Gloria Swanson

Donna Ingham

Joined May 2007

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Artist's Description

Retouching and colour of B & W version photograph of the beautiful Gloria Swanson.

Gloria Swanson Biography view link
Gloria Swanson was extremely popular with fans during the silent movie era and deeply respected amongst her peers. She had the uncanny ability to play both dramatic roles and comedies and was nominated three times for Oscars throughout her career. Even though she spent more time appearing in silent films than “talkies,” her best remembered role is that of Norma Desmond, the aging silent movie queen, in the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard.
She was born in 1897 in Chicago, IL with the name of Gloria May Josephine Svensson. When she was just 16 years old she attended a movie production studio with her Aunt to see how movies were made. Even at an early age she had stunning features and she was chosen from the crowd to be a walk-on performer in The Fable Of Elvira And Farina And The Meal Ticket. This was just the beginning. She would appear in several more uncredited films before she got her first bit part in Sweedie Goes To College (1916). She married her first husband, Wallace Beery, the same year and the two moved to California. Appearing in dozens of silent films, and by the mid 1920’s she was the highest paid actress in Hollywood. She divorced her first husband, but soon remarried. In total, she married seven men and rumour has it she earned and spent over $8 million dollars in the 20s.
Talking movie pictures began in 1927 when Gloria was 30 years old. Although she had no “vocal” training, she adapted quite easily and in 1928 she was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Sadie Thompson. In 1929, she was nominated again for her performance in The Trespasser. She slowly moved out of making films in the 30s (only making four in total) until her triumphant return in 1950 with sunset Boulevard. Once again she was nominated for her performance, but alas, the golden trophy eluded her once again. Considered one of the best movies of all time, Gloria’s performance was stellar. She appeared in a few more films in the 50s, but then retired from film. She appeared on television programs sporadically throughout the 60s and had one last shining moment in the 1975 film Airport 1975 where she played herself.
Gloria took to art in the 70s with a new career as a sculptress. Her work was exhibited in a London gallery in 1979.
Gloria passed away on April 4, 1983 in New York City at the age of 84.

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Artwork Comments

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