Gloria Swanson Author:Richard Hudson, Raymond Lee Rescued from Mack Senett's wild slapstickers by Cecil B. DeMille, monarch of the bathtub, boudoir, and the blase, the doll-like Gloria Swanson was molded into a living symbol of glamour, who excited and fascinated movie fans around the world with her pioneer silents. She reigned as the screen's most charming and alluring queen in such dr... more »amas as Why Change Your Wife, Don't Change Your Husband, and For Better, For Worse.
Criticized as a clothes-horse (she set styles from Kansas City to Calcutta, Moscow to Paris), Gloria demanded the opportunity to prove she was an actress. Leaving DeMille's direction with his blessing, under Paramount-Artcraft she made the best of her chance and ripped out the clothes-horse label with such dynamic performances as a Parisian Gamine-Apache in The Humming Bird, a pathetic shopworn girl in Manhandled, and in The Coast of Folly she played the difficult dual role of mother and daughter.
The inimitable star bridged the media and had a fair success on the legitimate stage and television. She also proved herself an excellent businesswoman with her successful adventures in food, clothes, and cosmetic enterprises.
Touring Russia with her health foods, she carried a print of Sunset Boulevard. Whenever it was shown she received a standing ovation, a nostalgic reminder of the Oscar she lost to Judy Holliday, with the wry comment: "My dear, couldn't you have waited? You have so much ahead of you, so many years, and this was my only chance." It was ironically Judy Holliday's also, as she later lost her life to cancer.
Authors Raymond Lee and Richard M. Hudson have captured in words and pictures a revealing summation of this amazing and incomparable woman. There are more than 300 remarkable photographs--stills from her films, candid shots, and portraits--which show many different facets of the star. In the accompanying text, the authors have assembled all the basic facts of Gloria's career; the complete filmography lists each of the pictures Gloria Swanson made, and includes the year, cast, and director whenever possible.
But as the authors readily admit, no one could ever really encompass in print the body and soul of La Swanson. For example, she once remarked, "I not only believe in divorce, I sometimes think I don't believe in marriage." This from a woman who married five times and mothered three children.
For almost 50 years this controversial daughter of an army officer has fought bigger battles than her father ever did and won out against all odds. Time and age gave up long ago. Recently she declared, "There must be another great role in some script writer's head...for me." Her fans of yesterday and those who will become fans perusing this striking pictorial tribute are sure to agree with her.« less