Title

Norma and Irving : the steel butterfly and the boy wonder

Abstract

At the height of her career, Norma Shearer was the Queen of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the First Lady of the silver screen. She starred in sixty films in twenty-three years, beginning her career as an extra in 1919 before dominating the box office in the 1930s and retiring in 1942. Shearer's husband was the ''Boy Wonder” producer, Irving Thalberg, the man responsible for overseeing many of the studio's greatest successes, although he preferred to remain uncredited for his work. When Shearer and Thalberg married in September 1927, they became Hollywood's golden couple. Throughout their nine-year marriage, rumors circulated that Shearer married Thalberg for the sake of her career, while Thalberg was accused of unfairly casting Shearer in key film roles for which other stars may have been better suited. In interviews that appeared in screen magazines, Shearer denied the validity of this gossip, and sources close to the couple often reported their marriage was full of love and happiness. Although Thalberg did not publicly deny any rumors, he assured bis colleagues that his casting choices did not result from favoritism. Shearer and Thalberg had great influence and power within the film industry, but studio executives felt they both held too much power-especially Thalberg. Using archival research from Los Angeles, California, and information collected from within the state of Florida, this thesis explores the rumors that circulated about Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg and the couple's methods to reveal the truth. It provides the personal histories of both artists and an examination of the circumstances surrounding one of early Hollywood's most powerful couples. It was their success that brought about the rumors and the attempts to undermine their marriage.

Notes

This item is only available in print in the UCF Libraries. If this is your thesis or dissertation, you can help us make it available online for use by researchers around the world by downloading and filling out the Internet Distribution Consent Agreement. You may also contact the project coordinator Kerri Bottorff for more information.

Thesis Completion

2010

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Pugh, Tison

Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

English

Degree Program

English

Subjects

Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities

Format

Print

Identifier

DP0022490

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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