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Gloria Swanson

Gloria May Josephine Swanson (March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983) was an American actress and producer.

Swanson was the silent screen's most successful and highest paid star, earning $20,000 a week in the mid-1920s. Noted for her extravagance, Miss Swanson earned $8 million from 1918 to 1929 and spent nearly all of it.

Swanson starred in dozens of silent films, often under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille. In 1928, she was nominated for the first Academy Award ever given for Best Actress.

Swanson was also one of the first women to produce her own films, making The Love of Sunya (1927) and Sadie Thompson (1928). In 1929, Swanson transitioned into talkies with her performance in The Trespasser. Personal problems and changing tastes saw her popularity wane during the 1930s and she subsequently ventured into theater and television.

In 1950, after a virtual sixteen-year absence from the screen, Swanson achieved widespread critical acclaim and recognition for her role as Norma Desmond, a reclusive silent film star, in the critically acclaimed 1950 film Sunset Boulevard. The film earned her an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award win. In 1989, the film was among the first group of films to be chosen by the Library of Congress for preservation as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

For more than half a century, Swanson denied having an affair with Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., the father of future-President John F. Kennedy. Swanson later broke her silence, and wrote about the affair in her best-selling 1980 autobiography, Swanson on Swanson.

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

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1929 - 1930

Roles Represented in DAHR: soprano vocal

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  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Swanson, Gloria," accessed October 31, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101909.

Swanson, Gloria. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 31, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101909.

"Swanson, Gloria." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 31 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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