Norma Shearer with a rabbit friend on the set of Romeo and Juliet, 1936
Norma is too often given short shrift as an actress. Irving Thalberg was a smart guy, if Norma Shearer hadn’t been talented and had a huge fan following he wouldn’t have encouraged her career. The fact is, she was a huge favorite with movie fans and having the boss so strongly on her team was just icing on the cake.
In 1932 Norma made a movie called “Smilin’ Through” and it was one of the biggest hits of that year. Even though Norma didn´t like making that movie and Irving had to convince her - "I didn’t think it was my type of role, but Irving made me do it." - people just adored the story about a girl who is shot and killed by a jealous lover at the wedding - and about her look-alike nice a few decades later. Norma played both roles and for months rhapsodies poured in to the fan magazines.
Spencer Tracy, Jimmy Stewart and Norma Shearer, 1930s
Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg attend the premiere of White Shadows in the South Seas, 1929
Norma Shearer in The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)
Norma Shearer stepping into her chauffeured car outside MGM studios, 1928
Clark Gable, Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., 1932
Actor meme » Norma Shearer [1/2] Behind-the-scenes moments
→ Attending the “Grand Hotel” premiere on April 12, 1932
"You don´t have to hand me a speech, darling, because I am not going to make one. First of all, I have to say, how glad I am to see you back. Conrad, you know that I never can make up my mind, whether I´d rather be outside of the theater or inside. But with a picture like tonight, I´d rather be inside [giggles]. You know, being a fan is hard darling. I´m so excited to see this picture, so I have never been to the studio before in my life. I want to congratulate everybody in it, I think they are all marvellous. I just wish I´d been in it myself. But you can´t have all the luck can you? [giggles]
Actor meme » Norma Shearer [2/2] Films you never get tired of watching
→ Private Lives (1931)
"I think very few people are completely normal really, deep down in their private lives. It all depends on a combination of circumstances. If all the various cosmic thingummys fuse at the same moment, and the right spark is struck, there’s no knowing what one mightn’t do. That was the trouble with Elyot and me, we were like two violent acids bubbling about in a nasty little matrimonial bottle."
Norma Shearer in Strangers May Kiss, 1931