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Norma Shearer

Norma Shearer

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Also Known As: Died: June 12, 1983
Born: August 10, 1902 Cause of Death: bronchial pneumonia
Birth Place: Montreal, Quebec, CA Profession: Cast ...
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NOTES

Some sources list August 11 as the date of Ms. Shearer's birth, but public records indicate that the August 10 date is correct.

Besides Oscar win for "The Divorcee" (1930), Shearer was also nominated for "Their Own Desire" (1930, multiple nominations for the same year then possible under Academy rules of the time), "A Free Soul" (1931), "The Barretts of Wimpole Street" (1934), "Romeo and Juliet" (1936), and "Marie Antoinette" (1938).

Shearer had a slight cast in her left eye as a child which became less noticeable as she grew into adulthood. The observant can still notice it in some shots in her films, but cinematographers filmed her carefully and Shearer did therapeutic exercises to minimize its presence.

Among Shearer's admirers were F. Scott Fitzgerald, who wanted her to play Nicole in a film version of his novel, "Tender Is the Night" and used her as the model for a character in his short story, "Crazy Sunday".

Actor Robert Morley, appearing with Shearer in "Marie Antoinette" (1938), reportedly once asked her, "How did you become a movie star?" She replied, "I wanted to!" --reported by Lambert's "Norma Shearer" 1990.

"In her final years, Norma Shearer, looking and behaving more like Miss Haversham than one of the 1930s big movie stars, would clutch the wrists of friends visiting her at the Motion Picture Country House hospital in the San Fernando Valley and ask, 'Are you Irving? Were we married?'" --Leah Rozen in her review of Gavin Lambert's "Norma Shearer" in People, June 25, 1990.

In his later years, Alfred Hitchcock would reportedly lament the absence of movie queens in contemporary cinema by asking, "Where are the Norma Shearers?" --reported by Gavin Lambert in his 1990 biography "Norma Shearer".

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