July 4, 1910
|Died||September 26, 2010 (aged 100)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Other names||Gloria Frances Stuart|
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley|
|Children||Sylvia Vaughn Thompson|
Gloria Frances Stuart (born Gloria Stewart; July 4, 1910 – September 26, 2010) was an American actress, visual artist, and activist. She was initially known for her roles in Pre-Code films, though she would garner renewed fame later in life for her portrayal of Rose Dawson Calvert in James Cameron's epic romance Titanic (1997), the highest-grossing film of all time at the time. Her performance in the film won her a Screen Actors Guild Award and earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture.
A native of Santa Monica, California, Stuart began acting while in high school. After attending the University of California, Berkeley, she embarked on a career in theater, performing in local productions and summer stock in Los Angeles and New York City. She signed a film contract with Universal Pictures in 1932, and acted in numerous films for the studio, including the horror films The Old Dark House (1932) and The Invisible Man (1933), followed by roles in the Shirley Temple musicals Poor Little Rich Girl (1936) and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938). She also starred as Queen Anne in the musical comedy The Three Musketeers (1939).
Beginning in 1940, Stuart slowed her film career, instead performing in regional theater in New England. In 1945, following a tenure as a contract player for Twentieth Century Fox, Stuart abandoned her acting career and shifted to a career as an artist, working as a fine printer and making paintings, serigraphy, miniature books, Bonsai, and découpage for the next three decades. She produced numerous pieces during this period, many of which are part of collections in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Stuart gradually returned to acting in the late 1970s, appearing in several bit parts, including in Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year (1982) and Wildcats (1986). She made a prominent return to mainstream cinema when she was cast as the 100-year-old elder Rose Dawson Calvert in Titanic (1997), which earned her numerous accolades and renewed attention. Her final film performance was in Wim Wenders' Land of Plenty (2004). She died of respiratory failure in September 2010, aged 100.
In addition to her acting and art careers, Stuart was a lifelong environmental and political activist, who served as a co-founding member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League.
Life and career
1910–1929: Early life
Stuart was born Gloria Stewart at 11:00 p.m. on the Fourth of July, 1910 on the family's kitchen table in Santa Monica, California, the first child of Alice (née Deidrick) and Frank Stewart.:6 Through her mother, Stuart was a third-generation Californian; Stuart's maternal grandmother, Alice Vaughan, was born in 1854 in Angels Camp, gold country, two years after her own mother, Berilla (Stuart's great-grandmother), relocated to California from Missouri in a covered wagon.:203 Stuart's father, a native of The Dalles, Oregon, was of Scottish descent, and studied law in San Francisco.:5 At the time of her birth, he was an attorney representing The Six Companies. Stuart had one younger brother, Frank Jr., born eleven months later, and another younger brother Thomas (born two years after Frank Jr.), however he died due to spinal meningitis at age three.:6
As a child, Stuart attended a Church of Christ with her mother, and subsequently attended a Catholic school.:10 Her father, originally a Presbyterian, converted to Christian Science during her childhood.:10–11 When Stuart was nine years old, her father died as the result of an infection from an injury sustained when an automobile grazed his leg. She was also expelled from grade school after kicking her teacher ("to be honest, she deserved it" she recalled).:11 Hard-pressed to support two small children, her mother soon accepted the proposal of local businessman Fred J. Finch.[A]:11–12 Stuart attended her schooling using the name Gloria Fae Finch. She had not been given a middle name by her parents and so adopted one, Frances, the feminine of Frank, her father's name.
Stuart attended Santa Monica High School where she was active in theater, and performed the lead role in her senior class play, The Swan. She loved writing as much as acting, and spent her last two summers in high school taking short story and poetry writing classes:13 and working as a cub reporter for the Santa Monica Outlook.:20
While a teenager, she had a tumultuous relationship with her stepfather, and sought to attend college in order to leave home.:17 After high school, Stuart enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley, majoring in philosophy and drama. In college, she appeared in plays, worked on the Daily Californian, contributed to the campus literary journal, Occident, and posed as an artist's model. It was at Berkeley that she began signing her name Gloria Stuart.[B]
While a student at UC Berkeley, Stuart wanted to join the Young Communist League. She wrote, "I was told it was for the poor and the oppressed. That appealed to me. But membership wasn't open to anyone under eighteen, so I couldn't join.":38 In Carmel, she notes that her friendship with muckraker Lincoln Steffens gave her "... much deeper insight into the abuses of laborers and blue-collar workers and made me ready to work for liberal causes when I got to Hollywood a few years later.":38
At the end of her junior year, in June 1930, Stuart married Blair Gordon Newell,:23 a young sculptor who apprenticed with Ralph Stackpole on the facade of the San Francisco Stock Exchange building.:18 The Newells moved to Carmel-by-the-Sea where there was a stimulating community of artists such as Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Robinson Jeffers and Lincoln Steffens and his wife Ella Winter.:45–46 In Carmel-by-the-Sea, Stuart performed in productions at the Theatre of the Golden Bough and worked as a staff member on The Carmelite newspaper.:31 She meanwhile made hand-sewn aprons, patchwork pillows and tea linens, and created bouquets of dried flowers for a tea shop, in which she also worked as a waitress.:36 Newell laid brick, chopped and stacked wood, taught sculpture and woodworking, and managed a miniature golf course. They lived in a shack in the middle of a wood yard as night watchmen.:31–37 Stuart would later reflect on this period of her life as "wonderfully bohemian.":16
