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Gloria Grahame

Gloria Grahame (November 28, 1923 - October 5, 1981) was an American film actress.

Gloria Grahame

Born Gloria Hallward in Los Angeles, California, her mother Jean Grahame was a stage actress and acting teacher who taught Gloria acting during her childhood and adolescence. She was signed to a contact with MGM Studios after Louis B. Mayer saw her performing on Broadway. Changing her name to Gloria Grahame, she made her film debut in Blonde Fever (1944) and scored her most widely praised MGM role as the small town girl Violet, who is saved from a life of shame by George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life (1946). MGM was not able to develop her potential as a star and her contract was sold to RKO Studios in 1947.

She received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination for Crossfire (1947), and won the same award for The Bad and the Beautiful (1952). Often regarded as a difficult actress, Grahame's career began to wane after her role in Oklahoma! (1955), although she continued to play supporting roles for the rest of her life in the United States, and also in the United Kingdom, where she resided for many years.

In 1981 Grahame collapsed during a rehearsal for a British stage play, and returned to New York City where she died soon after from cancer. She is interred in Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth, California.

Gloria Grahame has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to Motion Pictures, at 6522 Hollywood Boulevard.


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Gloria Grahame has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contribution to Motion Pictures, at 6522 Hollywood Boulevard. She received an OBE in 1983, an honorary DLitt from Lancaster University in 1989, and a DBE (thus becoming a "Dame") in 1993. She is interred in Oakwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Chatsworth, California. Thora Hird's energy and resilience were such that, even following the news that she had suffered a stroke, BBC bosses were still hoping that she would recover in order to appear in the next series of Last of the Summer Wine. In 1981 Grahame collapsed during a rehearsal for a British stage play, and returned to New York City where she died soon after from cancer. Although in recent years she had been thought of as a stereotypical old woman (with many jokes about her sideline advertising stairlifts), some of her youthful film work still survives, including her 1942 appearance in the classic wartime propaganda film Went the Day Well?. Often regarded as a difficult actress, Grahame's career began to wane after her role in Oklahoma! (1955), although she continued to play supporting roles for the rest of her life in the United States, and also in the United Kingdom, where she resided for many years. Her tireless work for charity and work on television in spite of old age and ill health had made her an institution.

She received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination for Crossfire (1947), and won the same award for The Bad and the Beautiful (1952). Her most memorable line was, on hearing that her son had been having sex with his girlfriend in her house, "Not on the eiderdown!". MGM was not able to develop her potential as a star and her contract was sold to RKO Studios in 1947. Dame Thora's talent for comedy was shown to good effect in her performance as the potential battleaxe mother-in-law to Victoria Wood's character in the TV film Pat and Margaret. Changing her name to Gloria Grahame, she made her film debut in Blonde Fever (1944) and scored her most widely praised MGM role as the small town girl Violet, who is saved from a life of shame by George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life (1946). Thora Hird was mainly associated with television comedy, notably the sitcoms Meet the Wife (a 1960s classic) and later series of Last of the Summer Wine. However, she played a variety of roles, including the nurse in Romeo and Juliet, and won a BAFTA Best Actress award for her role in one of Alan Bennett's monologues. Mayer saw her performing on Broadway. Dame Thora Hird (May 28, 1911 - March 15, 2003) was a veteran British actress born in the Lancashire seaside town of Morecambe. She was the mother of the actress Janette Scott, and thus formerly the mother-in-law of the singer Mel Tormé.

She was signed to a contact with MGM Studios after Louis B. Dame Thora Hird'a autobiography, Scene And Hird (1976). Born Gloria Hallward in Los Angeles, California, her mother Jean Grahame was a stage actress and acting teacher who taught Gloria acting during her childhood and adolescence. Gloria Grahame (November 28, 1923 - October 5, 1981) was an American film actress.

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