Katie Lynn Birchard, AKA "Hala Pickford" has an ACTIVE Arrest Warrant, and in conjunction with Felony Charges, is WANTED in the State of California. There is currently a FIVE-THOUSAND DOLLAR REWARD for information leading to her arrest. Birchard should be considered Armed and Dangerous. If you spot Katie Lynn Birchard, immediately call 911. Do NOT approach her.

Have You Been A Victim Of Evelyn Zumaya, Katie Lynn Birchard, Hala Pickford, Hala Kitty?

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Martha The "Brick Layer" Speaks! (Hala Pickford, "¿Historian?")

Today, we have a special guest with us to help further our research on "Hala Pickford." There has been much confusion about her "meticulous research" that has been brought to our attention, and so, with the help of Martha The "Brick-Layer," we'd like to clarify some points for our readers.

--On October 19, 2009, Hala Pickford advised her many four followers on “How to Write a Silent Film Biography,” which you can read here, although we don’t recommend it. She begins this lesson by announcing:
"I hate self proclaimed titles. A lot of people like to dub themselves ‘experts’ or ‘authorities’ or ‘historians.’ I like to think those are titles one can only earn, but that doesn’t stop people from taking them. I could hear a million old gasp-y shocked breaths if I declared myself any of the above...I may be no Kevin Brownlow [ed. she got that one right] but I research everything meticulously. The Cinecon crowd might not like it but I probably deserve some such title or the other."
We would like to point out that although Miss Pickford “hates self proclaimed titles,” it took her only to the paragraphs' end to reward herself with one.

Miss Pickford usually does not hesitate to insult and belittle the work of others, even as she trumpets her own "mad skilz" as a historical researcher; but friends, we now have a golden opportunity to compare some of Hala Pickford’s “meticulous” research with the work done by some of the “old gasp-y” crowd. Let us contrast a few paragraphs from two online biographies of silent film star Nita Naldi: that by Hala Pickford  here, and than by some “old gaspers” on the website “Nita Naldi, Silent Vamp."  After we finish this interesting exercise in critical thinking, you can decide for yourself exactly which title Miss "Pickford" deserves.

Hala Pickford tells us that “Nita was born Nonna Dooley in March 1895.” Hala doesn’t give us much in the way of sourcing for her biography, but she does drop this tidbit: she derives her information from the 1900 census, which the “Nita Naldi, Silent Vamp” biographers have kindly posted here. Censuses are notoriously unreliable about such information, a fact Miss Pickford was warned about (repeatedly), but which she chose to ignore. The accurate Nita Naldi website states that Nita’s birth name was Mary Dooley and that her birth date was November 13, 1894. As evidence they supply Nita’s birth certificate, along with the birth and death certificates of Nita’s siblings, here.
Meticulous? You decide.

Hala tells us that Nita’s brother was named “Frank Naldi” and that he joined Nita in creating a “song and dance act.” This interesting data point was apparently derived from the information on the 1900 and 1910 censuses, combined with the name “Daniel Francis” carved on the family gravestone (Click For Source), and a September 1924 newspaper interview with a Frank Naldi who claimed to be Nita’s brother. The accurate Nita Naldi website, however, states that Nita’s brother was named Daniel Aloysius Dooley, that he joined the Army, married, had a child, studied law, and worked in a bank. Their sources? Censuses, his draft registration, marriage and death records, and discussions with Nita’s family. His obituary (which can be read here) and his grandchildren support Silent Vamp biographers' version of events, rather than Hala Pickford’s.

Meticulous? You decide.

So who was this “Frank Naldi?” We queried the “Nita Naldi, Silent Vamp” owners and received this response: “Not Nita’s brother.

So who was this “Daniel Francis?” The Nita Naldi website has provided us with information from the cemetery interment record:
“Note: although the stone above the Cronin family plot is carved with five names, there are fifteen people, representing three generations and three marriage-related families (Dunphy, Cronin, and Dooley), buried in this plot. Most are infants, the children of Daniel and Margaret Dunphy Cronin (Nita’s maternal grandparents), and Nita’s infant siblings, the children of Patrick and Julia Cronin Dooley [ed. Nita’s parents]. The names carved on the stone are Nita, her mother Julia (Cronin) Dooley, Mary and Bridget Dunphy (the siblings of John and Sr. Mary Nonna Dunphy, and Margaret Dunphy Cronin), and Daniel Francis Cronin, infant son of Daniel and Margaret Dunphy Cronin.
In other words, “Daniel Francis” was Nita’s uncle... or he would have been had he lived.

Meticulous? You decide.

Pickford also seems confused about the names carved on Nita’s gravestone, stating:
“...only her [Nita’s] mother would be buried under the name ‘Dooley,’ everyone else was buried under the name ‘Dunphy,’ likely an influence from Mary Nonna, or the fact that this was their grandmother’s maiden name.”
Pickford does not provide any analysis for this odd statement, but as the sourcing from the accurate Nita Naldi website illuminates, the other people listed on the Calvary Cemetery gravestone were called “Dunphy” because their name was indeed Dunphy.

