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Gloria Swanson

Swanson, Gloria, 1899–1983, American movie actress, b. Chicago. Swanson began her film career in 1913, displaying an elegant comedic style in a series of films for director Cecil B. DeMille. Financed by Joseph Kennedy, she produced her own films from 1920 until 1929, including Sadie Thompson (1928) and Queen Kelly (1928). Although she made an easy transition to sound movies, she retired in 1934. She made a celebrated return in Sunset Boulevard (1950), portraying an aging, half-mad, silent movie queen. She made only three more films, but enjoyed continued success on television. Swanson appeared on Broadway in a revival of Twentieth Century (1952) and in Butterflies Are Free (1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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