Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson
Paramount Pictures


Gloria Swanson
Film: South side of the 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Gloria Swanson
TV: North side of the 6300 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Gloria May Josephine Swanson on March 27, 1899 in Chicago, Ill.
Died April 4, 1983 of heart problems in New York, NY

Gloria Swanson was a silent movie queen who became a symbol of Hollywood's long-gone golden years.

Swanson began her career at 15, retired in 1936 and then returned to the screen in 1949 to star in "Sunset Boulevard," the story of an aging, demented movie queen. She remained active professionally into her 70s.

Among her most widely acclaimed films were "Male and Female" (1919), "The Gilded Cage" (1922), "My American Wife" (1922), "Manhandled" (1924), "Stage Struck" (1925), "Sadie Thompson" (1928), "Indiscreet" (1931) and "Tonight or Never" (1931). She was nominated for three Oscars but did not win.

In 1951 she appeared in the Broadway stage hit "Twentieth Century" with Jose Ferrer, and in 1952 in "Nina" with David Niven. In 1971 she returned to Broadway for "Butterflies Are Free."

Swanson's former husbands include actor Wallace Beery, cafe owner Herbert K. Somborn, the Marquis de la Falaise de la Coudray, Irish sportsman Michael Farmer and businessman William N. Davey.

In the 1920s she also had an affair with Joseph P. Kennedy — the patriarch of the Kennedy family and father of John, Robert and Edward Kennedy. In her autobiography she said "he wanted to leave his wife and maintain a second household with me." But Boston Cardinal William O'Connell told Swanson that such an arrangement was as "impossible" as divorce.

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1927 Best Actress Sadie Thompson Nomination
    1929 Best Actress The Trespasser Nomination
    1950 Best Actress Sunset Blvd. Nomination

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