Pickfair Found in the 1940 Census

Posted April 12, 2012 by Amanda | No Comment

Last week we showcased a few celebrities we found in the 1940 U.S. census. During our research, we also discovered some celebrity neighbors! Mary Pickford, Fred Astaire and Charlie Chaplin all lived on the same street in Beverly Hills, California!

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Actress Mary Pickford was living at 1143 Summit Drive with her husband Charles Buddy Rogers. During her marriage with Douglas Fairbanks, the home was known as “Pickfair” by the press and was once a hot spot of Hollywood’s social activities. The home was designed by architect Wallace Neff for the couple and entertained the crème de la crème of Hollywood and royalty. The couple divorced in 1936. She married Rogers in 1937 and lived at the home until her death.

Aerial view of Pickfair

On the same block at 1121 Summit Drive lived actor Fred Astaire, his wife Phyllis, their son Fred II and his stepson Peter. Included in their household was a butler, the butler’s wife, a cook from Sweden, a maid and a nurse for the children.

And just next door at 1085 Summit Drive lived Charlie Chaplin and his “wife”, silent film actress Paulette Goddard. Controversy surrounded the status of their relationship. The pair had lived together for a number of years and refused to comment on their marital status. It is believed that this eliminated Paulette from consideration for a number of film roles. After the end of their relationship, the couple claimed publicly that they had been secretly married in 1936. Some believed the statement was made to prevent further damage to Paulette’s career. Chaplin was also a frequent visitor of Pickfair and a close friend of Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford. The trio, along with D.W. Griffith, co-founded United Artist in 1919.

Have you found any famous neighbors while you were searching for your family in the 1940 census?

Post written by Amanda

Amanda is the Marketing Communications Manager at Geni. If you need any assistance, she will be happy to help!

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