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Gloria Swanson

Gloria May Josephine Swanson (March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983) was an American actress and producer. She first achieved fame acting in dozens of silent films in the 1920s and was nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Actress, most famously for her 1950 return 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 infatuation with 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, 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 and became a global superstar. She starred in a series of films about society, directed by Cecil B. DeMille, including Male and Female (1919). She continued as a successful movie star in The Affairs of Anatol (1921) and Beyond the Rocks (1922). She also starred in critically acclaimed performances such as Zaza (1923) and Madame Sans-Gêne (1925).

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 1929's The Trespasser, earned her a second Academy Award nomination. Queen Kelly (1928–29) was a box office disaster, but is remembered as a silent classic. After almost two decades in front of the cameras, her film success waned during the 1930s. Swanson received renewed praise for her return to the screen in her role as Norma Desmond 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.

Birth and Death Data: Born March 27, 1899 (Chicago), Died April 4, 1983 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1929 - 1931

Roles Represented in DAHR: soprano vocal

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor PBVE-54897 10-in. 7/25/1930 Love is like a song Gloria Swanson Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor PBVE-54898 10-in. 7/25/1930 You're the one Gloria Swanson Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor PBVE-54899 10-in. 7/25/1930 Say oui, cherie Gloria Swanson Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-55645 10-in. 8/3/1929 Love (Your spell is everywhere) Gloria Swanson Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-55646 10-in. 8/3/1929 Serenade Gloria Swanson Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick E36721 10-in. 5/21/1931 Come to me Gloria Swanson Female vocal solo, with orchestra. vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick E36722 10-in. 5/21/1931 Come to me Gloria Swanson Female vocal solo, with orchestra. vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick E36723 10-in. 5/21/1931 If you haven’t got love Gloria Swanson Female vocal solo, with orchestra. vocalist, soprano vocal  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Swanson, Gloria," accessed February 25, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101909.

Swanson, Gloria. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101909.

"Swanson, Gloria." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 25 February 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101909

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