Gloria Swanson is a Actor, Director and Producer American born on 27 march 1899 at Chicago (USA)
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Birth name Gloria Josephine May SwansonNationality USABirth 27 march 1899Gloria May Josephine Swanson (/ˈswɑːnsən/; March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983) was an American actress, singer, and producer perhaps best known for her role as Norma Desmond, a reclusive silent film star, in the critically acclaimed 1950 film, Sunset Boulevard. She was one of the most prominent stars during the silent film era as both an actress and a fashion icon, especially under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille. She starred in dozens of silent films and was nominated for the first Academy Award in the Best Actress category. She also produced her own films, including Sadie Thompson and The Love of Sunya. In 1929, Swanson transitioned to talkies with The Trespasser. Personal problems and changing tastes saw her popularity wane during the 1930s when she moved into theater and television.
at Chicago (USA
)Death 4 april 1983
(at 84 years) at New York City (USA
Swanson became a vegetarian around 1928 and was an early health food advocate who was known for bringing her own meals to public functions in a paper bag. Swanson told actor Dirk Benedict about macrobiotic diets when he was battling prostate cancer at a very early age. He had refused conventional therapies and credited this kind of diet and healthy eating with his recovery. In 1975, Swanson traveled the United States and helped to promote the book Sugar Blues written by her husband, William Dufty.
In early 1980, Swanson's 520-page autobiography, Swanson on Swanson, was published by Random House and became a national best-seller. It was translated into French, Italian and Swedish editions. That same year, she also designed a stamp cachet for the United Nations Postal Administration.
Swanson was a long-time member of the Lutheran church; her father was of Swedish Lutheran descent. 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 school prayer, following two decisions in 1962 and 1963 of the United States Supreme Court, which struck down the practice as in conflict 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?"
Marriages and relationships
Throughout her life and her many marriages, Swanson was always known as Miss Swanson. Though she legally took the names of her husbands, her own personality and fame always overshadowed them. Her first husband was the actor Wallace Beery, whom she married on her 17th birthday. In her autobiography Swanson on Swanson, Swanson wrote that Beery raped her on their wedding night. He also impregnated her in 1917. Not wanting her to have the child, he reportedly tricked her into drinking a concoction that induced an abortion and although they still worked together at Sennett, they separated and finally divorced two years later.
She married Herbert K. Somborn (1881–1934), then president of Equity Pictures Corporation and later the owner of the Brown Derby restaurant, in 1919. Their daughter, Gloria Swanson Somborn (October 7, 1920 – December 28, 2000), was born in 1920. Their divorce, finalized in January 1925, was sensational and led to Swanson having a "morals clause" added to her studio contract. Somborn accused her of adultery with thirteen men including Cecil B. DeMille, Rudolph Valentino, and Marshall Neilan. During their divorce Swanson wanted another child and in 1923 she adopted a baby boy, Sonny Smith (1922–1975), whom she renamed Joseph Patrick Swanson.
Swanson's third husband was the French aristocrat Henri, Marquis de la Falaise de la Coudraye, whom she married on January 28, 1925 after the Somborn divorce was finalized. Though Henri was a Marquis and the grandson of Richard and Martha Lucy Hennessy from the famous Hennessy Cognac family, he was not rich and had to work for a living. He was originally hired to be her assistant and interpreter in France while she was filming Madame Sans-Gêne (1925). Swanson was the first film star to marry European nobility, and the marriage became a global sensation. She conceived a child with him, but had an abortion, which, in her autobiography, she said she regretted.
Later, Henri became a film executive representing Pathé (USA) in France through Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., who was running the studio. Many now assume he was given the position, which kept him in France for ten months a year, to simply keep him out of the way. This marriage ended in divorce in 1930 Soon after, Henri remarried, to actress Constance Bennett.
While still married to Henri, Swanson had an affair with the married Joseph P. Kennedy for a number of years. He became her business partner and their relationship was an open secret in Hollywood. He took over all of her personal and business affairs and was supposed to make her millions. Unfortunately, Kennedy left her after the disastrous Queen Kelly and her finances were in worse shape than when he came into her life. Two books have been written about the affair.
After the marriage to Henri and her affair with Kennedy were over, Swanson married Michael Farmer (1902–1975) in August 1931. Because of the possibility that Swanson's divorce from La Falaise had not been final at the time of the wedding, she was forced to remarry Farmer the following November, by which time she was four months pregnant with Michelle Bridget Farmer, who was born on April 5, 1932. Swanson and Farmer divorced in 1934, after she became involved with married British actor Herbert Marshall. The media reported widely on her affair with Marshall. After almost three years with the actor, Swanson left him once she realized he would never divorce his wife, Edna Best, for her. In an early manuscript of her autobiography written in her own hand decades later, Swanson recalled: "I was never so convincingly and thoroughly loved as I was by Herbert Marshall."
In 1945, Swanson married William N. Davey and according to her after discovering Davey in a drunken stupor, she and daughter Michelle, believing they were being helpful, left a trail of Alcoholics Anonymous literature around the apartment. Davey quickly packed up and left. Swanson-Davey divorce was finalized in 1946. For the next thirty years Swanson would remain unmarried and able to pursue her own interests.
Swanson's final marriage occurred in 1976 and lasted until her death. Her sixth husband and widower, writer William Dufty (1916–2002), was the co-author of Billie Holiday's autobiography Lady Sings the Blues, the author of Sugar Blues, a 1975 best-selling health book still in print, and the author of the English version of Georges Ohsawa's You Are All Sanpaku.
Dufty was a book ghost-writer and newspaperman, working for many years at the New York Post, where he was assistant to the editor from 1951 to 1960. He first met Swanson in 1965 and by 1967 the two were living together as a couple. Swanson shared her husband's deep enthusiasm for macrobiotic diets and they traveled widely together to speak about sugar and food. They promoted his book Sugar Blues together in 1975 and also wrote a syndicated column together. It was through Sugar Blues that Dufty and Swanson first got to know John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Swanson testified on his behalf at his immigration hearing in New York which led to him becoming a permanent resident.
Dufty ghost-wrote Swanson's best-selling 1980 autobiography, Swanson on Swanson, based on her early, sometimes handwritten drafts and notes. She personally revised the manuscript several times. They were prominent socialites, having many homes and living in many places, including New York City, Rome, Portugal, and Palm Springs, California. After Swanson's death Dufty returned to his former home in Birmingham, Michigan. He died of cancer in 2002.
Swanson was a staunch Republican and 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.