1930–1934: Theater and early films
Stuart's performance in the theatre in Carmel brought her to the attention of Gilmor Brown's private theater, The Playbox, in Pasadena. She was invited there to appear as Masha in Anton Chekhov's The Seagull.:26 Opening night, casting directors from Paramount and Universal were in the audience. Both came backstage to arrange a screen test, both studios claimed her. Finally the studios flipped a coin and Universal won the toss. Stuart considered herself a serious actress in theater but she and Newell "were stony broke, living hand to mouth" so she decided to sign the contract with Universal, which paid a bit more than Paramount.:40
Stuart does not mention it in her book, but the Internet Movie Database includes her with thirty other players in a slapstick comedy, The Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood, A Behind-the-Scenes Farce. Produced by Universal in the spring of 1932, this is likely Gloria Stuart's first appearance before the camera. According to Stuart, she began her film career by playing an ingénue confronting her father's mistress in the Warner Bros. film Street of Women, a Pre-Code fallen-women film for which she was loaned by Universal.:41 Stuart's second film, again playing an ingénue, was in the football-hero film, The All-American.:60
In early December, 1932, the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers announced that Gloria Stuart was one of fifteen new movie actresses "Most Likely to Succeed"—she was a WAMPAS Baby Star. Ginger Rogers, Mary Carlisle, Eleanor Holm were among the others. Stuart's career advanced when English director James Whale chose her for his film The Old Dark House (1932), playing the glamour role of a sentimental wife who winds up stranded among strangers at a spooky mansion, among the ensemble cast (Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton, Lilian Bond, Ernest Thesiger, Eva Moore and Raymond Massey). The film was critically praised, and The New York Times called Stuart's performance "clever and charming," with the movie later becoming a cult classic. Stuart's experience filming The Old Dark House also became integral to the formation of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933:
James [Whale] joined all the English actors," Stuart recalled. "So on one side of the set they had their 'elevensies' and `foursies,' and Melvyn [Douglas] and I would be sitting together, not invited. One day, Melvyn said to me, `Are you interested in forming a union together?' I said, 'What's a union?' He said, 'Like in New York – Actor's Equity. The actors get together and work for better working conditions.' I said, 'Oh wonderful,' because I was getting up at five every morning; in makeup at seven, in hair at eight, wardrobe at quarter of nine, and then sometimes if production wanted you to, you worked until four or five the next morning. There was no overtime. They fed us when they felt like it, when it was convenient for production. It was really very, very hard work.
After filming completed, Stuart began canvassing for supporters; she became one of the union's first founding members.:45 In June 1936, she helped Paul Muni, Franchot Tone, Ernst Lubitsch, and Oscar Hammerstein II form the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League.:46 That same year she and writer Dorothy Parker helped create the League to Support the Spanish Civil War Orphans.:46
Stuart was given her first co-starring role by director John Ford in her next film, Air Mail, playing opposite Pat O'Brien and Ralph Bellamy. Of her performance in the movie, the New York Times's Mordaunt Hall wrote: "Gloria Stuart, who does so well in The Old Dark House, a picture now at the Rialto, makes the most of the part of the girl ..." That two Gloria Stuart movies were in theaters simultaneously became the rule rather than the exception in her early career. In 1932, her first year, Stuart had four films released, then nine in 1933, six in 1934. In 1935, Stuart was having a baby, so only four movies were released. Six movies followed in 1936. After Air Mail, Mordaunt Hall's notices for Gloria Stuart came down to a few words. Laughter in Hell: "Gloria Stuart appears as Lorraine ..."; Sweepings: "... played by the comely Gloria Stuart ..."; Private Jones: "Gloria Stuart is charming ..."
James Whale called Stuart back for just one scene in The Kiss Before the Mirror, but the critic Hall wrote, "There are those who may think that it is too bad to introduce as one of the players the dainty Gloria Stuart and have her killed off in the first episode of the narrative. Perhaps it is, but a pretty girl was needed for the part and Mr. Whale obviously did not wish to weaken his production by casting an incompetent actress or an unattractive one for this minor role."
After good notices in The Girl in 419, (Mordaunt Hall mentions "... the pleasing acting of the attractive Gloria Stuart), and Secret of the Blue Room ("Miss Stuart gives a pleasing performance."), James Whale cast Stuart opposite Claude Rains in The Invisible Man (1933). Rains was a celebrated import from the London stage and this was his first Hollywood film. (Mordaunt Hall's review of Stuart's work was a temperate, "Miss Stuart also does well by her role.") After having appeared in several of Whale's films, Stuart became friends with him and his partner, David Lewis.:44
Stuart's husband, Gordon Newell, was unhappy with Hollywood life. He and Stuart separated amicably and divorced.:47–48 In 1933 (on the set of her film Roman Scandals, a comedy starring Eddie Cantor), Stuart met Arthur Sheekman, one of the movie's writers.:61 They were "instantly attracted to each other".:61 Stuart and Sheekman married in August 1934.
In 1934, Universal loaned-out Stuart to Warner Brothers for Here Comes the Navy. Stuart co-starred with James Cagney and Pat O'Brien, the first of nine films featuring this male team. Frank S. Nugent wrote in the New York Times, "Supporting Mr. Cagney--and doing very creditable jobs, too--are Pat O'Brien, Gloria Stuart ..."
