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Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson (March 27, 1899 - April 4, 1983) was an American actress. Born Gloria May Josephine Svensson in Chicago, Illinois, she grew up in Chicago, Key West, Florida and Puerto Rico. Her film debut was in 1915, as an extra in The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket, but she was a star by the next year, in A Dash of Courage. She played many Mack Sennett slapstick comedies, but in 1919 she signed with Cecil B. DeMille, and he turned her into a romantic lead.

One of her many lovers was Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., the father of President John F. Kennedy. The elder Kennedy produced Swanson's Queen Kelly, which was directed by Eric von Stroheim. When Swanson starred in the 1950 Sunset Blvd., it is scenes of Queen Kelly that her character, Norma Desmond, is watching (with von Stroheim playing her butler).

Swanson made it into the talkies, even singing in Music in the Air, and she hosted a television anthology series, Crown Theatre with Gloria Swanson, in which she occasionally acted. Her last Hollywood movie was Three for Bedroom C in 1952, although she did appear in the Italian movie Mio figlio Nerone. Her last acting role was in the television horror film Killer Bees in 1974.

She earned Academy Award Nominations for Sunset Blvd. (1951), The Trespasser (1930) and Sadie Thompson (1929).

Gloria Swanson was cremated, her ashes buried at the Church of Heavenly Rest, in New York City.

She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - one for motion pictures at 6748 Hollywood Blvd. and one for television at 6301 Hollywood Blvd.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Gloria Swanson Facts

Birth NameGloria May Josephine Svensson
BirthdayMarch 27, 1899
BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, USA
Date of deathApril 4, 1983 (age 84)
Height4' 11½" (1m51)  How tall is Gloria Swanson compared to you?
Awards1951 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama (for Sunset Boulevard)

Selected Filmography

Not available.