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Birth name Gloria Frances StuartNationality USABirth 4 july 1910
at Santa Barbara (USA
)Death 26 september 2010
(at 100 years) at Los Angeles (USA
Gloria Frances Stewart, known as Gloria Stuart, (July 4, 1910 – September 26, 2010) was an American actress and visual artist. Stuart began her acting career in theater. In the 1930s and 1940s, she performed in little theater and summer stock in Los Angeles and New York City. She signed a contract with Universal Pictures in 1932, and acted in numerous films, including The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933), and The Three Musketeers (1939).
In 1945, Stuart abandoned her acting career and shifted to a career as an artist, working as a fine printer and making paintings, serigraphy, Bonsai, and découpage for the next five decades. She returned to acting in the late 1970s, appearing in several bit parts, including in Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year (1982) and Wildcats (1986).
In 1997, she was cast as the 100-year-old elder Rose Dawson in James Cameron's Titanic, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Receiving her nomination at eighty-seven, she is the oldest person nominated for an Academy Award for acting. Her last film performance was in Wim Wenders' Land of Plenty (2004) before her death in 2010 at the age of 100.
In addition to her acting and art career, Stuart was also an environmental activist and one of the founding members of the Screen Actors Guild.
Stuart married twice: first, to Blair Gordon Newell, from 1930-1934; and then to Arthur Sheekman, from 1934 until his death in 1978 of a heart attack. Stuart was partners with artist Ward Ritchie from 1983 until his death of pancreatic cancer in 1996.
Stuart was a Democrat. In 1938 as a member of the Hollywood Democratic Committee, Stuart was on the Executive Board of the California State Democratic Committee
Stuart was a breast cancer survivor, having been diagnosed in her seventies. She received a lumpectomy followed with radiation. Stuart’s breast cancer did not return.
While a student at the University of California, Berkeley at age seventeen, Stuart wanted to join the Young Communist League. She wrote, "I was told it was for the poor and the oppressed. That appealed to me. But membership wasn't open to anyone under eighteen, so I couldn't join." In Carmel, she notes that her friendship with muckraker Lincoln Steffens gave her "...much deeper insight into the abuses of laborers and blue-collar workers and made me ready to work for liberal causes when I got to Hollywood a few years later."
In 1933 after completing The Old Dark House, Stuart was one of the first stars to work toward an actors’ union and was one of thirty-nine new Class A members of the Screen Actors Guild, of which she was a founding member. In June, 1936, she helped Paul Muni, Franchot Tone, Ernst Lubitsch, and Oscar Hammerstein II form the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League. That same year she and writer Dorothy Parker helped create the League to Support the Spanish Civil War Orphans.
Stuart was also an avid environmentalist. "I belong to every organization that has to do with saving the environment," said Stuart. "I'm fed up with venal and avaricious forestry people, mining people, oil people, gas people. I think the abuse of the environment is sinful."