1935–1939: 20th Century Fox
In 1935, Stuart was cast as Dick Powell's love interest in Busby Berkeley's Gold Diggers of 1935. It was a musical. Stuart did not dance or sing due to being pregnant, and the New York Times critic commented: "Nor has Gloria Stuart anything of vast import to contribute in the position usually occupied by Ruby Keeler."
In that same year, Stuart left Universal and joined Twentieth Century-Fox. Her first assignment from studio head Darryl F. Zanuck was in Professional Soldier, supporting child star Freddie Bartholomew and Victor McLaglen (who, the year before, had won a Best Actor Oscar for his role in The Informer). Frank S. Nugent noted: "There is a minor romance along the way between Gloria Stuart, the king's noble governess, and Michael Whalen, the professional soldier's part-time assistant, but no one should take it seriously." In 1936, John Ford chose Stuart to co-star with Warner Baxter in The Prisoner of Shark Island. Playing the wife of the doctor who treated Lincoln's assassin, Stuart felt privileged to work again with Ford,:89 although the New York Times Frank S. Nugent wrote of Stuart's "... helpful performance ..." In Poor Little Rich Girl, Stuart again was asked to support a child star — this time Shirley Temple. Frank S. Nugent: "Listing [Temple's] supporting players hastily, then, before we forget them entirely, we might mention Miss Faye [and] Gloria Stuart ... as having been permitted a scene or two while Miss Temple was out freshening her costume."
For the rest of 1936 and through 1937, Zanuck placed Stuart in movies such as The Girl on the Front Page—Frank S. Nugent's note: "Call it mediocre and extend your sympathies to the cast ..." Reviewing Girl Overboard, Nugent begins, "In the definitive words of the currently popular threnode featured by a frog-voiced radio singer, Universal's 'Girl Overboard' ... is 'nuthin' but a nuthin',' and a Class B nuthin' at that." In spite of the films' lukewarm reviews, Stuart had amassed a loyal following of fans by this time in her career, one of whom had her portrait tattooed across his chest. Stuart met with the fan and was photographed with him for a Life magazine profile in the fall of 1937.
Stuart later appeared in The Lady Escapes, Life Begins in College and Change of Heart, which did not merit space in the New York Times movie pages. In 1938, Zanuck again insisted Stuart support Shirley Temple in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938). In their review of the film, Variety wrote: "Shirley Temple proves she's a great little artist in this one. The rest of it is synthetic and disappointing ... More fitting title would be Rebecca of Radio City." In 1938, for the fourth time, Stuart was a supporting player to a child star: Jane Withers in Keep Smiling. Stuart but not her performance is noted in the New York Times review.
In Time Out for Murder, Stuart's reviewer said she was "... a pretty bill collector". Then in 1939, the last year in this phase of Stuart's career, in The Three Musketeers, Stuart's billing came after Don Ameche, The Ritz Brothers and Binnie Barnes and again Stuart's work was not reviewed. In Winner Take All, the Times critic wrote, "... the only thing worth seeing in the picture is Tony Martin trying to play a prizefighter. This is positively killing." It Could Happen to You, "a quasi-comedy" co-starring Stuart Erwin, finished the eight years. Again Stuart is not mentioned.
What did give the actress space in the movie pages the previous November was the story: "Gloria Stuart Quits Fox ... Gloria Stuart has terminated her contract with Fox ..." In fact, Darryl Zanuck did not renew Stuart's contract.:90
1940–1944: Departure from Hollywood
Early in 1939, Stuart and then-husband Sheekman spent four months traveling in Asia, Egypt and Italy, then landed in France just as France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany.:92:116 They appealed to the American consul, asking to stay, Sheekman as a war correspondent, Stuart as a hospital volunteer. The consul refused help, and told them they had to return to the United States. They caught the SS President Adams, the last American passenger ship to cross the Atlantic, :116–117 and arrived in New York City in September.
In New York, Stuart sought to return to stage acting, hoping to star on Broadway. "I wanted to be a theater actress," she said, "but I thought it would be easier to get to New York and the theater if I had a name than if I just walked the streets as a little girl from California. When I went back to New York with somewhat of a name, they didn't want movie actresses." Stuart was, however, welcomed into summer stock theater on the east coast, and performed in various productions between 1940 and 1942, including: Man and Superman, The Animal Kingdom, The Night of January 16th, Accent on Youth, Mr. and Mrs. North, Arms and the Man, and Sailor Beware!. In August 1940, she starred as Emily Webb, opposite Thornton Wilder—under Wilder's own direction—in his play Our Town,:129 which was staged at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
To help with the war effort in the 1940s,:162 Stuart took singing and dancing lessons, then the USO teamed her with actress Hillary Brooke.:158–159 The two blonde actresses toured the country, visited hospitals, danced with servicemen in canteens, sold war bonds. Stuart "wanted terribly to volunteer for service overseas with the USO, but Arthur wouldn't hear of it.":143
Stuart asked her former agents to get her work. Her first movie in four years, Here Comes Elmer (1943), was a comedy with music starring Roy Rogers' wife, Dale Evans.:160 In The Whistler (1944)—an early directing credit of the horror specialist, William Castle—Stuart co-starred with Richard Dix.:160 In her following film, Enemy of Women (1944), a war-themed drama, Stuart was seventh in billing.:143 Two years later, Stuart took one more role: she wore a redhead's wig in She Wrote the Book a comedy starring Joan Davis and Jack Oakie.
