Monday, September 27, 2010

Gloria Stuart (1910-2010)

She was born on the 4th of July, 1910 in Santa Monica and a little over a century later she left this mortal coil right next door in West Los Angeles. But oh how this American blonde travelled in between.

She was engaged to The Invisible Man (1933) in a tiny village in Sussex. She made it out of The Old Dark House (1935) in Wales as a young ingenue, when the gothic mansion was set on fire. Her husband was jailed in the West Indies as The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936). She was cousin to rising radio star Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938). She spun around the dance floor with Peter O'Toole in My Favorite Year (1982). And quite famously, she survived the Titanic (1997) which departed from England but never made it to its New York City destination.

And that's just a few of Gloria Stuart's best known screen journeys.

Off screen her life was also rich, though much of it was spent away from the public eye. She travelled extensively, was a founding member of the Screen Actors Guild, a printmaker and artist and was even skilled in the Japanese art of Bonsai.

Stuart was honored this past July by AMPAS for her centennial. Here's a couple of photos from the event.

 Left: Gloria drinks to... Gloria! Right: Gloria with actresses Anne Jeffries (Dick Tracy's original "Tess Trueheart" in the 40s films) and Ann Rutherford (Gone With the Wind)

Rest in peace Old Rose.


IslandLiberal said...

DiCaprio and Winslet got most of the press for that film (not entirely undeservedly), but Stuart's contribution was really crucial too. The scene where she describes how many people went into the water and never made it out is harrowingly sad.

mrripley said...


Mierzwiak said...

That's so sad... Two weeks ago I've watched Titanic and once again was really touched by her performance.

RIP Gloria.

James T said...

RIP Gloria Stuart

Life full of years and experiences.

Andrew R. said...

She was a very good actress, although her nomination for Titanic was not a very good one.

RIP Gloria.

Kev said...

That's sad to hear, but living to 100! That's an accomplishment that few of us will ever enjoy sadly. I've only seen Gloria Stuart in "Titanic." I'll never mind her nomination the way so many do. It's kind of crazy that she almost lived as long as Old Rose did.

RIP Gloria Stuart.

Kurtis O said...

I like the point made over at Awards Daily: She lived through the history of American film

Cluster Funk said...

R.I.P. indeed. Although it was a relief she didn't win the BSA Oscar for Titanic, she certainly added a welcome spark to that film's otherwise mundane "present" scenes.

Non-sequitor: When 'Oops, I Did It Again' was released a decade ago, I remember being annoyed that Britney Spears so cavalierly referred to her as "the old lady [who] dropped [the diamond necklace] into the ocean at the end." Bish, have some respect!

Philip said...

This made me so sad when I found out. :(
She was beautiful in Titanic.

Mirko said...

she was so beautiful in James Whale's classic movies. I also admired her strenght

She doesn't deserve to be remembered just for Titanic, even if she served the movie quite well (I agree with IslandLiberal, she's harrowingly sad when she said that just one lifeboat came back to save the people fallen in the ocean, no wonder it was chosen as her oscar clip)

anyway I'm glad she had an oscar nomination under her belt...and I confess you she was also in my line-up that year, along with Basinger, Cusack, Polley and (my winner) Moore

Volvagia said...

Which movie with Joan Cusack in 1997? If it's In & Out, get Grosse Pointe Blank immediately. Her In & Out work: Sweaty, shrill and extremely unlikeable in what should be a likeable role.

Volvagia said...

Basinger + Polley: For me, two halves of the same problem. Unactable roles. Polley because the character speaks solely in metaphor and Basinger because, well, the character is defined by the lines of others. All that's left is for her to look great and deliver her lines at least decently. And she does, but that's not top 5 of the year worthy.

My field:

Gloria Stuart, Titanic
Mindy Sterling, Austin Powers 1
Julianne Moore, Boogie Nights
Joan Cusack, Grosse Pointe Blank
Minnie Driver, Princess Mononoke

DavidEhrenstein said...

She was an absolutely fabulous person of incredible grace, charm and wit. Utterly invaluable to me in writing my book Open Secret: Gay Hollywood 1928-2000 her recollectiosn of James Whale as an artist and a person were sharp and precise.

And she it up every room she ever walked into.