Gloria Swanson was born Gloria May Josephine Svensson in Chicago, Illinois on March 27, 1897. She was destined to be, perhaps, one of the biggest stars of the silent movie era. Her personality and antics in private definitely made her a favorite with America's movie going public. Gloria, certainly, didn't intend on going into show business. After her formal education in the Chicago school system and elsewhere, she began work in a department store as a sales clerk. In 1915, at the age of 16, she decided to go to a Chicago movie studio with an aunt to see how motion pictures were made. She was plucked out of the crowd, because of her beauty, to be included as an bit player in the film THE FABLE OF ELVIRA AND FARINA AND THE MEAL TICKET. Her next film was as an extra also, when she appeared in AT THE END OF A PERFECT DAY. After another uncredited role, Gloria got a more substantial role in SWEEDIE GOES TO COLLEGE. In 1916, she first appeared with future husband Wallace Beery. Once married the two pulled up stakes in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles to the film colony of Hollywood. Once out west, Gloria continued her torrid pace in films. She seemed to be in hit after hit in such films as A PULLMAN BRIDE (1917), SHIFTING SANDS (1918), and DON'T CHANGE YOUR HUSBAND (1919). By the time of the latter, Gloria had divorced Beery and was remarried, but it was not to be her last as she collected a total of seven husbands. By the middle 20's she was the highest paid actress in Hollywood. It has been said that Gloria made and spent over $8 million in the twenties alone. That along with the seven marriages she had kept the fans spellbound with her escapades for over 60 years. They just couldn't get enough of her. Gloria was 30 when the sound revolution hit and there was wonder as to whether she could adapt to the new medium. She did. In 1928, she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her role of Sadie Thompson in a film by the same name, but lost to Mary Pickford in COQUETTE. The following year she again was nominated for the same award in THE TRESPASSER. This time she lost out to Norma Shearer in THE DIVORCEE. By the 1930's Gloria pared back her work with only four films during that time. She had taken a hiatus from film work after 1934's MUSIC IN THE AIR and would not be seen again until FATHER TAKES A WIFE in 1941. That was to be it until 1950 when she starred in SUNSET BOULEVARD as Norma Desmond opposite William Holden. She played a movie actress who was all but washed up. The movie was a box-office smash and earned her a third Academy Award nomination as Best Actress. She lost to Judy Holliday in BORN YESTERDAY. The film is considered one of the best in the history of film. On June 16, 1998, the film was named as one of the top 100 films of all time by the American Film Institute. It had actually placed 12th. After a few more films in the 1950's Gloria more or less retired. Throughout the 60's she mostly appeared on television. Her last fling with the silver screen was AIRPORT 1975 where she played herself. Gloria died on April 4, 1983 in New York City at the age of 84. There has been nothing like her before or since.