Posted by medusamorlock on July 4, 2010
She was born a century ago, on July 4, 1910, and what a thrill it is to be able to wish actress Gloria Stuart a Happy 100th Birthday! What a milestone for Ms. Stuart, and how lucky we are to have her with us. We all remember her sort-of Cinderella “Only in Hollywood” story — how, after a busy movie career in the 1930s and early 1940s, she more-or-less retired from the screen, after marrying screenwriter Arthur Sheekman. Raising a family, work for WWII causes, painting and other artistic pursuits occupied her time away from her acting career, but after nearly forty years absent from the screen she began to appear again in movies and television. Of course, it was her 1997 role as the older version of Kate Winslet’s character Rose in director James Cameron’s mega-hit Titanic which catapulted her into the spotlight again, a place she’s occupied with grace and class, making her an audience favorite all over again.
Gloria Stuart is a charming female version of a real Comeback Kid, a well-liked Hollywood veteran who worked with all the greats and had marvelous stories she loved to share about her early career. Her credits are filled with familiar titles: director James Whale’s classic spooker The Old Dark House, with Boris Karloff and Charles Laughton; Whale’s 1933 horror masterpiece The Invisible Man, opposite Claude Rains; musicals like Eddie Cantor’s Roman Scandals and Gold Diggers of 1935; important dramas like director John Ford’s Prisoner of Shark Island from 1936; a pair of Shirley Temple musicals, Poor Little Rich Girl and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, not to mention many less well-known crime dramas, comedies and musicals.
Here she is in a clip from 1932′s The Old Dark House:
And here she pleads with Claude Rains in The Invisible Man:
Her 100th birthday is not going unnoticed by her friends in Hollywood. Most excitingly for those of you in the Los Angeles area, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is hosting a Centennial Celebration with Gloria Stuart on July 22 at 7:30pm, hosted by Leonard Maltin. There will be terrific film clips from her long career, but the real treat will be Ms. Stuart live in person in conversation with her friend Mr. Maltin. If you’re nearby, you’ve just got to go! Visit the AMPAS site here for more information on the event and to secure tickets.
Gloria had to be plenty spirited to stand up to the antics of sailors James Cagney and Pat O’ Brien in 1934′s Here Comes the Navy: (Sometimes this doesn’t come up, and if so, click here to see it).
Here’s the trailer for her co-starring role opposite Dick Powell in Gold Diggers of 1935:
And you will love this charming Harry Warren/Al Dubin number from the movie, called “I’m Goin’ Shopping With You”:
Here’s Gloria co-starring with Shirley Temple and Randolph Scott in 1938′s Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm:
There are some interesting videos out there of Gloria Stuart’s early years, including this curio with actor Johnny Mack Brown presenting 1933′s “Stars of Tomorrow”; Gloria comes in about 1:58 or so.
Gloria Stuart fans have put together several videos that can be found on YouTube, and they’re all heartfelt and so fun to watch. This one, by YouTube user Aaron1912, sets a wonderful array of photos to period music.
The following is a sweet selection done by YouTube user 4262009AP:
And you’ll also like this one by YouTuber user Camille6312:
We’d be remiss if we didn’t bring you a trailer or two from her comeback triumph Titanic. First, here’s one version: (Click here if it isn’t showing below.)
And here’s a much longer version with some different Gloria Stuart footage in it:
Happy Birthday to you, Gloria Stuart, from Movie Morlocks!
MovieMorlocks.com is the official blog for TCM. No topic is too obscure or niche to be excluded from our film discussions. And we welcome your comments on our blogs and bloggers.
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