1945–1974: Art career
After abandoning her acting career in 1945, Stuart went to New York with husband Sheekman—Paramount sent him to see the new play Dream Girl wanting him to adapt it for to screen. A friend took Stuart to the studio of a découpage artist. Drawn to the art form, Stuart thought it could replace acting in her life.:168 With Sheekman's encouragement, she opened a shop on Los Angeles's decorators' row, named it Décor, Ltd.:169 Stuart created découpaged lamps, mirrors, tables, chests and other one of a kind objets d'art. Over the next four years, her work gained attention and her pieces were carried by Lord & Taylor in New York, Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Bullock's in Pasadena and Gump's in San Francisco. But in time, labor involved in "the fine fine cutting, applying sixteen coats of lacquer" to every piece:170 and other costs proved prohibitive and Stuart closed her shop.
After living in rented spaces for ten years, Stuart and husband Sheekman bought an old craftsman-style house, where she redesigned the interior, supervised the remodeling, designed all the furniture and had it custom made. In the garden, she planned the landscaping, included a green house for orchids and lath house for grafting fruit trees, spent hours on her knees cultivating and planting. In Stuart's words, "I became a whirling dervish of creative renovation.":171–172
Early in 1954, visiting Paris, Stuart first saw the Impressionist paintings at the Jeu de Paume museum. As when she first saw découpage, Stuart wanted to do it too.:174 The Sheekmans were on their way to Italy. At the time, American artists living abroad for at least eighteen months paid no taxes on income earned during the residency.:175 Sheekman was now very successful. In the eight years since returning from New York, he had been on fourteen movies, mostly writing the screenplays. He wanted to try another play.:177 For the next eighteen months, Stuart painted and Sheekman worked on his play.:178
Sheekman's comedy about a sorrowful comic, The Joker, had Tommy Noonan for its star and was booked into The Playhouse Theater in New York to open April 5, 1957. April 1, it was announced the play was terminating a pre-Broadway tour of three-and-one-half weeks in Washington DC and was "taken off for repairs." Repairs were never made. Then after seven years of working at her easel every day, Stuart was ready to show her paintings. In September, 1961, Victor Hammer gave Stuart a debut one-woman show at his Hammer Galleries in New York.:182 Nearly all of her forty canvases sold.:182 In the following years, Stuart exhibited her primitive-style paintings in many shows, including at the Bianchini Gallery in New York, the Simon Patrich Galleries and The Egg and the Eye in Los Angeles, the Galerie du Jonelle in Palm Springs and the Staircase Gallery in Beverly Hills. Stuart's paintings are in numerous private collections and the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of New Mexico (Santa Fe), the Desert Museum of Palm Springs and the Belhaven Museum (Jackson, Mississippi).
Stuart had been painting for nearly thirty years when, as she noted in her book, "... the challenges to me of painting as a primitive had been wearing a little thin, and I had become fascinated by the complex art form of serigraphy—silk screening." Stuart studied with serigrapher Evelyn Johnson then created vivid serigraphs that are also in private collections.:227
In the late 1960s, Stuart embraced another art form, the art of bonsai. She took classes from Frank Nagata, colleague of John Naka, a bonsai master in Los Angeles,:191 joined Nagata's bonsai club, Baiko-En, and became one of the first Anglo members of the California Bonsai Society. Eventually Stuart's collection numbered over one hundred miniature trees.:191–192
1975–1995: Return to acting; book design
In 1975, after nearly thirty years out of the business, Stuart decided to return to acting. She got an agent and was immediately cast in a small role as a woman customer in a store in the ABC television film The Legend of Lizzie Borden starring Elizabeth Montgomery. From there, through her agent, Stuart was able to get cast in bit parts, mostly in television— including guest appearances on series such as The Waltons and Murder, She Wrote.:209 Her friend, director Nancy Malone, gave her a leading role in Merlene of the Movies, a quirky film for television, and other friends gave her parts in their shows. In 1982 came My Favorite Year. Although Stuart's scene lasted moments and she had no lines, she was dancing with Peter O'Toole. She wrote, "It was a great privilege to work with him.":162 After that, Stuart was in Jack Lemmon's drama Mass Appeal and Goldie Hawn's comedy Wildcats, then more bits and pieces in television. A vintage publicity photo of her was also used for the image of 'Peg', the sister of butler Alfred Pennyworth, in the 1997 film Batman & Robin.
