Norma Shearer (1902-1983)

Norma Shearer, Silent and Sound Movie Star

“The First Lady Of M-G-M”

Oscar winning actress Norma Shearer was born Edith Norma Shearer on August 10th, 1902 in Montreal, Canada. Her stage-struck mother, also named Edith, was determined that her beautiful daughter should become a famous actress, and when Norma was just out of her teens, she was brought out to Hollywood by her mother with that goal in mind. Norma managed to get a small part in D.W. Griffith’s masterpiece “Way Down East” (1920) in a barn dancing scene; although she was uncredited, she gained valuable film experience in this, and other bit roles through 1922. Norma eventually received a lucrative offer from the Metro Company, which had formed with Mayer and Goldwyn to become M-G-M. Under the guidance of M-G-M’s resident premiere producer Irving Thalberg, Norma made a number of noteworthy films, such as “HE Who Gets Slapped” (1924) with Lon Chaney and John Gilbert, “His Secretary” (1925), and “The Waning Sex” (1926), all of which allowed Norma to show off her talents, and gave her a more secure standing with the studio. Her most memorable silent movie role was as the waitress Kathi in “The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg” (1927), opposite Ramon Novarro. Norma Shearer’s last silent film was “A Lady Of Chance” (1928), which has recently been restored with a new orchestra score, and is shown from time to time on Turner Classic Movies.

Norma was married to Irving Thalberg in 1927, and they had two children, Irving and Katherine. Her husband Irving was struck down in his prime in 1936 from pneumonia, and Norma became a widow. She married one more time in 1942, to Sun Valley ski instructor Martin Arouge, but by this time her screen career was over. She had made some successful sound films, and won the Academy Award as Best Actress for her role in the pre-code schmaltz “The Divorcee” (1930). In later years, Norma was in ill health and suffered from depression. She died on June 12th, 1983 in Woodland Hills, California, from the same illness which had killed her first husband, pneumonia. ~ Copyright © 2004

Norma Shearer Photo Gallery

Photo One  Photo Two Photo Three  Photo Four

Norma Shearer’s Silent Films

Lady of Chance, A (1928) …. Dolly ‘Angel Face’ Morgan Crandall
Actress, The (1928) …. Rose Trelawny
… aka Trelawny of the Wells (1928)
Latest from Paris, The (1928) …. Ann Dolan
Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, The (1927) …. Kathi
… aka Old Heidelberg (1927)
… aka Student Prince, The (1927) (UK)
After Midnight (1927) …. Mary Miller
Demi-Bride, The (1927) …. Criquette
Upstage (1926) …. Dolly Haven
Waning Sex, The (1926) …. Nina Duane
Devil’s Circus, The (1926) …. Mary
His Secretary (1925) …. Ruth Lawrence
Tower of Lies, The (1925) …. Glory or Goldie
Slave of Fashion, A (1925) …. Katherine Emerson

Norma Shearer accepts her Oscar from actor Conrad Nagel at the award ceremonies held in 1931

Pretty Ladies (1925) …. Frances White
Waking Up the Town (1925) …. Mary Ellen Hope
Lady of the Night (1925) …. Molly
Excuse Me (1925) …. Marjorie Newton
Snob, The (1924) …. Nancy Claxton

Norma Shearer, John Gilbert, HE Who Gets Slapped

Norma Shearer with John Gilbert in “HE Who Gets Slapped” (1924)

HE Who Gets Slapped (1924) …. Consuelo
Married Flirts (1924) …. Guest at party
Broken Barriers (1924) …. Grace Durland
Empty Hands (1924) …. Claire Endicott
Broadway After Dark (1924) …. Rose Dulane
Blue Water (1924) …. Lillian Denton
Wolf Man, The (1924) …. Elizabeth Gordon
Trail of the Law, The (1924) …. Jerry Vardon
Lucretia Lombard (1923) …. Mimi Winship
… aka Flaming Passion (1923)
Wanters, The (1923) …. Marjorie
Pleasure Mad (1923) …. Elinor Benton
Devil’s Partner, The (1923) …. Jeanne
Man and Wife (1923) …. Dora Perkins
Clouded Name, A (1923) …. Marjorie Dare
End of the World, The (1922)
Leather Pushers, The (1922) (uncredited) …. Undetermined Role
Bootleggers, The (1922) …. Helen Barnes
Channing of the Northwest (1922) …. Jess Driscoll
Man Who Paid, The (1922) …. Jeanne Thornton
Sign on the Door, The (1921) (uncredited) …. Bit Part
Stealers, The (1920) …. Julie Martin
Torchy’s Millions (1920) (uncredited) …. Bit Part
Restless Sex, The (1920) (uncredited) …. Extra
Way Down East (1920) (uncredited) …. Barn dancer
Flapper, The (1920) (uncredited) …. Extra

To learn more about Norma Shearer visit her profile on The Internet Movie Database

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