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Gloria Stuart Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (29) | Personal Quotes (8) | Salary (2)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 4 July 1910Santa Monica, California, USA
Date of Death 26 September 2010Los Angeles, California, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth NameGloria Frances Stewart
Height 5' 3½" (1.61 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Gloria Stuart was born on a dining room table on 4th Street in Santa Monica, California on July 4, 1910. Her early roles as a performing artist were in plays she produced in her home as a young girl. She was the star of her senior class play at Santa Monica High School in 1927. Attending the University of California, at Berkeley, she continued to perform on the stage. Stuart married and move to Carmel, where she performed in a production of "The Seagull" which was transferred to the Pasadena Playhouse in 1932. It was there that talent scouts for both Paramount and Universal saw her. In a famous dispute, the heads of the two studios flipped a coin and Universal won. She played lead roles for director James Whale, including (The Old Dark House (1932), The Invisible Man (1933) and The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933)). The hard work at the studio estranged her from her first husband (Stuart helped create the Screen Actors Guild). She played the leading lady in Roman Scandals (1933), on the set of which she met her husband Arthur Sheekman. She was dissatisfied with the roles in which she was cast at Universal and played roles in films for other studios. Ultimately, a few years after having her daughter Sylvia (named after the role she was playing when she met Sheekman), she left the cinema and sought roles on the stage in New York. In the 1940s, she opened an art furniture shop where she created decoupage lamps, tables and trays, many of which sold to stars like Judy Garland and others. Later, Stuart took up oil painting and was very prolific, showing and selling her work in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere. Her landscapes of The Watts Towers are on permanent collection at The Los Angeles County Museum. She also took up and mastered the art of bonsai and some of her trees are on permanent collection in the Huntington Library Japanese Garden. When her husband fell ill in the 1970s (he died in 1978), she returned to acting doing a range of television series. In 1982, she returned to the screen appearing in a brief dance scene with Peter O'Toole in My Favorite Year (1982).

About this time a friend, she knew half a century earlier in Carmel, who was a master printer, re-entered her life and from him, Stuart learned the craft of fine printing. She established a printing press in her home studio called Imprenta Glorias. where she created a body of fine artist's books. Her greatest book, "Flight of Butterfly Kites" is in permanent collection at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Gloria Stuart won a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Oscar-nomination for her performance as the Old Rose in Titanic (1997). In July 2010, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences honored Gloria Stuart with a Centennial Celebration. She was the first such honoree to be living for a centennial. At 100 years of age, she had completed her greatest artist's book with her great-granddaughter working as her apprentice and also her final appearance on film in her grandson's documentary about her, entitled Secret Life of Old Rose: The Art of Gloria Stuart (2012) when she died at home at the age of 100 on September 26, 2010.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: secretlifeofoldrose@gmail.com

Spouse (2)

Arthur Sheekman (29 July 1934 - 12 January 1978) (his death) (1 child)
Blair Gordon Newell (21 June 1930 - 17 May 1934) (divorced)

Trivia (29)