Stuart's husband Arthur Sheekman died in January 1978. Five years later, Ward Ritchie, a close friend of Stuart's first husband, Gordon Newell, sent Stuart one of his books. Ritchie had become a celebrated printer, book designer and printing historian. With his commercial Ward Ritchie Press and private Laguna Verde Imprenta press, Ritchie produced distinguished books on the arts, poetry, cookery and the American West. Stuart invited him to dinner and they fell in love. Ritchie was seventy-eight and Stuart seventy-two.:219–220 When Stuart first followed Ritchie into his studio and watched him pull a printed page from his 1839 English iron Albion hand press, she wanted to do it, too.:226 After studying typesetting at the Women's Workshop in Los Angeles, Stuart bought her own hand press, a Vandercook SP15:228 and established her own private press, Imprenta Glorias. In 1984, Stuart was diagnosed with breast cancer, but successfully treated the disease with a lumpectomy followed by radiation.:246–247
In the late-1980s, Stuart began experimenting making Artist's books.:230 She designed several, wrote the text (often poetry), set the type—carefully selecting the style of type to match the subject—printed the pages, then decorated the pages with water colors, silk screen, découpage or all three. She created large artist's books and books in miniature. Several of her books took her years to complete.:231 One of them, completed in 1996 with artist Don Bachardy, is owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Through Ritchie, Stuart was introduced to prestigious librarians and bibliophiles from San Francisco to Paris.:244 Imprenta Glorias books can be found in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Huntington Library, J. Paul Getty Museum, the Library of Congress, the Los Angeles Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library & Museum, the New York Public Library, the Occidental College Library, the Princeton University library, the UCLA Clark Library, the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as private collections.:233 Stuart and Ritchie were together for thirteen years until his death from pancreatic cancer in 1996.:239
1996–1998: Titanic; career resurgence
In May 1996, Stuart received a message about a film role: "A female voice said she was calling from Lightstorm Entertainment ... about a movie to be shot on location, maybe Poland ... about the Titanic, directed by James Cameron ..." :249 The next afternoon, Cameron's casting director, Mali Finn, came to Stuart's house "... with her assistant, Emily Schweber, who was carrying a video camera ... Mali and I talked while Emily filmed us.":250 The next morning, Finn brought over James Cameron and his video camera. Stuart wrote, "I was not the least bit nervous. I knew I would read Old Rose with the sympathy and tenderness that Cameron had intended ...":251 Five days after Stuart's eighty-sixth birthday, Finn phoned again and asked, "Gloria, how would you like to be Old Rose?":254
Most of Stuart's filming was completed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, over about three weeks in early summer of 1996.:268 Stuart also filmed and made recordings for several documentaries, did more looping and dubbing for Cameron, and received offers for additional films. Stuart wrote: "On April 7, 1997, the publicity blitz for Titanic kicked off... From that point on, the deluge of publicity never stopped.":278 On December 17, 1997, Stuart was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film. She was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She was one of the few Golden Age stars to attend the ceremony, with contemporaries Fay Wray, Bob Hope, and Milton Berle also attending.:297 As of 2021, she remains the oldest nominee in the category.
On March 8, 1998, the Screen Actors Guild awarded Stuart its Founders Award, and also won the award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, tying with Kim Basinger (L.A. Confidential). For both awards, Stuart received a standing ovation from her peers. :302
The following May, People magazine included Stuart on their list of "The 50 most beautiful people in the World in 1998." Also in May, Stuart was guest of honor at the Great Steamboat Race between the Belle of Louisville and the Delta Queen and then was Grand Marshal of the 1998 Kentucky Derby Festival's Pegasus Parade.
Next, Stuart signed a contract with Little, Brown and Company to write her autobiography, I Just Kept Hoping. Stuart made her debut at The Hollywood Bowl on July 19, 1998 reading the poem, Standing Stone, Paul McCartney's oratorio for orchestra and chorus.
1999–2010: Final years and accolades
Stuart was asked by the producer and star, Kate Capshaw, to join her cast of The Love Letter (1999), which she filmed in Rockport, Massachusetts. In October 1999, Stuart's native Santa Monica issued a Commendation signed by the mayor recognizing Gloria Stuart "... for many contributions world-wide and her inspirational message to always keep hoping. Dated this 16th day of October, 1999. Pam O'Connor, Mayor." In September 2000, Stuart unveiled her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in front of a Pig 'n Whistle café that had opened its doors in 1927 when Stuart was still in high school. She also made guest appearances on several television series, including the 2000 science fiction series The Invisible Man; Touched by an Angel, and General Hospital. Although once again reduced to minor roles, Stuart's last two movies were for director Wim Wenders. In 1999, she worked on The Million Dollar Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. In 2004, she appeared in Wenders' Land of Plenty, her final film.
In 2006, Stuart donated her screen printing equipment to Mills College, where an exhibition of her work was held. On June 19, 2010, despite her illness, Stuart appeared in person to be honored by the Screen Actors Guild for her years of service. At a luncheon, she was presented the Ralph Morgan Award by Titanic co-star Frances Fisher. James Cameron and Shirley MacLaine were among the luncheon attendees. On July 22, 2010, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored Stuart's career with a program featuring film clips and conversations between Stuart and film historian Leonard Maltin, portrait artist Don Bachardy and David S. Zeidberg, the Avery Director of the Huntington Library. One thousand people filled the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
From the time Stuart was announced in the Titanic cast, she appeared before the camera for interviews on subjects as diverse as Groucho Marx, Shirley Temple, James Whale, horror movies and friends Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy.
Stuart was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 94, many decades after she had quit smoking. Until that point, she had enjoyed remarkably good health for her advanced age aside from taking cortisone shots for knee pain. She underwent radiation treatment, but in time the cancer returned and she underwent a shorter course of radiation. The malignancy continued to spread, but slowly due to her age. She died six years after her initial diagnosis and reached her centenary.
Stuart celebrated her 100th birthday on July 4, 2010, hosted by James Cameron and Suzy Amis as well as family and friends at the ACE Gallery in Beverly Hills. There Stuart saw many of her paintings and serigraphs, artist's books, samples of her découpage and trees from her bonsai collection exhibited in the gallery.
