Friday, November 5, 2010

Gloria Swanson: The "Indiscreet" Leading Lady

Gloria Swanson started out in the silent film era of motion pictures and made over sixty films to her credit before talkies came to light. What a busy woman even turning out nine films out in one year!

                                           Gloria Swanson quote:
"I have decided that when I am a star, I will be every inch and every moment a star."
  • Born as Gloria May Josephine Svensson in Chicago, Illinois on March 27, 1897.
  • Height: 5' 1"
  • Reported that she earned $8,000,000 between 1918 and 1929
  • Did not enjoy acting in slapstick comedy, which was pretty most of her early career.
  • Cecil B. DeMille took the comedian and gave her the opportunity to become the vivacious and the big star she evolved into.
  • Had a love affair with Joseph P. Kennedy (father of John F. Kennedy).
  • She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures at 6748 Hollywood Boulevard and another for television at 6301 Hollywood Boulevard.
  • According to a later interview in the  1970's Gloria Swanson's two favroite handsome leading men were: William Holden and Laurence Olivier.

Gloria Swanson Quote:
"After 16 years in pictures I could not be intimidated easily, because I knew where all the skeletons were buried."

Gloria Swanson Getting Into The Business:
In 1915, Gloria with an aunt at 16 years old decided to go to a Chicago Movie Studio just to see how they were made. Gloria was already fascinated with the movie business at such an earliy age. The company actually took notice of the young and beautiful Gloria where she was then asked to do her frist role in a film as an extra in "His New Job" a film starring Charlie Chaplin.

Gloria Swanson's first more major role in the Chicago movie company was in "Sweedie Goes To College" (1915) as a college girl.  She starred in this film with Wallace Beery as the leading man whom they both started a love affair with. The young couple then wed and moved Hollywood for the big time!

By the time Gloria hit the glamorous Hollywood she started to churn out hit after hit being one of the hardest working women acrtresses. Unfortunately, her marriage to actor Wallace Beery did not last that long in Hollywood though she married six more times throughout her life!

Gloria Swanson Quote: I've given my memoirs far more thought than any of my marriages. You can't divorce a book.

Making It Big in Hollywood: Gloria madie it very big inn Holloywood in the silent era of films. She first started out with many comedy classics and then was noticed by Cecille B. DeMille to become the real lady that we all know and love that can captivate the screen with her smoldering looks and commanding stage presence.
Noteworthy Silent Films of Gloria Swanson:
Shifting Sands (1918)
Don't Change Your Husband (1919)
Why Chnge Your Wife? (1920)
The Affairs of Anatol (1921)
Beyond The Rocks (1922)
My American Wife (1922)
Madame Sans-Gene (1924)
The Love of Sunya (1927)
Sadie Thompson (1928)
Queen Kelly (1929)
(see a scene below of Q. Kelly & the story behind the making-of from Gloria!!!)
The Trespasser (1929)

In the 1920's Gloria Swanson was the Highest paid actress in Hollywood!!!

Recognition: Gloria during her career was nominated a total of 3 times for an Acaedmy Award as Beast Leading Actress though never won. Gloria Swanson did win a Golden Globe for her role as Norma Desmond in "Sunset Blvd"

Academy Awards, USA
1951 Nominated OscarBest Actress in a Leading Role
for: Sunset Blvd. (1950).

1930 Nominated OscarBest Actress in a Leading Role
for: The Trespasser (1929).

1929 Nominated OscarBest Actress in a Leading Role
for: Sadie Thompson (1928).


 Gloria Swanson Quote:
"All they had to do was put my name on a marquee and watch the money roll in."

  • Post Silent Films: Gloria was a great hit post silent films. When the talkies came in Gloria Swanson was at the age of 30.
  • ......stay tuned for more on Gloria Swanson's Bio in my next article PART 2 (including Sunset Blvd)

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