By Tricia Welsch
Professor of Cinema Studies
Most people remember Gloria Swanson (1899-1983) as Norma Despard, the mad silent-film queen in Sunset Boulevard who hungered for her return to the spotlight. Though she had one of Hollywood's most famous exit lines--"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up"--the real Gloria Swanson never looked back. She had many lives, from film star to pioneer in television, fashion, and theater. A passionate and feisty woman who took lovers and husbands at whim, she refused to answer to anyone for her choices or to apologize for her ambition.
Gloria Swanson: Ready for Her Close-Up shows how a talented, self-confident actress negotiated a creative path through seven decades of celebrity. It also illuminates a little-known chapter in American media history: how the powerful women of early Hollywood transformed their remarkable careers after their stars dimmed. This book brings Swanson back into the spotlight, revealing her as a complex, creative, entrepreneurial, and thoroughly modern woman.
-From the jacket.