Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson - c. 1920s.

During the silent era Gloria Swanson was the Queen of Hollywood. She was a modern woman, an early sex symbol and personified glamour. Swanson was one of the most photographed women in the world. She had to fight to prove her talent as an actress and was nominated for an Academy Award three times for her roles in Sadie Thompson (1928), The Trespasser (1929) and Sunset Boulevard (1950). Swanson is the first ever to be nominated for back to back Academy Awards. She is best known for her role as Norma Desmond. In addition to films Swanson appeared in the theater and television.

In 1916 she started working for Mack Sennett. At age 17 she married her frequent Keystone co-star Wallace Beery. The marriage ended in divorce. Swanson was married a total of six times.

Cecil B. DeMille enhanced her look and transformed her into a glamorous star. At that time she starred in costume dramas and had lavish wardrobes. She was a trendsetter in fashion.

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In 1927 Swanson joined United Artists. Her first film for UA was The Love of Sunya. After that she starred in the controversial Sadie Thompson. Swanson was able to transition to talkies with her film The Trespasser. In 1950 Gloria Swanson starred in her greatest role as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard.

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Some of her other films include Don’t Change Your Husband (1919), Male and Female (1919), Why Change Your Wife? (1920), The Affairs of Anatol (1921), Beyond the Rocks (1922), Zaza (1923), and Madame Sans-Gene (1925) to name a few.

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Gloria Swanson will always be a legend of the silent screen.

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