Classic Entertainment Autographs

Cat. #00411131: GLORIA SWANSON

Tough to acquire vintage 10x8-inch black and white restrike lobby still for Sunset Boulevard (1950), shown as mad-eyed Norma Desmond with co-star William Holden, boldly signed and inscribed in black felt-tip pen in 1981. In fine condition, with tiny pinholes in the borders and a smattering of faint handling bends and dings which do not noticeably detract from the overall appearance of the piece. Elegant, exotic-looking leading actress Gloria Swanson entered films in 1913, appearing in comedy shorts for Mack Sennett at Keystone. After a brief stint at Triangle, she caught the eye of Cecil B. DeMille, who signed her to a contract and transformed her into a lively, provocative, even predatory, star. She blossomed into the highest-paid actress of her era, beloved of the public for her beauty, lavish wardrobe and wild personal antics, which included racking up seven spouses. She was unforgettable in classic films like Don't Change Your Husband (1919); Zasa (1923); Sadie Thompson (1928), for which she was nominated for her first Oscar; Erich von Stroheim's Queen Kelly (1929); and The Trespasser (1929), which earned her a second Oscar nod.  Although the diva made a smooth transition to talkies, she retired from Hollywood in 1934 to concentrate on stage work and business ventures. Always one to have a trick up her sleeve, she made a celebrated return in Sunset Boulevard (1950), portraying the partly autobiographical aging, half-mad silent movie queen Norma Desmond, surrounded by her old pals Stroheim and DeMille. The masterpiece of the film noir genre earned her a third unsuccessful shot a a Best Actress Academy Award.