Swanson, Gloria

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Swanson, Gloria Gender: F
Gloria May Josephine Svensson
born on 27 March 1899 at 00:20 (= 12:20 AM )
Place Chicago, Illinois, 41n51, 87w39
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
From memory
Rodden Rating A
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 06°23' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 06°23 Asc.s_sagcol.18.gif 20°14'

Gloria Swanson


American actress who began her career in silent films at 14, becoming the epitome of Hollywood Glamour from 1919-1926. She had three Oscar nominations, including one for "Sadie Thompson" and one for "Sunset Blvd.," 1950. Dubbed the "Queen of the Screen" in the 1920s, she was an enchantress personified during the golden age of silent films, a two time Oscar nominee for her roles in silent films "Sadie Thompson," 1928 and "Trespasser," 1929. Her other film roles include "Manhandled," "Don't Change Your Husband," "Beyond The Rocks," "The Love of Sunya," "You Can't Believe Everything," "Secret Code" and "Music In The Air." Swanson was best known for her stunning comeback in the 1949 film classic "Sunset Boulevard." She is the author of an autobiography "Swanson on Swanson" in 1980.

The only child of Joe and Addie Svensson, Gloria was an army brat who spent a peripatetic childhood across the United States and Puerto Rico. Possessing a beautiful singing voice, she studied for the opera, but after making a visit to the Essanay studio in Chicago with her aunt. became hooked on the new medium of film. At 15 she was hired as an extra in the earliest days of the industry. After her parents separated, her mother took her to Hollywood where she signed on as a bathing beauty in Mack Sennet's Keystone Studios and at 17 eloped with fellow Keystone actor Wallace Beery. The marriage lasted two months.

Tiring of the studio's incessant slapstick comedies, she switched to Triangle Studios, where she portrayed elegantly dressed, affluent women who were to become the Swanson image. In 1919 she married film distributor Herbert K. Somborn, whom she nicknamed "Daddy" as he was twice her age. This marriage lasted less than a year, but produced her first daughter, Gloria, born in 1920. She later adopted a son Joseph, who died in 1975. Traveling to France in 1924, she starred in the progressive film "Madame Sans Gene" where she married impoverished aristocrat Henri, Marquis de la Falais de la Coudraye on 1/28/1925, becoming the first movie star to have a title. Back in the US, heralded by telegram from her own hand that read "Please arrange an ovation," she arrived in the grand style at Paramount, where Cecil B. de Mille's skilled direction catapulted her to the top, receiving 10,000 fan letters a week and $1000 a day wages in 1926.

Disliking the control of studios or anyone, Swanson, seeking artistic freedom, joined United Artists, the company formed by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, where she was expected to perform such alien tasks as work on schedule, stay within a budget and turn a profit. Risqué Swanson allegedly defied the film decency code and moguls sabotaged her picture "Sadie Thompson." With the production in debt, Swanson sold her Hudson River home in New York to pay some of her bills, where she met slick financier Joseph Kennedy, (father of JFK and RFK) who paid the rest of them. The film was a hit, and Swanson became the mistress of Kennedy, who financed her next two pictures. After both of them flopped, he abruptly left her. Of her two daughters, the first was rumored to be the daughter of either Cecil B. DeMille or John Kennedy Sr. and the second was adopted.

Swanson's chronic philandering prompted the cuckolded Henri, ever in Swanson's shadow, to seek a divorce but before it was granted, Swanson became pregnant by playboy Michael Farmer, and Kennedy appointed Henri as European director of his own film enterprise, which later became known as RKO. Swanson delighted in the publicity of being Hollywood's best-known bigamist.

Swanson then moved to England, where she gave birth to a second daughter, Michelle, in 1932. Divorcing the violent Farmer two and a half years later, she discovered that her film career was in decline, as the Depression-ridden American public no longer could relate to an opulent beauty queen who sported real diamonds and emeralds on the silver screen. A series of volatile confrontations, torn up contracts and the crushing blow of the starring role in "Dark Victory" going to Bette Davis instead of to her, Swanson found herself without career options whatsoever in 1939, when she moved to New York permanently to reinvent herself.

Swanson hit Broadway in the '40s, made another three month marriage to William Davy in 1945, and began to work steadily in TV. Called back to Hollywood in 1949 for the role of Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard," her performance earned her an Oscar nomination, giving her sweet revenge on Tinsel Town. Never relinquishing her movie star status, she continued appearances on Broadway with TV following in the '50s and '60s. Swanson took an avid interest in maintaining health through a proper diet of simple, natural foods that were void of dangerous chemicals. She appeared as herself penning her memoirs in the film "Airport 75" and made her sixth and last marriage in 1976 to William Duffy, 20 years her junior and author of "Sugar Blues."

Swanson died following heart surgery on 4/04/1983, New York, NY.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • spouse relationship with Beery, Wallace (born 1 April 1886). Notes: 1916-1919


  • Family : Adopted a child 1922 (Second child)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1976 (William Duffy)
  • Other Death 4 April 1983 (Following heart surgery, age 84)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Church of Light quotes AFA 1/56 "from her". Steinbrecher quotes letter from her archivist, R.W. Daum, "She thinks it may have been after midnight". Lynne Palmer quotes her for 00:20 AM.


  • Family : Childhood : Family traumatic event (Son died)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Age difference more than 15 yrs (Sixth husband 20 years younger)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Six)
  • Family : Parenting : Foster, Step, or Adopted Kids (Second daughter)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Inheritance
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 84)
  • Vocation : Beauty : Sex-symbol
  • Vocation : Business : Business owner (Production company)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Child performer (Silent films, debut at 14)
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Live Stage (Secondary)
  • Notable : Awards : Oscar (Two nominations)
  • Notable : Book Collection : Profiles Of Women