The ABC of Famous Canadians
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Norma Shearer

Norma Shearer was born in Westmount, Quebec, in a wealthy family. Norma's mother encouraged her to perform in plays and entered her in beauty contests, before auditioning to join the Ziegfield Follies. Norma did not become a Ziegfield girl, but she did get many modeling assignments, and eventually landed a small part in a film called "The Sign on the Door", followed by several roles in famous director D.W. Griffith's silent features.

Norma Shearer starred in many films for MGM, and later married Irving Thalberg, who was production chief for the studios. Norma was one of the few stars who endured despite the arrival of the talkies, and in 1932, she won an academy award for best actress for her role in "The Divorcee", and was even considered for the part of Scarlet O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind", but didn't get the part. Nevertheless, she continued working up to the early 1940s, until her retirement in 1942.


The Divorcee



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Last modified: December 14, 2004