Norma: The Story of Norma Shearer

Lawrence J. Quirk, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (278p) ISBN 978-0-312-01798-9
This is the latest of Quirk's many books ( Claudette Colbert , Bette Davis et al.) on Hollywood in its heyday, when the stars really glittered, none more brightly than Norma Shearer. Thoroughly researched, the biography describes her life from her birth in Montreal in 1900 until her death at age 83. Refuting the arguments that the actress owed her triumphs to her first husband, Irving Thalberg, head of MGM, the author includes informed critiques of her memorable performances. He also emphasizes Shearer's successes after Thalberg's death at age 37, as well as the business sense that left her in control of the couple's stock in the studio. When she retired in 1942, the actress had made an enviable reputation as the incomparable, elegantly sexy character of such major films as The Barretts of Wimpole Street , A Free Soul , Escape , The Women and others. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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