Gloria Stuart filmography and biography
Date of birth: 4 July 1910, Santa Monica, California, USA
Date of death: 26 September 2010, Los Angeles, California, USA (Lung cancer)
Gloria Stuart biography
Gloria Stuart was born in Santa Monica, California, did some acting while in college at the University of California at Berkeley and later worked on stage in little theater productions. Universal enticed the glamourous blond actress with the assurance of "big plans," but outside of her films for director James Whale (I) (The Old Dark House, The Invisible Man, and The Kiss Before the Mirror), that promise went unkept as the studio stuck her in a long series of unmemorable program pictures. After a stint at 20th Century-Fox turned out the same way, Stuart went back to the stage and then (in the mid-'40s) retired from acting. Since then, she has taken up painting and has had one-woman shows in New York, Austria, and Italy. In the 1970s, she returned to acting. Widowed since 1978 (her husband was screenwriter Arthur Sheekman), she was Oscar-nominated for her performance as the 100-year-old survivor of the sinking of the Titanic.
Gloria Stuart trivia
- Oldest person ever to be nominated for an Academy Award, 2/10/98.
- Chosen by People Magazine as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world (1998).
- Founding member of the Screen Actors Guild.
- She was the only cast member of Titanic who was alive at the time of the actual disaster.
- Titanic was her second film that featured a doomed ship. One of her early film, Here Comes the Navy, was filmed aboard the USS Arizona.
- Mother-in-law of TV writer Gene Thompson (II).
- 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 Sheekman Thompson, born June 19, 1935, was a cookbook author.
- Following her husband's death she engaged in a 13-year relationship with printer Ward Ritchie, born in 1904. They first met 1930 when he was a best friend of first husband, sculptor Blair Gordon Newell. The two reacquainted in March 1983 and were lovers until his death in 1996.
- Turned down Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm 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.
- She has four grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
- Stepdaughter of Fred J. Finch.
- 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, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, was born in 1911.
- Grandchildren are David Oxley Thompson, born on January 15, 1957 in Berkeley, California; Benjamin Stuart Thompson, born on September 21, 1959 in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England; Dinah Vaughn Thompson, born on December 6, 1960 in Los Angeles, California; and Amanda Thompson (II), born on July 30, 1962 in Berkeley, California.
- Twelve great-grandchildren are Sarah-Leah Thompson; Jacob Thompson; Samuel Thompson; Deborah Thompson; Tzipporah Thompson; Maggie Thompson; Dylan, Weston, Stuart, Jasen, Frannie, and Katie.
- Interviewed in "It Came from Horrorwood: Interviews with Moviemakers in the SF and Horror Tradition" by Tom Weaver (I) (McFarland, 1996).
- In Gold Diggers of 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, Stuart's character did all that, 84 years earlier.
- She is the grandmother-in-law of Jill Church and Ella Thompson (I).
- Lived directly opposite the house in Brentwood, CA where Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman (II) were murdered.
- Not to be confused with Gloria Stewart (I), James Stewart (I)'s wife.
- Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2000.
Gloria Stuart quotes
- 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.