At age 87, she was the oldest person ever to be nominated for an Academy Award.
Chosen by People magazine as one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World (1998).
She was the only cast member of Titanic (1997) who was alive at the time of the actual disaster. Stuart lived to be 100 years old, the same age as her character in the film.
Titanic (1997) was her second film that featured a doomed ship. One of her early films, Here Comes the Navy (1934), was filmed aboard the USS Arizona.
At age 86, she was aged by makeup to play Rose DeWitt Bukater at age 101 in Titanic (1997). However, Stuart did not find this a pleasant experience.
Shortened her last name from "Stewart" to "Stuart" because she thought its six letters balanced perfectly on a theater's marquee with the six letters in "Gloria".
Her daughter, Sylvia Vaughn (Sheekman) Thompson Park (born June 19, 1935) is a gourmet food writer and has authored several cookbooks.
Following her husband's death, she engaged in a 13-year friendship with printer Ward Ritchie, born in 1904. They first met in 1930 when he was best friends with first husband, sculptor Blair Gordon Newell. The two reacquainted in March 1983 and he taught her fine printing. They remained close until his death in 1996.
Turned down Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938) because she felt that the material was not to her dramatic acting abilities; however, Darryl F. Zanuck forced her to do the picture, and explained that she would be seen by millions, due to Shirley Temple's popularity. Stuart agreed in a 1998 interview that Zanuck was correct.
While Stuart was appearing in the Pasadena Playhouse, not only was a Paramount casting director there, but also an agent from Universal who was there to see her leading man was also. She received contract offers from both studios but was advised to sign from Universal because it was not a major studio at the time and that would offer her more opportunities.
Stepdaughter of Fred J. Finch, a Kentucky native who owned a local funeral parlor and held oil leases in Texas.
She graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1927 and attended the University of California, Berkeley but dropped out.
Her younger brother, Thomas Stewart, died in infancy in 1912 from spinal meningitis.
Her younger brother, Frank Finch, an esteemed sports writer for the Los Angeles Times, was born in 1911.
Her four grandchildren are David Oxley Thompson (born January 15, 1957 in Berkeley, California); Benjamin Stuart Thompson (born September 21, 1959 in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England); Dinah Vaughn Thompson (born December 6, 1960 in Los Angeles, California); and Amanda Thompson (born July 30, 1962 in Berkeley, California).
Her eleven great-grandchildren are Jacob Thompson; Samuel Thompson; Deborah Thompson; Tziporah Thompson, Sarah-Leah Thompson; Dylan Sapia, Weston Sapia, Stuart Sapia, Jasen Sapia, Maggie Thompson and Frannie Whelan.
Interviewed in "It Came from Horrorwood: Interviews with Moviemakers in the SF and Horror Tradition" by Tom Weaver (McFarland, 1996).
In Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935), Stuart played a young woman whose mother pushes her to marry an unlikable rich man, but the young woman falls in love with a poor man. In Titanic (1997), Stuart's character did the very same thing 84 years earlier.
Resided directly opposite the house in Brentwood, California where Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6714 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on September 27, 2000.
At the height of her early career as a contract player for 20th Century Fox, a young fan of Stuart's--Ray Pearl, from Chicago--had her portrait tattooed across his chest. Stuart met with Pearl in person, an event which was photographed and profiled in Life magazine in fall 1937.
Although this was rumored that she was buried at several well-known Hollywood cemeteries, Gloria Stuart was cremated and her ashes were distributed, according to her lifelong wishes, in Santa Monica Bay, as family, friends and Titanic (1997) crew and cast members stood on the Santa Monica Pier.
Favorite actress of director James Whale, whom she worked with in three films: The Old Dark House (1932), The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933) and The Invisible Man (1933).
Had appeared with John Carradine in three films: The Invisible Man (1933), The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936) and The Three Musketeers (1939).
Had appeared in at least two films that feature a horrific cruise ship disaster, released almost exactly sixty years apart: Girl Overboard (1937) and Titanic (1997).
Not to be confused with James Stewart's wife, Gloria Stewart.
She was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild.
She helped form the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League in 1936.
Mother-in-law of television writer Gene Thompson.

Personal Quotes (8)

When I graduated from Santa Monica High in 1927, I was voted the girl most likely to succeed. I didn't realize it would take so long.
Onward and Upward - Avanti!
[on her comeback as the elderly Rose in Titanic (1997)] I think that's the important thing. If you're full of love, admiration, appreciation of the beautiful things there are in this life, you have it made, really. And I have it made.
[on receiving the Ralph Morgan Award for her years of service] I'm very, very grateful. I've had a wonderful life of giving and sharing.
[on celebrating her 100th birthday on July 4, 2010] I would say I don't notice any difference between 100 and, say, 90. You're still frail, feeble and full of you-know-what.
[on Claude Rains in The Invisible Man (1933)] Claude Rains was what was known as an actor's actor. No quarter was asked and none given. A scene stealer? Whenever possible, yes. But with James Whale again you didn't worry much. One way or another, you ended up in the position Whale wanted you in. And since Claude spent the entire film wrapped in bandages, you couldn't blame him for trying.
[on James Cagney] Cagney was wonderful. Jimmy and I worked together getting the Guild going - he was one of the stalwart liberals then. And that whole Warner Brothers stock company of Irishmen were always having a good time. They were darling men, funny and amusing to be with.
[on not signing with Paramount in retrospect during a 1988 interview] I think it would have made all the difference. I might have gone on in films. I think of the ones that started out with me, the same place same station - Bette Davis, Ginger Rogers, Olivia de Havilland. I would have liked to have won an Academy Award, to have acted in one or two of the things they've all done. So that part I regret. But I have to think of what went with it, for them, the many marriages, problems with children, career difficulties - I wouldn't trade any of their lives for mine. I'm very blessed, I think. I've had a happy, fulfilled life.

Salary (2)

Street of Women (1932) $125 /week
Titanic (1997) $10,000 /week

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