Gloria Swanson

Gloria Swanson

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1899-03-27 · Deathday: 1983-04-04 (84 years old) · Gender: Female · Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois, USA

76 Movies · 18 TV shows

Also Known As: Gloria May Josephine Svensson · Gloria Mae

Biography

Gloria Josephine May Swanson (March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983) was an American actress, producer and business woman. She first achieved fame acting in dozens of silent films in the 1920s and was nominated three times for an Academy Award as Best Actress, most famously for her 1950 comeback in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, which also earned her a Golden Globe Award. Swanson 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 received renewed praise for her comeback role in Sunset Boulevard (1950). She only made three more films, but guest starred on several television shows, and acted in road productions of stage plays.

Personal Life

Swanson was a vegetarian and an early health food advocate who was known for bringing her own meals to public functions in a tin box. In 1975, Swanson traveled the United States and helped to promote the book Sugar Blues written by her husband, William Dufty. He also ghostwrote Swanson's 1981 autobiography Swanson on Swanson, which became a commercial success. The same year, she designed a stamp cachet for the United Nations Decade for Women, which was her last creative project.She was a pupil of the yoga guru Indra Devi and was photographed performing a series of yoga poses, reportedly looking much younger than her age, for Devi to use in her book Forever Young, Forever Healthy; but the publisher Prentice-Hall decided to use the photographs for Swanson's book, not Devi's. In return, Swanson, who normally never did publicity events, helped to launch Devi's book at the Waldorf-Astoria in 1953.As a Republican she supported the 1940 and 1944 campaigns for president of Wendell Willkie and the 1964 presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater. In 1980, she chaired the New York chapter of Seniors for Reagan-Bush.In 1964, Swanson spoke at a "Project Prayer" rally attended by 2,500 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The gathering, which was hosted by Anthony Eisley, a star of ABC's Hawaiian Eye series, sought to flood the United States Congress with letters in support of mandatory school prayer, following two decisions in 1962 and 1963 of the United States Supreme Court, which struck down mandatory prayer as conflicting with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Joining Swanson and Eisley at the Project Prayer rally were Walter Brennan, Lloyd Nolan, Rhonda Fleming, Pat Boone, and Dale Evans. Swanson declared "Under God we became the freest, strongest, wealthiest nation on earth, should we change that?"

Early Life

Swanson was born in a small house in Chicago in 1899, the only child of Adelaide (née Klanowski) and Joseph Theodore Swanson (né Svensson), a soldier. She was raised in the Lutheran faith. Her father was a Swedish American and her mother was of German, French, and Polish ancestry. Because of her father's attachment to the U.S. Army, the family moved frequently. She spent some of her childhood in Key West, Florida, where she was enrolled in a Catholic convent school, and in Puerto Rico, where she saw her first motion pictures.

Movies & TV shows

2021.

1 Movie
Boulevard! A Hollywood Story

Boulevard! A Hollywood Story

2021
Two young songwriters and romantic partners, Dickson Hughes and Richard Stapley, are caught in the middle of a movie star's web when she hires them to write a musical version of "Sunset Boulevard."

2007.

1 Movie
Why Be Good?: Sexuality & Censorship in Early Cinema

Why Be Good?: Sexuality & Censorship in Early Cinema

2007
Before the G, PG and R ratings system there was nothing. The rampant sexuality of early Hollywood is examined through movie clips and reminiscences by stars of the era. The Production Code, which gove...

1991.

1 Movie
Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon

Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon

1991
Profile of Kenneth Anger, looking at the uproar his books on Hollywood scandals caused and journeying through the darker side of Hollywood's history, including film clips, and Anger playing a guide wi...

1980.

1 TV show
TV
Hollywood

Hollywood

1980
Hollywood is a 1980 documentary series produced by Thames Television which explored the establishment and development of the Hollywood studios and its impact on 1920s culture.

1974.

2 Movies
Airport 1975

Airport 1975

5.13
1974
"Something hit us...the crew is dead...help us, please, please help us!" With these terrifying words, 22 of Hollywood's greatest stars find themselves aboard a pilotless jumbo jet headed on a collisio...
Killer Bees

Killer Bees

1974
A strong- willed woman dominates her family of California winegrowers and has a strange hold on a colony of bees in her vineyard.