Stuart was a skilled amateur chef and hosted frequent dinner parties in Hollywood. She was close friends with the American food writer M.F.K. Fisher, who was godmother to Stuart's daughter Sylvia Vaughn Thompson. Thompson later wrote about Stuart's cooking style: "My mother has never made Just Roast Beef in her life. It wouldn't interest her. Her style is based on the intricacies of composition. It borders on the baroque. Everyone adores it."
After tasting Stuart's goose in Kirschwasser aspic, the writer Samuel Hoffenstein composed a poem, which he comically said was inspired by "hearing the wings of all the poets brush thro' Gloria's kitchen."
Activism and politics
Stuart was a lifelong Democrat. She was a co-founding member of the Hollywood Anti-Nazi League, which formed in 1936. In 1938, as a member of the Hollywood Democratic Committee, Stuart was on the Executive Board of the California State Democratic Committee.:46 She was also an avid environmentalist. "I belong to every organization that has to do with saving the environment," said Stuart. "I'm fed up with venal and avaricious forestry people, mining people, oil people, gas people. I think the abuse of the environment is sinful."
Death and legacy
Stuart died in her sleep of respiratory failure on the afternoon of September 26, 2010. Her body was cremated. She was survived by her daughter, Sylvia Vaughn Thompson. At the time of her death, Stuart had four grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
Stuart's great-granddaughter, Deborah B. Thompson, produced an e-book, Butterfly Summers: A Memoir of Gloria Stuart's Apprentice.
|1997||Awards Circuit Community Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Titanic||Nominated|||
|1997||Academy Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|||
|1997||Golden Globe Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|||
|1997||Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|||
|1997||Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards||Best Supporting Actress||2nd place|||
|1997||Online Film Critics Society Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|||
|1997||Saturn Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|||
|1997||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Female Actor in Supporting Role||Won[C]|||
|2000||Eyegore Awards||Eyegore Award||N/A||Honored|||
|2010||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Ralph Morgan Award|||
|1932||Still Life||Acrylic on canvas||Formerly owned by estate of Harpo Marx; auctioned in 2014|||
|1950s||Flossie and the Tiger||Oil on canvas||Owned by Papillion Gallery (Los Angeles)|||
|1954||House in Rapallo||Oil on canvas||Owned by Papillion Gallery|||
|1960s||Idiot's Bouquet - Melange||Oil on canvas||Owned by Papillion Gallery|||
|1960s||Two Nudes||Oil on canvas||Owned by Papillion Gallery|||
|1960s||Watts Towers||Oil on canvas||Owned by Los Angeles County Museum of Art|||
|1960s||Watts Towers with Kite||Oil on canvas||Owned by Los Angeles County Museum of Art|||
|1961||Girl in the Armoire||Oil on canvas||Owned by Papillion Gallery|||
|1961||Idiot's Bouquet - Hand||Oil on canvas||Owned by Papillion Gallery; exhibited at Hammer Gallery, New York in 1961|||
|1963||Idiot's Bouquet - with Wreath||Oil on canvas||Owned by Papillion Gallery|||
|1965||Adam and Eve||Oil on canvas||Owned by Papillion Gallery|||
|1970||Ladies in the Grass||Oil on canvas||Owned by Papillion Gallery|||
|1970s||Naming of the Animals||Oil on canvas||Owned by Papillion Gallery|||
|N/A||Le the Dasant||Silk screen||Signed along bottom in pencil; auctioned in 2012|||
|1985||March fifteenth, Nineteen eighty-three||Letterpress, silkscreen, collage, and watercolor||Owned by William Andrews Clark Memorial Library|||
|1991||Eve-Venus||Letterpress, silkscreen, collage, and watercolor||Owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art|||
|1993||Christopher Isherwood’s Commonplace Book||Letterpress, silkscreen, collage, and watercolor||Owned by William Andrews Clark Memorial Library|||
|1993||Boating with Bogart||Letterpress, silkscreen||Owned by William Andrews Clark Memorial Library|||
|1996||The Portrait||Letterpress, silkscreen, collage, and watercolor||Collaboration with Don Bachardy; owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art|||
|1997||The best motion picture of 1997: Titanic, by its
author, director & producer James Cameron
|Letterpress||Owned by William Andrews Clark Memorial Library|||
|2001||A Slight Diversion||Letterpress, silkscreen||Owned by William Andrews Clark Memorial Library|||
Notes and references
- Ancestry.com, 1920 United States Federal Census, City of Santa Monica, precinct 14, sheet No. 12B, line 52. Accessed September 15, 2014.
- Stuart & Thompson 1999.
- Thompson, Sylvia (1988). Feasts and friends : recipes from a lifetime. San Francisco: North Point Press. ISBN 0-86547-350-1.
- The Nautilus (June 1927). Santa Monica High School Yearbook, p. 45.
- "Gloria Frances Stuart, actress. Shaking hands with an admirer, who has painted her name and her portrait on his breast. 1938". Getty Images. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
- Pepe, Barbara (February 21, 1998). "Gloria Stuart". Hello. p. 8. ISSN 0214-3887.
- "The Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood (1932)". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
- Tennant, Madge. "Fifteen Screen Debs Are Elected 1932 Baby Stars By WAMPAS" Movie Classic.
