Norma Shearer has long been a subject of interest for me. I am an ardent admirer of her work, particularly since she successfully made the transition from silent pictures to become a film star in sound films, a feat many others couldn’t accomplish.
Then there is of course my fascination with the mythos behind Norma’s marriage to MGM wunderkind Irving Thalberg. She benefitted from this relationship but also had to fight for her place, not only has his partner but for the roles he didn’t think she could play. I’ve also always wanted to know more about her life post Thalberg and MGM.
Thankfully, I finally had the chance to read the biography written by Gavin Lambert who was a screenwriter, novelist and who also wrote biographies on Alla Nazimova and Natalie Wood. Lambert was able to meet Norma several times before she passed away, interviewed her son and some of her friends and was also granted access to personal papers owned by MGM, all of which help add personal knowledge and details that are vitally necessary in his tribute to a woman who rarely shared or even hinted at the inner Norma Shearer. Continue reading “Book Review -Norma Shearer: A Biography by Gavin Lambert”