In celebration of this year's Academy Awards , Dogbotz Boneyard is making available for purchase top-quality, mint-condition, glossy black-and-white photographic prints of well-renowned movie stars of the 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s and early ‘60s. Each print comes in a clear document holder and is ready to be matted and/or framed.
Gloria May Josephine Swanson (March 27, 1899 – April 4, 1983) was an American actress, singer, and producer perhaps best known for her role as Norma Desmond, a reclusive silent film star, in the critically acclaimed 1950 film Sunset Boulevard. She was one of the most prominent stars during the silent-film era as both an actress and a fashion icon, especially under the direction of Cecil B. DeMille. She starred in dozens of silent films and was nominated for the first Academy Award in the Best Actress category. She also produced her own films, including Sadie Thompson and The Love of Sunya. In 1929, Swanson transitioned to talkies with The Trespasser. Personal problems and changing tastes saw her popularity wane during the 1930s, when she moved into theater and television.
Swanson made her film debut in 1914 as an extra in The Song of Soul for Essanay. She reportedly asked to be in the movie just for fun. Essanay hired her to feature in several movies, including His New Job, directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin. Swanson auditioned for the leading female role in His New Job, but Chaplin did not view her as leading lady material and cast Swanson in the brief role of a stenographer. Swanson moved to California in 1916 to appear in Mack Sennett’s Keystone comedies opposite Bobby Vernon, and in 1919 she signed with Paramount Pictures and worked often with Cecil B. DeMille, who turned her into a romantic lead in such films as Don’t Change Your Husband (1919), Male and Female (1919) with the famous scene posing as “the Lion’s Bride” with a real lion, Why Change Your Wife? (1920), Something to Think About (1920), and The Affairs of Anatol (1921).
In the space of two years, Swanson rocketed to stardom and was one of the most sought-after actresses in Hollywood. She later appeared in a series of films directed by Sam Wood. She starred in Beyond the Rocks (1922) with her long-time friend Rudolph Valentino. Swanson continued to make costume drama films for the next few years. So successful were her films for Paramount that the studio was afraid of losing her and gave in to many of her whims and wishes.
In the end, it was Sunset Boulevard that returned Swanson to her former glory. After Mae West, Mary Pickford and Pola Negri all declined the role, Swanson starred in 1950’s Sunset Boulevard, portraying Norma Desmond, a faded silent movie star who falls in love with the younger screenwriter Joe Gillis, played by William Holden. Desmond lives in the past, assisted by her butler Max, played by Erich von Stroheim. Her dreams of a comeback are subverted as she becomes delusional. There are cameos from actors of the silent era in the film, including Buster Keaton, H. B. Warner and Anna Q. Nilsson. Cecil B. DeMille plays himself in a pivotal scene. Some of the lines from the film have become pop-culture mainstays, including “The Greatest Star of them all”; “I am big; it's the pictures that got small”; “We didn’t need dialogue, we had faces”; and “Alright, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.” Swanson received her third Best Actress Oscar nomination, but lost to Judy Holliday for Born Yesterday.
William Holden (April 17, 1918 – November 12, 1981) was an American actor, who was one of the biggest box-office draws of the 1950s. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1953 for his role in Stalag 17, and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor for his role in the 1973 television film The Blue Knight.
Holden starred in some of Hollywood’s most popular and critically acclaimed films, including such blockbusters as Sunset Boulevard, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Wild Bunch, Picnic, The Towering Inferno, and Network. He was named one of the “Top 10 Stars of the Year” six times (1954–1958, 1961), and appeared on the American Film Institute’s AFI's 100 Years…100 Stars list as number 25.
Holden’s first starring role was in Golden Boy (1939), in which he played a violinist-turned-boxer. Next he starred with George Raft and Humphrey Bogart in the Warner Bros. gangster epic Invisible Stripes later the same year, followed by the role of George Gibbs in the film adaptation of Our Town. After Columbia Pictures picked up half of his contract, he alternated between starring in several minor pictures for Paramount and Columbia before serving as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force during World War II, where he acted in training films for the First Motion Picture Unit. Beginning in 1950, his career took off when Billy Wilder tapped him to star as the down-at-the-heels screenwriter Joe Gillis, who is taken in by faded silent-screen star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) in Sunset Boulevard, for which Holden earned his first Best Actor Oscar nomination.
Note: As part of 2019 Holiday Celebration, the purchase of Stars of the Silver Screen: Gloria Swanson & William Holden comes with a free $10 Dogbotz Boneyard gift certificate, which can be redeemed during a future purchase at our online store. The expiration date of the gift certificate is one year after purchase of this item.