Meticulous? You decide.

Pickford discusses Nita’s mother.
“To make matters worse, Naldi’s mother soon took ill. Julia spent some of 1910 with her mother and children, but eventually was enumerated in the St Lawrence Hospital that year.”
Miss Pickford has not provided a citation for this statement and we do not find this information anywhere on the “Nita Naldi, Silent Vamp” website. We queried the “Nita Naldi, Silent Vamp” biographers, and received this response: 
"We presume this information was derived from an entry on the 1910 census, 1910; Census Place: Ogdensburg Ward 4, Saint Lawrence, New York; Roll: T624_1075; Page:10A; Enumeration District: 160; Image: 510. We do not include this on our site because we do not think everyone named Julia Dooley who lived in the State of New York was Nita’s mother.
The St. Lawrence Hospital in Ogdensburg, New York was a state-run facility in upstate New York for the care of the insane. If Nita’s mother was at such a facility she was more than likely legally committed through a court action, which means there might well be supporting documentation available. However, since we are not making the claim that the person on this census record is Nita’s mother, it is not our responsibility to look for it."
No, that would be Miss Pickford’s responsibility.

Meticulous? You decide.

Later on, when discussing Nita’s marriage to J. Searle Barclay, Jr., Hala advises us first that the two were married for only a short time and then split; a few paragraphs later she contradicts herself, saying
"The pair had been together for eleven years when they separated...Naldi returned to New York, without her husband, in late 1931, under the name Nita Naldi Barclay."
There is no citation for this statement, but the “Nita Naldi, Silent Vamp” website has provided us with this Ship’s Manifest for a port arrival on October 22, 1931, here. Nita Naldi Barclay is indeed listed on this manifest, at #13. However, right above Nita’s name, at #12, is Nita’s husband, Searle Barclay--and both give their addresses as the Plaza Hotel. We will go out on a limb and suggest that Nita and her husband did not get separate rooms. We queried the Silent Vamp biographers as to when, exactly, Naldi and her husband split up. Their response? “They didn’t.

Meticulous? You decide.

Perhaps our favorite howler occurs when Pickford discusses Nita’s father.
“Patrick appears to still have been alive in 1910, being enumerated in a boarding house not far from where his family lived. Of the boarders, there were two German widowers and a 28 year old Irish immigrant named Martha who was also said to be widowed. She had immigrated in 1906, leaving the possibility that Naldi’s parents had ended their marriage due to some sort of affair.”
Setting aside the incoherent sentence structure, this is a flimsy and downright dangerous speculation to suck from a census enumeration, which is, as usual, Pickford’s sole source. The interpretation becomes even more bizarre when we actually look at the census record itself, which the accurate Naldi website has kindly posted here.  The “28 year old Irish immigrant named Martha” (number 56 on the enumeration sheet) is, in fact, a 28 year old male bricklayer named Martin. While this would certainly put an interesting spin on the breakup of Nita’s family, it is—sadly—beyond the scope of this inquiry.

Meticulous? You decide.

Finally, in the introductory paragraph of her Nita Naldi “biography,” Miss Pickford makes this surprising claim:
"Nitanaldi.com kindly stole research from this article without credit. Not surprising considering its run by Valentino Kookies."
We wonder. What “research” did the Nita Naldi website steal from Miss Pickford? (And why on earth would they want to?) Miss Pickford cannot even read the few records she has bestirred herself to find, and those few items she has found are all non-copyrightable public record—in other words, available for anyone to read, interpret, and cite. Hala Pickford’s “mad skilz” as a researcher and historian consist of locating a few census images and taking a quick pass through digitized newspapers. She then takes what little she finds, misinterprets what she doesn’t misread, studiously avoids critical thinking, and sews it all together into a crazy quilt of errors, confusion, blather, and braggadocio, not a single word of which any reader fill find duplicated on “Nita Naldi, Silent Vamp.”

To sum it up: there are poodles out there who better historians than Hala Pickford.

You decide.

Thanks to Martha, The "Brick-Layer" for all of your insight. I think we know what title we'd assign Ms. "Pickford," and it certainly would not be the title of "Historian."

Until Next Time,
The EXPOSE "Hala Pickford" Team


  1. What a truly entertaining litany of laughs. I've decided: LUNATIC!

  2. I think the poodles of the world should rise up at such an insult to their intelligence.

  3. Hala Pickford appears to have no better skills at indepth research than she does in self bleaching that over processed hair of hers. I saw her one time at a meeting of the American Cinematesque and oh jolly, she's an odd duck. I asked someone about her and she whispered 'she's poison, being sued everywhere. Stay clear of her' Thanks for pointing out who's doing the REAL research.

  4. Haha I totally agree, she has a girlfriend named Sandy also!

  5. Oh my God, what *is* that caterwauling?

  6. Youve heard of the dog who ate the homework? I bet Hala Pickford (in her pix she like a butt ugly mutt) ate her own research in a loose moment. Ha ha ha. Rock on, man.