1973.

1 Movie
The Age of Ballyhoo

The Age of Ballyhoo

1973
Hollywood movies, audio recordings and newsreels were used in a television documentary about the Twenties. Narrated by Gloria.

1971.

1 TV show

1968.

1 TV show
TV
The Dick Cavett Show

The Dick Cavett Show

1968
The Dick Cavett Show is a talk show hosted by Dick Cavett.

1967.

1 TV show
TV
The Carol Burnett Show

The Carol Burnett Show

5.33
1967
The Carol Burnett Show is a television show. It ran from September 11, 1967, to March 29, 1978, on CBS. The series won 25 awards. 16 of TV Guide's 50 greatest TV shows of all time were listed as one o...

1965.

3 Movies
Hollywood My Home Town

Hollywood My Home Town

1965
Ken Murray narrates his home movies.
The Love Goddesses

The Love Goddesses

1965
This insightful documentary features some of the major and most beautiful actresses to grace the silver screen. It shows how the movie industry changed it's depiction of sex and actresses portrayal of...

1964.

1 TV show
TV
The Hollywood Palace

The Hollywood Palace

1964
The Hollywood Palace was a weekly variety show on ABC from January 4, 1964 to February 7, 1970 The Saturday Night Hollywood Palace began as a replacement for The Jerry Lewis Show, which only lasted th...

1963.

2 TV shows
TV
Kraft Suspense Theatre

Kraft Suspense Theatre

1963
Kraft Suspense Theatre is an American anthology series that was telecast from 1963 to 1965 on NBC. Sponsored by Kraft Foods, it was seen three weeks out of every four and was pre-empted for Perry Como...
TV
Burke's Law

Burke's Law

6
1963
Burke's Law ran on ABC from 1963 to 1965, and was revived on CBS in the 1990s. Amos Burke, the millionaire captain of the Los Angeles police homicide division, was chauffeured around to solve crimes i...

1962.

3 TV shows
TV
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

The Alfred Hitchcock Hour

5
1962
A continuation of the dramatic anthology series hosted by the master of suspense and mystery.
TV
The Merv Griffin Show

The Merv Griffin Show

1962
The Merv Griffin Show is a talk show. The series ran from October 1, 1962 to March 29, 1963 on NBC and from August 18, 1969 to February 11, 1972 on CBS.
TV
The Beverly Hillbillies

The Beverly Hillbillies

6
1962
There is oil in the swamp. A wildcatter sells his land to the O.K. The family was moved to a mansion in Beverly Hills, California.

1961.

4 TV shows
TV
Straightaway

Straightaway

1961
The story of two young men who operate a garage and engage in auto racing was told in Straightaway. The race car designers were Clipper Hamilton and Scott Ross. Scott and Clipper work on vehicles. Asa...
TV
Ben Casey

Ben Casey

4.75
1961
Ben Casey is an American medical drama series which ran on ABC from 1961 to 1966. The show was known for its opening titles, which consisted of a hand drawing the symbols "♂, ♀, ✳, †, ∞" on a chalkboa...
TV
Dr. Kildare

Dr. Kildare

6
1961
The story of a young intern in a large metropolitan hospital trying to learn his profession, deal with the problems of his patients, and win the respect of the senior doctor in his specialty, internal...

1960.

1 Movie
When Comedy Was King

When Comedy Was King

1960
The comedy stars of the silent era are included in the collection.

1956.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
Nero's Mistress

Nero's Mistress

1956
Nero is on a holiday at the seaside. Many people are with him. Nero is going to be the center of attention. When his mother arrives with her German friends, she asks for trouble because she thinks Ner...
TV
The Steve Allen Show

The Steve Allen Show

1956
The Steve Allen Show is an American variety show hosted by Steve Allen from June 1956 to June 1960 on NBC, from September 1961 to December 1961 on ABC, and in first-run syndication from 1962 to 1964. ...

