Shearer, Stephen Michael
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The first in-depth biography of film legend Gloria Swanson, whose unforgettable role in Sunset Boulevard overshadowed her true life.
Gloria Swanson was Hollywood's first successful glamour queen. Her stardom in the mid-1920s earned her millions of fans and millions of dollars. Realizing her box-office value early in her career, Swanson took control of her life. Soon she was not only producing her own films, she was choosing her scripts, selecting her leading men, casting her projects, creating her own fashions, guiding her publicity, and living an extravagant and sometimes extraordinary lifestyle.
She also collected a long line of lovers (including Joseph P. Kennedy) and married men of her choosing (including a disposed Marquis, thus becoming America's "first" royalty). As a devoted and loving mother, she managed to successfully raise three children. Perhaps most importantly, as a keen businesswoman, she also was able to extend her career more than sixty years, and her astounding comeback in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard not only catapulted her back into the limelight, but it also created her long misunderstood personae.
In this comprehensive biography, Stephen Michael Shearer tells the life story of the "woman who defined what a movie icon is."