Gloria Josephine May Swanson (March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983) was an American actress, producer and business woman. She starred in dozens of silent films and was nominated three times for an Academy Award as Best Actress. She was born in Chicago and raised in a military family that moved from base to base. Her schoolgirl crush on Essanay Studios actor Francis X. Bushman led to her aunt taking her to tour the actor's Chicago studio. The 15-year-old Swanson was offered a brief walk-on for one film as an extra, beginning her life's career in front of the cameras. Swanson was soon hired to work in California for Mack Sennett's Keystone Studios comedy shorts opposite Bobby Vernon. She was eventually recruited by Famous Players-Lasky/Paramount Pictures, where she was put under contract for seven years. In 1925, Swanson joined United Artists as one of the film industry's pioneering women filmmakers. She produced and starred in the 1928 film Sadie Thompson, earning her a nomination for Best Actress at the first annual Academy Awards. Her sound film debut performance in the 1929 The Trespasser, earned her a second Academy Award nomination. After almost two decades in front of the cameras, her film success waned during the 1930s. Swanson's comeback role in the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard earned her a Golden Globe Award and a third nomination for an Academy Award. She only made three more films, but guest starred on several television shows, and acted in road productions of stage plays.