Norma SHEARER

Family tree of Norma SHEARER

Actor

CanadianBorn Edith Norma SHEARER

Canadian-American actress

Born on August 10, 1902 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada , Canada

Died on June 12, 1983 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA

Family tree

Report an error

This form allows you to report an error or to submit additional information about this family tree: Norma SHEARER (1902)

More information

Shearer's childhood was spent in Montreal and was one of privilege due to the success of her father's construction business. However, the marriage between her parents was not a happy one. Andrew Shearer was prone to manic depression and "moved like a shadow or a ghost around the house," while her mother Edith was attractive, flamboyant and stylish, prompting gossip that she was a heroin addict and unfaithful to her husband. Neither rumor was ever proven, but Edith proved to be bored with her marriage very early on and focused her energy on Norma, who she decided would one day become a famous concert pianist.



Shearer was interested in music as well, but after seeing a vaudeville show for her ninth birthday, announced her intention to become an actress. Edith offered support but, as Shearer entered adolescence, became secretly fearful that her daughter's physical flaws would jeopardize her chances. Shearer herself "had no illusions about the image I saw in the mirror." She acknowledged her "dumpy figure, with shoulders too broad, legs too sturdy, hands too blunt", and was also acutely aware of her small eyes that appeared crossed due to a cast in her right eye. But by her own admission, she was "ferociously ambitious, even as a young girl" and planned to overcome her deficiencies through careful camouflage, sheer determination and charm.

...  


The childhood and adolescence that Shearer once described as "a pleasant dream" ended in 1918, when her older sister, Athole, suffered her first serious mental breakdown and her father's company collapsed. Forced to move into a small, dreary house in a "modest" Montreal suburb, the sudden plunge into poverty only strengthened Shearer's determined attitude: "At an early age, I formed a philosophy about failure. Perhaps an endeavor, like my father's business, could fail, but that didn't mean Father had failed."



Edith Shearer thought otherwise. Within weeks, she had left her husband and moved into a cheap boarding house with her two daughters. A few months later, encouraged by her brother, who believed his niece should try her luck in "the picture business", then operating largely on the East Coast, Edith sold her daughter's piano and bought three train tickets for New York. Also in her pocket was a letter of introduction for Norma, acquired from a local theatre owner, to Florenz Ziegfeld, who was currently preparing a new season of his famous Ziegfeld Follies.



© Copyright Wikipédia authors - This article is under licence CC BY-SA 3.0


 

Geographical origins

The map below shows the places where the ancestors of the famous person lived.

Loading... An error has occured while loading the map.