Gloria Swanson

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(PD) Image: New York Public Library
Swanson with Harrison Ford in Her Gilded Cage (1922).

Gloria Josephine May Swanson (March 27, 1899 — April 4, 1983) was an American silent film star and fashion icon of the 1920s, who made a comeback with her Oscar-nominated role in Sunset Boulevard (1950).

Swanson was born in Chicago and entered the acting world when she visited a film studio in 1914 and was asked to be an extra. She went on to make dozens of silent films, including Sadie Thompson (1928), for which she received the first of three Oscar nominations for Best Actress. The second came with her sound debut in The Trespasser (1929). Swanson's popularity declined in the 1930s, but she regained public recognition and her third nomination for Sunset Boulevard (1950),[1] in which she uttered one of the most famous lines in movie history:

All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.

—As Norma Desmond

During the Second World War, Swanson created a patents company which helped four Jewish scientists to escape the Nazis, on the condition that the company would benefit from their inventions.[2] She also had her own award-winning fashion designs, was married six times and had three children.

Footnotes

  1. Hollywood Walk of Fame: 'Gloria Swanson'. Accessed November 29, 2020.
  2. Vice: ''Sunset Boulevard' star Gloria Swanson helped Jewish inventors flee Nazi Germany'. May 4, 2017. Accessed November 29, 2020.