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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Janet GaynorJANET GAYNOR (1906-1984), born Laura Augusta Gainor, had her first starring role in The Johnstown Flood (1926). She retired from the screen in 1938, returning almost twenty years later. She won the first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in three films; Seventh Heaven, Sunset, and Street Angel, the only time an actress was ever given the award for multiple film performances.

A Star is Born (1937)Haven't you seen A Star Is Born (1937)? Janet is Esther Blodgett who gets rechristened Vickie Lester in this Hollywood grim fairy tale. She marries star Norman Maine (Frederic March) whose star is in rapid descent. Ironically, this film about a rising star was made just a year before Janet Gaynor decided to retire from the screen.

Watch this and then see these other four films.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) Janet and George O'Brien portray a young country couple who make their first visit to the big city. There, her husband is seduced into trying to kill his wife. F. W. Murnau's expressionistic work is considered one of the greatest silent films.
Seventh Heaven (1927) This was the first film to team Janet with Charles Farrell as a romantic duo, on par with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. They live in a walk-up tenament apartment until separated by World War I. A great romance film that inspired the popular song "Diane".
State Fair (1933) Janet plays the daughter of farmer Will Rogers in this first version of the thrice-filmed story. She is romanced by Lew Ayres while her parents show their prize pigs. It's just as good without the songs.
Bernadine (1957) After 19 years, Janet came out of retirement to take a supporting role in this film based on a play by Mary Chase (Harvey). The film stars Pat Boone as a high school student who creates the perfect girl, the fictional Bernadine Mudd. Janet later made a number of television appearances, including "The Love Boat" in 1981.

*Contributed by: "Eric Jamborsky" Date: Mon, Oct 3 2005 / 14:03:14 PST

Academy Awards®
© A.M.P.A.S.®
1927 Won Best Actress in a Leading Role: SEVENTH HEAVEN
1927 Won Best Actress in a Leading Role: SUNRISE
1927 Won Best Actress in a Leading Role: STREET ANGEL
1937 Nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role: A STAR IS BORN