1952.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
Three for Bedroom C

Three for Bedroom C

1952
A famous film actress and her daughter discover their compartment on the train has been assigned to a handsome biology professor. Comedy.
TV
This Is Your Life

This Is Your Life

1952
This Is Your Life is an American television documentary series that aired on NBC from 1952 to 1961. In the show, the host surprises a guest and takes them through their life in front of an audience, w...

1950.

2 Movies · 1 TV show
Sunset Boulevard

Sunset Boulevard

5.25
1950
A hack screenwriter is writing a script for a former silent film star who has faded into obscurity.
TV
What's My Line?

What's My Line?

1950
Panelists must ask only "yes" or "no" questions in order to determine guests' occupations.
The Golden Twenties

The Golden Twenties

1950
Feature-length compilation of 1920s newsreel footage, with commentary about news, sports, lifestyles, and historical figures.

1949.

1 Movie
Down Memory Lane

Down Memory Lane

1949
Steve Allen narration of comedies from the old Mack Sennett silent studio is included in this film. Sennett makes a brief appearance at the end of the film.

1948.

1 TV show
TV
The Ed Sullivan Show

The Ed Sullivan Show

6
1948
The Ed Sullivan Show was hosted by Ed Sullivan. TV Guide ranked The Ed Sullivan Show #15 on their list of the 50 greatest TV shows of all time.

1946.

1 Movie
Dear Miss Gloria

Dear Miss Gloria

1946
A short subject, intended as the first of a series, where Gloria Swanson plays "Miss Gloria," advice columnist to the lovelorn.

1941.

1 Movie
Father Takes a Wife

Father Takes a Wife

1941
When a famous actress weds a shipping magnate, she has to win over her family.

1934.

2 Movies
The Camera Speaks

The Camera Speaks

1934
In this short film, an elderly cameraman and his camera reminisce about their days shooting silent films and news stories.
Music in the Air

Music in the Air

1934
June Lang dreamed of becoming a star after being offered the lead role in a new operetta.

1933.

2 Movies
The Film Parade

The Film Parade

1933
Pioneer filmmaker J. Stuart Blackton was intrigued by the idea of a film about the history of the movies as early as 1915. He finally released a 52-minute feature called The Film Parade that was shown...
Perfect Understanding

Perfect Understanding

1933
Under the condition that they never disagreed, the young couple decided to marry. The agreement is put to the test when the husband finds himself attracted to a young woman.

1932.

1 Movie
Queen Kelly

Queen Kelly

1932
An orphan girl from a convent falls in love with a prince who was betrothed to a queen.

1931.

4 Movies
Round About Hollywood

Round About Hollywood

1931
This short travelogue depicts snippets of locations in Hollywood, California, most of them as seen from the streets. Considerable time is taken showing the kinds of architecture of private homes. Ther...
The House That Shadows Built

The House That Shadows Built

1931
The House That Shadows Built (1931) is a short feature film, roughly 55 minutes long, from Paramount Pictures, made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the studio's founding in 1912. The film was a p...
Tonight or Never

Tonight or Never

1931
A young opera singer is stuck in her career because of her cold and passionless performances, until she finds love with a handsome admirer.
Indiscreet

Indiscreet

1931
When a no-account from her past shows up, a young woman jeopardizes the relationship with the man she loves.

1930.

1 Movie
What a Widow!

What a Widow!

1930
A woman leaves $5 million after her husband dies. She travels to Paris and becomes part of the "Continental" set and is pursued by a rich playboy and a lawyer.

1929.

1 Movie
The Trespasser

The Trespasser

1929
A stenographer who works for a lawyer falls in love with a wealthy young man. After the marraige is annulled, she gives birth to a child. Gossip that she is a "kept woman" starts when her former boss ...

1928.

1 Movie
Sadie Thompson

Sadie Thompson

1928
A woman with a history of prostitution arrives on the South Pacific island of Pago Pago looking for honest work and falls for a sailor who is unperturbed by her past. However, Mr. Davidson, a missiona...

1927.

1 Movie
The Love of Sunya

The Love of Sunya

1927
A young woman at life's crossroads is granted mystic visions of how her decisions will affect her future life.

1926.

2 Movies
Fine Manners

Fine Manners

1926
The film depicts what happens when a rich boy accidentally meets a crude girl on New Year's Eve.
The Untamed Lady

The Untamed Lady

1926
A spoiled rich girl is brought down to earth by the man who loves her.

1925.

