later years, Pickford received few visitors.

It stood empty for several years after Pickford's death and was sold
to Los Angeles Lakers owner, Dr. Jerry Buss, before being purchased by
actress Pia Zadora and her husband Meshulam Riklis. They announced they
were planning renovations to the famous building but later revealed
that the house had in fact been demolished and a new larger mansion
constructed in its place.aced with public criticism, Zadora defended
her family's actions, stating that the house was in a poor state of
repair, and was infested by termites.

The only remaining artifacts from the original Pickfair are the gates to the estate with their prominent P motif.

Though Fairbanks left her for a younger woman after many years of
marriage, Mary Pickford continued to live in the house with her devoted
subsequent husband Buddy Rogers, for over 50 years in all. Since she
wanted to have more of a family life, the couple adopted a boy, Ronald "Ronnie" Charles Rogers, and a girl, Roxanne
but there are no direct heirs, since Roxanne passed away recently of
'ostereoporosis' and Ronald after a troublesome youth involving prisons
terms for theft and drugs, was found in Central Park toothless and has
literally disappeared from the circuit.

 

Ron and Roxanne Rogers

How did such a picture-perfect family end up this way ? According to Nicholas Eliopoulos, producer and director of

MARY PICKFORD, THE MUSE OF THE MOVIES says : " It isn't really that Mary was a bad mother, but you can't expect someone over 50 adopting with no

previous experience with children, and have them turn out as model kids."


But Pickford was not a loving mother and paid little attention to
her kids. The split occurred when 18-year old Roxanne fell for a boy
that Mary did not approve of AT ALL and refused to give her consent for
their wedding at Pickfair. Consequently, her daughter ran away with her
own choice and spent many years cut off from the estate and her adopted
parents, with no financial support.

Appearing briefly in the documentary, she seems hardened, haggard...
"She had a very tough life", says Nicholas. "You should have seen her
before they put the makeup on, for the film", he adds . "Unfortunately,
the relations never improved throughout the years with Mary who was a
tough old bird, but Roxanne did have a daughter 'Katina' and
unfortunately, passed away a year ago in her early fifty's from
'Ostereoporosis', believe it or not."


Growing up at Pickfair

The children's life in a Hollywood mansion was not normal. "It was so
big," Ronnie would remember, "you needed a road map to find the
bathroom. I was in awe, but they told me I was going to be living
there." Pickford and Rogers treated the children like theatrical props,
sending them to boarding schools and posing them in family photographs
when they were home on visits. Pickford became critical of their
physical imperfections, including Ronnie's small stature and Roxanne's
crooked teeth. Both children would later remark that their mother was
too self-interested to provide genuine maternal love.


Out of Sight

As Ronnie entered adolescence, he became cold towards his mother. His
sister grew rebellious. Both children married in their late teens, and
Ronnie became so troubled that he once attempted suicide. Pickford went
to see him in the hospital, complaining that he had interrupted a
well-needed rest she was taking. It was at this point that the children
faded from the public eye. Pickford and Rogers stopped talking about
them and their friends stopped asking.


Deprived

Journalists reported that Roxanne and Ron worked odd jobs in the 1970s,
and both lacked money. Devoted Pickford followers wondered why the
children of a wealthy Hollywood icon should be financially deprived.
After Pickford's death, their financial straits did not improve.
Pickford's original will had granted each child $15,000, which she
upped to $50,000 before she died. But the actual amounts they received
from the estate were significantly smaller, according to Ronnie. Still,
he had kind words for Mary Pickford. "I miss my mother," he would say
in 2003. "Things didn't work out that much. You know. But I'll never
forget her. I think that she was a good woman."

 

Nicholas Eliopoulos adds : "
I have a lot of Roxanne on film praising her mother and loving growing up at Pickfair...
it's
just sad they never got much money from it...but the Grandchildren all
got money for schooling, college as such, but they had to prove they
were registered etc...."


After Mary Pickford died, the entire estate reverted to Buddy
Rogers who remarried a real estate agent, Beverly, whose nieces in
turn, now stand as heirs given that both Buddy Rogers and Beverly
themselves died over the last few years.

This brings us to the part about the Oscars that Mary sold. The
nieces of Beverly Rogers say Beverly and Buddy claimed that Mary never
signed the Academy paper indicating they were in 1st position to get
the Oscar's back for
$10...The Academy is seeking to block the sale of the 3 statuettes and
a Judge has been appointed to rule whether Pickford signed away her
rights to sell the 3 statues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ron and Roxanne Rogers
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