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Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson

Gloria May Josephine Swanson (March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983) was an American actress and producer. Swanson was the silent screen's most successful and highest paid star, earning $20,000 a week in the mid-1920s. Noted for her extravagance, Swanson earned $8 million from 1918 to 1929 and spent nearly all of it.Swanson starred in dozens of silent films, often under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille. In 1928, she was nominated for the first Academy Award ever given for Best Actress.Swanson was also one of the first women to produce her own films, making The Love of Sunya (1927) and Sadie Thompson (1928). In 1929, Swanson transitioned into talkies with her performance in The Trespasser. Personal problems and changing tastes saw her popularity wane during the 1930s and she subsequently ventured into theater and television. In 1950, after a virtual sixteen-year absence from the screen, Swanson achieved widespread critical acclaim and recognition for her role as Norma Desmond, a reclusive silent film star, in the critically acclaimed 1950 film Sunset Boulevard. The film earned her an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award win. In 1989, the film was among the first group of films to be chosen by the Library of Congress for preservation as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." For more than half a century, Swanson denied having an affair with Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., the father of future-President John F. Kennedy. Swanson later broke her silence, and wrote about the affair in her best-selling 1980 autobiography, Swanson on Swanson.

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