3 Movies
The Coast of Folly

The Coast of Folly

1925
Silent film drama...
Madame Sans-Gêne

Madame Sans-Gêne

1925
A French washerwoman becomes a duchess and a friend of Napoleon.
Stage Struck

Stage Struck

1925
Daydreaming waitress Jennie Hagen fantasizes about becoming a famous actress, while in reality she and her cook boyfriend, Orme Wilson, hope to one day own their own diner. Although Orme loves Jennie,...

1924.

5 Movies
A Society Scandal

A Society Scandal

1924
Hector Colbert sues his wife Marjorie for a divorce after Peters, an admirer of Marjorie, deliberately compromises her. Colbert's lawyer, Daniel Farr, believing that Marjorie's behavior was wrong, get...
Manhandled

Manhandled

1924
The comedy concerns the struggles of an ambitious department store sales clerk who is caught up in New York high society.
Her Love Story

Her Love Story

1924
When Princess Marie of the Balkan kingdom of Viatavia falls in love with the captain of the King's Guards, her father arranges her marriage to the king of a neighboring country. The duke ignores the m...
Wages of Virtue

Wages of Virtue

1924
A carnival strongman and his girlfriend are caught in a web of jealousy, deceit and murder after fleeing to Algeria to escape a murder charge.
The Humming Bird

The Humming Bird

1924
A pickpocket (Swanson) falls in love with a newspaperman. When he is sent off to war and she disguises herself as a boy, joins a gang and sets out to save him.

1923.

3 Movies
Prodigal Daughters

Prodigal Daughters

1923
Elinor "Swifty" Forbes and her younger sister Marjory are the carefree daughters of wealthy J. D. Forbes. Their mother shows no restraint over her daughters, so they live among the flapper set. Lester...
Bluebeard's 8th Wife

Bluebeard's 8th Wife

1923
Bluebeard's 8th Wife
Zaza

Zaza

1923
Zaza is the favorite at an open-air theater in a small French town. Bernard Dufresne stays away from the village because he is afraid he will fall for her. While Zaza is singing on a swing, her oppone...

1922.

6 Movies
My American Wife

My American Wife

1922
A 1922 film.
Her Husband’s Trademark

Her Husband’s Trademark

1922
James Berkeley (who wants to get rich) and Allan Franklin (determined to be a great engineer) are rivals for the hand of Lois Miller. Berkeley marries her, and 15 years later, though he has not realiz...
Her Gilded Cage

Her Gilded Cage

1922
A romance about a dancer seeking love and fame from Paris cabarets to New York society.
The Impossible Mrs. Bellew

The Impossible Mrs. Bellew

1922
Lance Bellew ignores his wife, Betty, for his mistress, Naomi Templeton, but becomes enraged when he finds her in the company of a family friend.
A Trip to Paramountown

A Trip to Paramountown

1922
Dozens of stars are captured candidly and at work in a documentary short film about the filmmaking activity at the Paramount Studios in Hollywood.
Beyond the Rocks

Beyond the Rocks

1922
A young woman gets married to an older millionaire and then falls in love with a handsome nobleman on her honeymoon.

1921.

3 Movies
The Affairs of Anatol

The Affairs of Anatol

1921
Socialite Anatol Spencer, finding his relationship with his wife lackluster, goes in search of excitement. After bumping into old flame Emilie, he lets an apartment for her only to find that she cheat...
Don't Tell Everything

Don't Tell Everything

1921
Two men in love with the same woman are further complicated by the arrival of a second woman.

1920.

2 Movies
Something to Think About

Something to Think About

1920
Markley supports the education of the blacksmith's daughter. He asked to marry her, but she ran off with a city worker who was killed in a subway accident. Markley wants to marry her to protect her so...
Why Change Your Wife?

Why Change Your Wife?

1920
Both Robert and Beth Bordon are married. The Gordons are soon divorced after he ran into Sally at a cabaret. He gets bored with Sally's superficiality and Beth tries to improve her looks. A couple fal...

1919.

