Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18: Gloria Swanson

On October 18, 1974, Gloria Swanson makes her final appearance in a made-for-theater film playing herself, in“Airport 1975”. (Her absolutely last acting role was a made-for-TV movie called “Killer Bees”.)

Swanson was the queen of the silent film stars and one of the few who made
the transition to‘the talkies’. The 5ft tall actress was also a fashion icon. Her fashion, hair and jewels were copied around the world, earning her the title of the screen’s first clothes horse and the most photographed woman in the world.
 (photo from wikipedia)

Swanson was married six times. Her 3rd husband was Henri, Marquis de la Falaise de la Coudraye, making Gloria the first film star to marry nobility. While still married to him, she had an affair that lasted for years with Joseph Kennedy, father of U.S. President John Kennedy.

She is best remembered for her role of Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard”, a part that was turned down by many actresses including Mae West and Mary Pickford. The film included many lines that are still quoted today, such as "I AM big .... It's the pictures that got small!" and of course her closing line of "All right Mr. DeMille ... I'm ready for my close-up." 

The famous closing scene of "Sunset Boulevard" can be seen here:



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