The rise of talking pictures coincided with the Great Depression. The ostensible golden age of the studios paralleled the darkest days of the thirties. Current-day Hollywood contrives its public self-image from the phantoms and the fumes of the classic studio era; in the process, it evokes, with a fallacious longing, the hard-knock times that high-studio movies symbolize. Turner, a working actor of local renown, found himself in contact with a legend whose way of life had become surprisingly ordinary but whose personality retained its grandeur, whose every casual remark resonated with the weight of a past that was populated by potentates and geniuses and by fierce conflicts—intimate, public, and historical. When Turner and Grahame meet—in real life, in ; the film has it as —her career was greatly reduced. Grahame, whose onscreen default expression, in her years of peak performance, was a proud sneer that transcended peevishness and defied the world at large, was a tighter, snarlier character than the open, receptive Bening.
Gloria Grahame arrived at the 25th Academy Awards on the verge of superstardom. But this was no false modesty. I felt unqualified then, [but] Gloria always felt unqualified. Rumors circulated that she rebuked the honor after getting drunk at the event, which caused her to trip and curse en route to claim the prize — none of which was true. Sadly, following her Oscar victory, the beauty Grahame embodied so artfully on screen never reflected the personal turmoil festering under the surface. At 29, she was already two divorces deep into a turbulent romantic life: one from allegedly abusive actor Stanley Clements, the other from boozy Rebel Without a Cause director Nicholas Ray, with whom she had a son, Timothy.
Gloria Grahame Hallward, an acting pupil of her mother stage actress and teacher Jean Grahame , acted professionally while still in high school. In Louis B. Her debut in the title role of Blonde Fever was auspicious, but her first public recognition came on loan-out in It's a Wonderful Life
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