- Mank 2005, p. 132.
- Hall, Mordaunt (October 28, 1932). "Boris Karloff, Charles Laughton and Raymond Massey in a Film of Priestley's "The Old Dark House."". The New York Times.
- Biodrowski, Steven (September 28, 2010). "Upstaged By The Invisible Man: Gloria Stuart Interview". Cinefantastique Online. Frederick S. Clarke. ISSN 0145-6032. Archived from the original on December 9, 2010.
- McNary, Dave. "Thesp Gloria Stuart is Lauded by SAG". Variety, June 19, 2010.
- "SAG Mourns Loss of Founding Member Gloria Stuart". SAG-AFTRA. September 27, 2010. Retrieved July 4, 2015.
- "Celebrating Gloria" (PDF). Screen Actor (Summer 2010): 20–21.
- Hall, Mordaunt. "Pat O'Brien as a Boastful Pilot in a Story of the Hazards of the Modern 'Pony Express.'" New York Times, November 7, 1932.
- Hall, Mordaunt. "Laughter in Hell (1932) A Chain-Gang Melodrama". New York Times, January 2, 1933.
- Hall, Mordaunt (March 24, 1933). "Sweepings (1933) Lionel Barrymore and Gregory Ratoff in a Film Version of a Novel by Lester Cohen". The New York Times.
- Hall, Mordaunt. "Private Jones (1933) A Bucking Private." The New York Times, March 25, 1933.
- Hall, Mordaunt (May 21, 1933). "The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933) Frank Morgan, Nancy Carroll and Paul Lukas in a Pictorial Adaptation of a Hungarian Play". The New York Times.
- Hall, Mordaunt. "The Girl in 419 In an Emergency Hospital." New York Times, May 22, 1933.
- Hall, Mordaunt. "Lionel Atwill and Gloria Stuart Appear in a Story of Mysterious Murders in an Old Castle." New York Times, September 13, 1933.
- Hall, Mordaunt (November 18, 1933). "Claude Rains Makes His Film Debut in a Version of H.G. Wells's Novel, 'The Invisible Man.'". The New York Times. p. 18.
- "Star Weds Writer". Belvedere Daily Republican, Belvedere, Illinois, July 30, 1934.
- Nugent, Frank S. (July 21, 1934). "Mr. Cagney Afloat". The New York Times.
- Here Comes the Heavy—Original trailer. Accessed September 14, 2014.
- Sennwald, Andre. "Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935)'Gold Diggers of 1935,' the New Warner Musical Film at the Strand – 'Times Square Lady.' New York Times, March 15, 1935.
- "Gloria Stuart A Mother". The Edwardsville Intelligencer. Edwardsville, Illinois. June 20, 1935.
- Nugent, Frank S. "Professional Soldier (1936) Victor McLaglen as the 'Professional Soldier,' at the Center". New York Times, January 30, 1936.
- Nugent, Frank S. "The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)". New York Times, February 13, 1936.
- Nugent, Frank S. (June 26, 1936). "Miss Temple's Latest, 'The Poor Little Rich Girl,' Moves Into the Radio City Music Hall". The New York Times.
- Nugent, Frank S. The Girl on the Front Page (1936) Notes in Passing on 'The Girl on the Front Page,' at the Roxy. New York Times, November 7, 1936.
- Nugent, Frank S. (March 1, 1937). "Girl Overboard, 1937". The New York Times.
- "Gloria Stuart and Ray Pearl". Life. People. September 6, 1937. p. 66.
- Staff. "Review: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Variety, December 31, 1937.
- "Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm—Original trailer" (Film). Retrieved September 15, 2014.
- B.R.C. "Jane Withers, Gloria Stuart and Henry Wilcox Are In 'Keep Smiling' at The Globe." The New York Times, August 10, 1938.
- Nugent, Frank S. "The Palace Takes 'Time Out for Murder' at the Palace". New York Times, October 7, 1938.
- Crowther, Bosley. "Winner Take All at the Palace". New York Times, March 31, 1939.
- Nugent, Frank S. "At the Palace." New York Times, June 9, 1939.
- Special to the New York Times. "Screen News Here and in Hollywood ..." New York Times, November 11, 1938.
- Corliss, Richard (September 29, 2010). "Gloria Stuart, '30s Film Star with a Titanic Comeback". Time. Archived from the original on January 3, 2014.
- "Town Hall Playhouse Will Open June 22". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, New York City. June 7, 1940. p. 11 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Gloria Stuart". The Fitchburg Sentinel. Fitchburg, Massachusetts. August 3, 1940. p. 5 – via Newspapers.com.
- Perry, Florence Fisher (July 28, 1940). "I Dare Say". Pittsburgh Press. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Summer Theaters". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, New York City. July 9, 1941. p. 4 – via Newspapers.com.
- Francis, Robert (August 26, 1942). "Flatbush Revives 'Sailor Beware' With Fine Cast". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, New York City. p. 17 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Gloria Stuart To Appear With Thornton Wilder". The Fitchburg Sentinel. Fitchburg, Massachusetts. August 10, 1940. p. 9 – via Newspapers.com.
- Lentz 2011, p. 413.
- Zolotow, Sam. 'Joker Opening Canceled on Tour'. New York Times, April 1, 1957.
