Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Mary Pickford & The Oscars

Pickford_maryMary Pickford was a famous actress who won two Oscars for her work: best actress for Coquette (1929) and Lifetime Achievement (1976).

Mary died in 1979.  The two Oscar statuettes she received are now the center of dispute.  So too is an Oscar her husband, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, received when he won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (1976).

The Oscars are now in the hands of Kim Boyer, Virginia Patricia Casey, and Marian Stahl who inherited the statuettes through Rogers' second wife (Beverly).  They want to sell them to raise money.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wants to block the sale claiming that the Academy is entitled to buy back the statuettes for $10 each.  Under current rules, recipients are bound by the $10 buy back rule but Mary won hers before the rule was enacted.  However, the Academy claims that she signed an agreement after she won her second Oscar agreeing to the $10 buy back for both awards.

On December 15, 2008, a Los Angeles jury agreed with the Academy deciding that the women are bound by Mary's agreement.

See AFP, Women barred from selling Mary Pickford Oscar, Yahoo!News, Dec. 15, 2008.


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