3 Movies
Male and Female

Male and Female

1919
Gloria Swanson plays a spoiled maiden who always gets her way until she is shipwrecked with her butler, and learns which qualities are really admirable in a person.
For Better, for Worse

For Better, for Worse

1919
Dr. Edward and Richard love Sylvia. Both enlisted in the military, but the other stays to care for the children. Sylvia married Burton because she thought he was a cowardice. After Burton is presumed ...
Don't Change Your Husband

Don't Change Your Husband

1919
James is always eating onions. She married a playboy after divorcing him.

1918.

3 Movies
Station Content

Station Content

1918
A wayward wife abandons her husband but finds redemption by preventing a railway accident and finding her way back to him.
Society for Sale

Society for Sale

1918
Successful model, Phyllis Clyne, convinces a down-and-out nobleman, Billy, to pass her off in society as titled gentry. They fall in love and when it turns out that her late father actually was a lord...
Shifting Sands

Shifting Sands

1918
Marcia Grey is wrongly convicted on trumped-up evidence of a German. After serving her term, she rebuilds her life and marries well.

1917.

3 Movies
The Pullman Bride

The Pullman Bride

1917
The Pullman Bride is a 1917 American silent comedy film directed by Clarence G. Badger and starring Gloria Swanson.
The Sultan's Wife

The Sultan's Wife

1917
On a sailing trip, sweethearts Bobby and Gloria arrive in a very sinister-looking India, where an evil rajah attempts to force Gloria into his harem.
Teddy at the Throttle

Teddy at the Throttle

1917
Gloria Dawn lives with her sweetheart. Henry Black is in charge of Gloria's inheritance. The guardian and his sister are scheming to have the sister marry so that they can keep control of his money.

1916.

6 Movies
Sunshine

Sunshine

1916
Jack Cooper, Hank Mann, and Bobby Dunn were in a 1916 short.
Love on Skates

Love on Skates

1916
Like many of Swanson's silent films, this one is lost and no one remembers much about it except that it involved many stunts and an ice skating sequence. Vernon and Swanson were a very popular team at...
Hearts and Sparks

Hearts and Sparks

1916
When Mack Sennett first saw Gloria Swanson, he felt that she would be perfect as a romantic lead for Bobby Vernon because they were both small in stature. The film was a big hit with the public.
The Nick of Time Baby

The Nick of Time Baby

1916
Clarence G directed The Nick of Time Baby. Gloria Swanson is starring in Badger.
A Social Cub

A Social Cub

1916
A Social Cub is a 1916 short silent comedy film directed by Clarence G. Badger and starring Gloria Swanson
The Danger Girl

The Danger Girl

1916
Gloria disguises herself as a man in order to get away from her boyfriend.

1915.

7 Movies
At the End of a Perfect Day

At the End of a Perfect Day

1915
The story opens with an old couple in the evening of life, sitting by the fireside reminiscing the happenings of their younger days. How the young man had left his country home to seek work in the gre...
The Romance of an American Duchess

The Romance of an American Duchess

1915
The Duke de Longtour, a European nobleman, with impoverished estates, comes to America and wins the hand of Stephana Martin, an American heiress, defeating Marquis Ferdinand, an adventurer and his riv...
The Misjudged Mr. Hartley

The Misjudged Mr. Hartley

1915
Mrs was in honor of his return from abroad. She invites her cousin, Brian Hartley, to dinner, but doesn't tell him she moved. He went to the old home where he was met at the door by a guest of the Hol...
The Ambition of the Baron

The Ambition of the Baron

1915
A young woman is used as a pawn in a game of political intrigue.
Sweedie Goes to College

Sweedie Goes to College

1915
Sweedie, the cook, reads an ad in the newspaper for a maid to give her services in exchange for college tuition. She applies and is accepted.
The Broken Pledge

The Broken Pledge

1915
Three young girls, pledged to spinsterhood and contempt for mankind, go camping in the woods. Three boys, unpledged to anything save fun and the joy of living, likewise go camping. Fate spins the whee...
His New Job

His New Job

1915
When one of the actors on a movie set doesn't show up, Charlie gets his chance to be on camera and replaces the actor. He gets on people's nerves while playing a dice game. He ruined his scene, accide...
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