Happy Birthday Norma Shearer | 10 August, 1902 - 12 June, 1983
Graciousness and fierceness. Warmth and ambition. Level-headedness and emotional turbulence. These juxtapositions were the essense of Shearer’s personality, and they’d always been at the heart of her appeal. What the talkies did was make explicit what had been quietly apparent in her silent days. Shearer had a fire inside that could not be concealed, that she did not want to conceal. From the beginning, she built for herself a complex screen image that placed her in an ideal position, when the time came, to be the actress who broke down the barriers.
At the end of shooting The Women, Norma Shearer threw a lavish party on set with an orchestra and all. Among the guests were Ernst Lubitsch, who told Rosalind Russell mischievously as she went into a fox trot with George Cukor, ‘If you want your close ups to stay in the picture, better dance with Norma.’ Amused, Russell reported this to Norma, who gave one of her most brilliant smiles and held out her arms. Cheek to cheek, they whirled together past Lubitsch.