“All creative people should be required to leave California for three months every year.” Good advice from Gloria Swanson

1941: American actress Gloria Swanson (1899 - 1983) plays glamorous film star Leslie Collier in 'Father Takes a Wife', directed by Jack Hively. (Photo by Ernest Bachrach)
1941: American actress Gloria Swanson (1899 – 1983) plays glamorous film star Leslie Collier in ‘Father Takes a Wife’, directed by Jack Hively. (Photo by Ernest Bachrach)

WALLACE: Let’s go back to the Hollywood that you knew. I would like your opinion…..

SWANSON: Oh, it was a fabulous….fabulous …fabulous…


SWANSON: But we were all young then…..everybody…..

WALLACE: Well now wait….here is a description of Hollywood during the 1920’s published in Reporter Magazine February 21st this year — screenwriter Robert Ardrey writes as follows he says: Out of the Roaring Twenties in Hollywood came rape, manslaughter, white Rolls-Royces and an equal host of master pieces and paternity suits. Was Hollywood the wild, abandoned community that Mr. Ardrey suggests that it was?

SWANSON: Well, now let me explain to you something that I don’t understand. I, of course, I have to admit that when I finished a picture I usually rushed off to New York or to Europe because I had other interests in my life other than just making pictures. I have always been a seeker after knowledge…..my education was such that I needed to read a great deal; and traveling, I think, is a great educator.

SWANSON: And so I also, out of curiosity — I wanted to see what other people were doing instead of hearing what the producer said to me and what I said to the producer and your head’s going like this all the time. You hear…if you go to a dinner- party it’s about pictures and afterwards you run a picture…..

WALLACE: So you got away from it.

SWANSON: So I did. So I more or less worked there rather than lived there. But I’ve been to some beautiful parties and I, of course, had heard about brawls and things like that. But….I’ve also heard about brawls and drunkenness in other parts of the world and I can’t identify it with just Hollywood. Now…let us take the Roaring Twenties. You know the Roaring Twenties were….that was all over the world. It wasn’t just in a little tiny spot out there in California…

The entire transcript and video is here, please click: The Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin


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  1. August 14, 2015

    the more things change, the more they stay the same. fun read. thanks!!

  2. Heather in Arles
    August 14, 2015

    Oooh very fun! But I am sorry…I just have to say it…someone at Disney definitely saw this photograph and it became the prototype for Cruella Deville!!

  3. August 15, 2015

    The Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin is real treasure! The exhibits are small but so well curated. There have been so many memorable exhibits: From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe (still haunts me), The Making of Gone With the Wind (costumes included), 150 years of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Greenwich Village Bookshop Door: A Portal to Bohemia, 1920-1925, I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America, Banned, Burned, Seized, and Censored and so many other enlightening topics.

  4. August 16, 2015

    forgot to mention I was at the auction of her Gloria Swanson’s possessions (size 4 shoes) in NYC early 80’s…Need to dig up the catalog

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