A silent screen legend and epitome of early Hollywood glamour who began her career at Chicago’s Essanay Studios in 1913, Gloria Swanson married Wallace Beery, another Essanay performer, in 1916 and the pair moved to Hollywood. After appearing in a series of Mack Sennett’s romantic comedies at Triangle, she moved to Paramount, back to Triangle, and then back again to Paramount, where she reached stardom in the snappy, sophisticated bedroom farces of Cecil B DeMille (Male and Female 1919, The Affairs of Anatol 1921).
By the mid-20s, the larger-than-life Swanson was at the peak of her popularity, starring in such lavish vehicles as Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife, Zaza (both 1923), Madame Sans-Gene (1925), and The Untamed Lady (1926). When she returned from Europe with a Marquis as her husband, she received a welcome worthy of any actual queen. In 1927, with financial assistance from investor and erstwhile lover Joseph P Kennedy, Swanson… read more