- McLellan, Dennis (September 27, 2010). "Gloria Stuart dies at 100; 'Titanic' actress". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
- Dastin, Elizabeth. "Gloria Stuart: From Silver Screen to Canvas" (thesis proposal), CUNY Graduate Center, 2013.
- "Arthur Sheekman, A Screenwriter and Adapter, at 76". The New York Times. January 14, 1978. p. 24.
- MacLeod, Steve (March 17, 2014). "New Exhibit — Ward Ritchie and Laguna Verde Imprenta". University of California, Irvine. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
- "Don Bachardy: The Portrait". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018.
- "Gloria Stuart. 1 Nomination". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
- Archerd, Army. "Showbiz stalwart Stuart gets SAG honor". Variety, December 14, 1997.
- "The 4th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - 1998". Retrieved September 15, 2014.
- "Gloria Stuart". People. Meredith Corporation. May 11, 1998.
- "Gloria Stuart". People. Meredith Corporation. 49 (17): 49. May 4, 1998.
- Program: "The L.A. Philharmonic presents Hollywood Bowl 1998. July 14-July 19.
- Harmetz, Aljean; Berkvist, Robert (2010-09-27). "Gloria Stuart, an Actress Rediscovered Late, Dies at 100". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
- City of Santa Monica Commendation
- Archerd, Army. "For Fisher, gay friends are 'Normal"." Variety, September 19, 2000.
- Bergan, Ronald (September 28, 2010). "Gloria Stuart obituary". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on September 16, 2013.
- "Titanic Actress Gloria Stuart to Give Printing Equipment to Mills College". Mills College Newsroom. Mills College. 2006. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018.
- WENN (June 21, 2010). "Stuart Honored By Screen Actors Guild". Contact Music. Retrieved November 12, 2014..
- Program: "An Academy Centennial Celebration with Gloria Stuart. July 22, 2010."
- Variety Staff. "Upcoming events for the week of July 6. Variety, July 6, 2010.
- Gloria Stuart's 2004 day book, September 24, 2004.
- Steinberg, Julie (September 27, 2010). "Gloria Stuart, 'Titanic' Star, Dies at 100". The Wall Street Journal.
- Lacher, Irene (July 5, 2010). "Titanic actress Gloria Stuart celebrates her 100th birthday". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2018-04-25. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
- "In Memoriam: Gloria Stuart". The New Yorker. Condé Nast.
- Gardner & Bellows 2007, p. 154.
- Thompson, Deborah B. (March 9, 2012). Butterfly Summers: A Memoir of Gloria Stuart's Apprentice (eBook). Cork: Book Baby Publication. p. 150. ISBN 978-1-62095-357-0.
- Trounson, Rebecca (July 7, 2010). "Gloria Stuart". The Los Angeles Times. Hollywood Star Walk. Retrieved July 6, 2016.
- Davis, Clayton (July 7, 2014). "1997 Awards Circuit Community Award Winners". Awards Circuit Community Award. Archived from the original on March 2, 2016.
- "Gloria Stuart Biography". TV Guide. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018.
- "KCFCC Award Winners – 1990-99". Kansas City Film Critics Circle. Archived from the original on September 17, 2018.
- Klady, Leonard (December 14, 1997). "L.A. makes 'L.A.' 3 for 3". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018.
- "1997 Awards (1st Annual)". Online Film Critics Society. Archived from the original on 2017-12-24. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
- Échos Vedettes Staff (November 16, 2017). "Titanic a 20 ans". Échos Vedettes (in French). Montreal, Quebec: TVA Publications – via PressReader.
- "Titanic (1997) Awards". Fandango. NBCUniversal. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- "'Titanic' Star Set for Eyegore Awards". Los Angeles Daily News. Los Angeles: Digital First Media. October 12, 2000.
- "Longtime SAG Board Member to Receive Hollywood Division's Ralph Morgan Award". SAG-AFTRA. Screen Actors Guild. July 11, 2011. Archived from the original on November 27, 2015.
- "Some works of Gloria Stuart". Arcajada Auctions Results. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018.
- "Gloria Stuart". Papillion Gallery. Los Angeles. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014.
- "Watts Towers". LACMA.org. Collections. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018.
- "Watts Towers with Kite". LACMA.org. Collections. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Archived from the original on September 15, 2015.
- Bautista, Albany (October 1, 2010). "Item of the Week: A Clark Tribute to Gloria Stuart". William Andrews Clark Memorial Library Blog. University of California, Los Angeles. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018.
- "Gloria Stuart: Eve-Venus". New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- Deal, Dave (2011). Television Fright Films of the 1970s. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-786-45514-0.
- Gardner, Gerald; Bellows, Jim (2007). 80: From Ben Bradlee to Lena Horne to Carl Reiner, Our Most Famous Eighty Year Olds, Reveal Why They Never Felt So Young. Sourcebooks. ISBN 978-1-40220-840-9.
- Lentz, Harris M., III (2011). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2010. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-786-44175-4.
- Mank, Gregory William (2005). Women in Horror Films, 1930s. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-78642-334-7.
- Stuart, Gloria; Thompson, Sylvia (1999). Gloria Stuart: I Just Kept Hoping. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. ISBN 0-316-81571-3.
- Walkup, Kathleen (Autumn 2010). "Fine Printing's Hollywood Connection: Gloria Stuart's Imprenta Glorias'". Parenthesis. 19: 30–32.
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